Learning Photography at Break-Neck Speed [IP73]

In this episode of the podcast, Jim talks with Darin Mellor, a listener of the podcast who took some of Jim’s online photography classes and eventually left his job 7 months ago to pursue photography full-time.

Darin shares what has worked for him to find clients, the techniques he is using to make saleable images, and the gear he has built up to run his business with.

What’s in this episode

  • The steps Darin took to create a sustaining full-time photography business in 7 months
  • The gear that Darin chose to take on an extended photography trip to Europe–including his biggest regret!
  • When a cell phone can give your DSLR a run for its money

Doodads of the week


  • Squarespace – Squarespace is an awesome and SIMPLE way to create a photography portfolio website. ¬†For a free trial and 10% off enter offer code “Improve” at checkout.


  1. Charlene

    Although I noted my interest in this particular podcast when it was first released, I didn’t have an opportunity to listen to it unless yesterday. I was initially shocked at the negativity that it generated, but after some thought realized that many of the comments are a reflection of the unhappiness that many working people experience in their jobs. I believe that there is a real possibility that those who are criticizing Darin’s career choices are just a bit envious of the fact that he was in a position to make those choices. From what I have heard and read, his decisions were neither hasty nor ill-informed but rather the result of his hard work and thoughtful planning and preparation. He has found his place in the world, and I heartily congratulate him on his decision to become “joyfully jobless”, as author and self-employment guru Barbara Winter advocates for those like Darin who are independent, creative, energetic, willing and enthusiastic learners and more interested in collaboration than competition.

    I also applaud Jim for not only teaching us about photography and sharing virtually everything he has learned about photography and business with his students but for having the courage to feature Darin’s story despite the fact that it may feature a path not desired or attainable by all. I personally found this story wonderfully positive and positively inspirational!

    I am happily retired and always looking for opportunities to get out and shoot. Every time I do so, I learn something—whether by success or by failure. Photographers like Jim and Darin inspire me to continue to learn and to shoot.

    I look forward to more podcasts and hope that Improve Photography will continue to provide inspiration for photographers at every level and in all kinds of life circumstances! Thanks, Jim and Darin!!

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