Brigita  great point, like your website a lot [10/13/10 - 7:46pm]

RAz D  Great insight Melissa. I like how you have an "out of the box" approach and this is an example..option C. good post. [5/26/10 - 11:57pm]

Shirley  This is Great info Melissa!! As a longtime makeup artist, I have always dabbled in photography and was thinking of combining the two. This way would be great since I can second shoot for a photographer when I am not already booked with a wedding! :-) [10/13/09 - 1:52pm]

Lydia  Can I take you out to lunch next time I'm in town? ;-) Great advice, Melissa! Running a business is not for everyone. Dane Sanders makes a great point in his book, Fast Track Photographer, that some will function best and have the most fulfillment as a freelance photographer. It's all about finding out what kind of photographer you are and all out pursuing it! [10/10/09 - 2:11pm]

Cameron Clark | C+K Studio  Thanks for posting this. I really think too many people don't realize HOW time consuming the business aspect of photography really is. You do have to love sitting in front of the computer too, until you can get someone else to do that for you and that's a really great goal to have but hard to accomplish. Almost 7 years later, I'm still doing most of my own computer work. [9/29/09 - 11:24pm]

Akwoo  Great Melissa, this is a big decision to make and you can dig your head thinking about it over and over again. We are pretty much nearly across the line. Quitting our day jobs is the next big hurdle. All the best to those people making this decision! [9/22/09 - 11:10pm]

Jennifer Bowen  Great post Melissa! I think that many people under estimate how much work running a photography business really is, and how as you say, the majority of it is spent behind the computer: dealing with taxes, accounting, payroll, processing images, marketing/blogging, etc. and that in this day and age where there is a complete saturation of photographers in nearly every market, it's getting harder and harder to "get established." I'm finding my associate to be a great fit and a great option for me, but you are right, it had to be/has to be the right fit for you, your personality and your business. Great advice for those starting out or who may find themselves in that position! [9/22/09 - 4:55pm]

Lesley  Thank you for the wonderful advice. As I was reading this post I felt like you were writing it just for me. I have a full time job and house/husband/young son to take care of. I love photography and really wanted to pursue my passion. I started to get very busy with portraits but wasn't able to juggle it all. I threw in the towel and gave up. That's not like me at all but I really was near breakdown status. Something had to give and it had to be my photography. You have just given me an option that I hadn't thought of. Thanks again! [9/22/09 - 10:45am]

Holly Howe  thanks for this, melissa!!! i (and many of us out here!) appreciate your advice more than you'll ever know! :))) [9/21/09 - 8:55pm]

Russ Climie  Great post Melissa! I worked as an intern with an experienced pro for 18 months as a 'part-timer' while I built a portfolio and learned the 80/20 rule (80% business, 20% photography). That was 6 years ago and now I have two photographers that had their own businesses, but don't want to do the business end of things any longer. They now work through me as sub-contractors and the relationship has been fantastic! A relationship like that is not science based at all, it's an art to finding the right fit. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing your knowledge! [9/21/09 - 8:36pm]

Cathy  SO well said! Seems like everyone has these questions when they're first determining where to start, but no one knows who to ask or how to get the right information. And I wholeheartedly agree with so many things you've said... Bravo! [9/21/09 - 8:24pm]

Daniel Fuentealba  hahah that´s funny... I'm already on that in this right moment. Good luck with the resume's reading though xD greetings Melissa! [9/21/09 - 7:55pm]

Kelly  Loved reading this, Melissa. Exactly what I needed to hear!! Thanks for sharing. [9/21/09 - 7:31pm]

Kimberly Jarman  Great post Melissa... so so so true and good. Great Great Advice!! [9/21/09 - 7:15pm]

Casey Figlewicz  Melissa, I think you better clear your next few weeks...I have a feeling you will be going to a lot of lunches:) Thanks for the post!! [9/21/09 - 6:58pm]

Mandi  Thanks for the post Melissa- I love pictures. Love them. Whenever I've taken a picture of anyone, I have always been so glad I didn't start a business venture. It's just not for me. I'm so glad I realized that and kept it as a fun hobby. [9/21/09 - 6:33pm]

Marnee  Melissa, wonderful post! I love that you put this out there. My assistant for the past 4 years has become an associate photographer with my company this last year and it has been a wonderful experience for both of us. I too, worked with several amazing photographers for almost 5 years before I started my own business. I can't even imagine trying to do that without that strong background and support. I disagree though with one point... I think having your own business requires more like 80% of your time in the business and only 20% of your time actually shooting! You really do have to love both sides to start a business! [9/21/09 - 6:26pm]

Tira J  Great information MJ! I would like to add that if and when you do choose to start your business, do it officially. [9/21/09 - 6:20pm]

Tiffany Anderson  This is great Melissa! I agree about working with someone you admire. I was able to do a 3 month internship with one of my favorite photographers. The one on one time I had with him on location and in the studio was the best learning experience. [9/21/09 - 5:34pm]

Armin  I've been getting similar questions from new photographers as well. You're so right about the many hats you'd have to wear starting your own business. Could not have said it better myself Melissa, good post! [9/21/09 - 4:51pm]