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Why paid memberships are necessary

Without them, this wonderful website will cease to exist


Many people think is run by a big outfit with a staff of writers and photographers. But, there is only one person behind the scenes, and that's me, Dan McCormick.

I began to write material for the site in early 1999, leaving behind a successful photography business. It took almost two years to create the first hundred or so pages, to assemble the artwork, charts and diagrams, and to upload enough quality images - around 1,000 - for the site to go "live" on March 5, 2001. Now, seems to have a life of its own. It has grown to so many pages of text and pictures that I've lost count....and, it keeps growing!

People write to tell me how pleased they are to have discovered the site. I've received hundreds of thank you letters and emails that describe as the best photography information site on the internet. Top computer magazines (like PC World) and many well-known publications (like USA Today) and broadcasters (like the BBC and Australian National Radio) have sung our praises. Many viewers have told me they never understood a particular aspect of photography until they'd read about it on this site.

"Why do I like
No one talks down to you. You feel like you are a member of a family, as if your father is explaining things to you in plain, simple language you can understand.
No question is considered dumb, and almost everything you read is useful.
No wasted words. No boring side-trips that have nothing to do with the subject."

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Viewership grew in leaps and bounds. Within the first six months, the site got more than 1,000,000 hits a month, serving just under 44,000 individual sessions. We had been discovered. Soon, was getting almost 10,000,000 hits a month, and growing. (Please note: 10,000,000 hits a month referred to the number of hits made on the server - every element of each page, including images. It didn't mean that got 10,000,000 visitors a month. The number of visitors was in the range of 320,000. That was still a lot of visitors.) In fact, site traffic became so active that my internet charges (hosting fees, bandwidth overage, newsletter management costs, etc.) exploded 1,367%. It was costing me thousands of dollars every month so that people everywhere could view at no charge.

The original idea was to stay free forever. The fact is that now I can't afford it. Product sales are the only source of revenue the website provides. Although my products are well-received and purchasers are delighted with their quality and usefulness, they just don't provide enough income to cover the high cost of maintaining such a busy website. must generate its own revenue or my family (and banker) will probably convince me to shut down the site, and we'd all hate that. Becoming a paying membership web site, at a reasonable and modest subscription cost for members ($4.95 U.S. per month on a recurring subscription basis until you cancel, or US$27.23 for six-months or US$49.50 a year), seems to be the best solution.

Members can access the entire site without restriction, and the revenue generated from paid membership subscriptions, if sufficient, will allow me to continue to add new and timely material on a regular basis without the personal financial strain I am presently encountering. It can cost a lot of money to hire the right models, make-up staff and stylists to illustrate a simple, proven technique or to demonstrate something new. (I know. I've been doing it for years now.) The same applies to researching new systems and equipment, or to creating set-ups that clearly demonstrate an important point for the advanced amateur, or to developing a well-illustrated page that helps a beginner to get over a hurdle.

One of the main objectives I have for is that it remains on the leading edge of the photography industry, providing continuous updates and new content so that no viewer at any level (beginner, advanced amateur or professional) ever finds the site to be stagnant or dull. I want to be sure that members receive true value for the cost of their subscription. This means fresh tips, new features, exciting information and updates on a frequent basis.

I'll be happy when you come across something new and beneficial every time you log onto the site. That is one of my goals. And if I set a goal, I usually achieve it. You can expect big things from your membership, and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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"This website is awesome!
In one hour, I learned more about taking good pictures than months spent looking everywhere else."


A portion of will remain free to viewers and will hopefully be supported by paid advertising. I'd like to keep primary sections of it, including our highly-popular Guest Galleries and other key areas, open to everyone for free.

But viewers who choose to pay a modest fee to subscribe as members - only $4.95 a month, $27.23 for six-months or $49.50 for an annual membership - will access the entire website, including detailed information areas.

And, because you are now being asked to pay to visit the entire site, there will be some new, really exciting features (like product discounts, contests and even your own personal home page) that I hope you will find especially attractive. Read on, and find out about the added benefits of being a subscribing member.

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By becoming a subscribing member of, you will:

  • gain unrestricted access to the entire website;
  • view the contents completely free from pop-up ads;
  • have immediate access to all fresh, new content as it becomes published;
  • enjoy 10% discounts on exclusive products;
  • receive special "members only" offers and discounts from time-to-time;
  • receive a periodic "members only" newsletter with exclusive, insider information;
  • be able to have your own "Personal Home Page" on the site, where you can:
    - manage your email address and password;
    - access your favorite web page with one click; and
  • help ensure the survival of a great and useful web site.

Membership Subscription Instructions membership subscriptions are securely managed by PayPal (, a service that provides a quick and simple sign-up process for you, and permits recurring monthly subscription payments to be deducted from a credit card.

You may already have a PayPal account, but if not, it takes about three minutes for you to open your own free account. Once you have created your personal PayPal account, a button will appear that says "Access your subscription." Clicking on it will take you to the "Log-In" page. It's as simple as that, and it's very secure.

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"I've spent a fortune on photography magazines over the years.
Now I don't have to! Your site is full of great ideas, example photos and tips from the pros, all in easy-to-understand language.
When are you going to put out a book based on your site? I want it!"


With your support as a subscribing member, will continue to grow. New material, exciting new images, entirely new sections and new features will continuously be added, just as has been happening for almost four years. My objective remains the same - to make the best photography information website in the world for beginners, advanced amateurs and professionals, and to keep it that way through the regular addition of new material, through continuous updating of existing content, and through the introduction of topics that have not previously been touched upon. With your support, will always be the internet leader in photography information, whether it's about the latest advancement or a clear, easy-to-follow description of the most fundamental technique.

Having a subscription membership will keep you in the loop. You will always be able to find clear, concise and thorough answers to the photography questions that plague you. You will keep up to date with many of the changes that occur in the industry, and will be able to solve many of the vexing problems you face in your own photography, all for less than the shelf price of most photography magazines.

Subscribe Now! Click here Subscribe now! to start your own personal membership subscription.

"Wow! is fabulous - the photography instruction champ of the internet. It seems to have everything I need to know about taking good pictures.
I just love it. "


No problem. Unsubscribing is fast and easy. It's very simple. You can cancel your subscription membership quickly and cleanly, with no further obligations on your part. Click here for easy-to-follow PayPal subscription cancellation instructions.

Subscribe Now! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You'll learn a ton about photography and you will know how to make great pictures of your own. Click here Subscribe now! to subscribe now to

"Thanks for a GREAT site!
Since the end of last summer, I've been studying your web-site, almost on a daily basis. The content is absolutely amazing and there's always something new to study. I read, re-read, take notes, etc...and the end result has been, thus far, fabulous pictures. I can't believe how far I've come in such a short amount of time, and I attribute that to my determination and, largely, to your web-site."

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