Chris and others of a similar mind could be right about some workshops. But I can say that two of the most rewarding days of my photographic life were spent in Bob Carnie's darkroom in Toronto learning the finer points of split grade printing with Les McLean. I had taught myself the basic concepts, but the time and money I spent on that workshop took my prints to a whole new level. And for my money I get brag to my friends that I got to spend time in the presence of two famous someones!

As to what I took to be the central question the OP posed before the topic wandered off course, I think that few art photographers, or artists in general for that matter, can pay for all of the equipment, supplies, and other expenses associated with producing their art, let alone provide a living for themselves and whatever dependents they may have. Most of us do it as a labor of love. I think it was Ruth Bernhard who said, "I am an amateur. Amateur is the french word for lover, you know."