I'm going to mention this here on APUG first as it is where Photostock began with 11 of us that met online back in 2006. Ten of you responded bravely to my invitation to come camp out in my woods and share all things photographic. Since then, the gathering has grown substantially, but thankfully has kept that original spirit that makes it such a good time. I'd love to keep it going and build on the good vibe we've all created and that brings me to the next step in the event's evolution.

The Goal
Those of you who know me and have been to Photostock also know of my goal to get some sort of permanent workshop facility that can be used for the gathering and more. In fact, I'd love to be able to spread that photostock ethos over a yearly schedule of special workshops where we could bring in some of the best at what they do to teach and keep the creative juices flowing. Over the years we've had some pretty great people and even more have said they would come, but it remains up to me to build it.

What I've decided to do is go ahead with planning of such a building on my property near Cross Village, Michigan where this all began. I've already chosen the site and a builder and received a quote for a finished shell. The infrastructure, water, electricity and septic is already in place and all I need to do is come up with the money... *gulp* $25,000 for the building completed with an additional sum of $4,000 for permits, site preparation, cement slab, etc. It's a steep sum I know, but I am considering means of funding that include out of pocket, grants, Kickstarter, Indiegogo and any other ideas people may have.

The Building and Fixtures
As for the rest, I am already pretty well set with equipment and fixtures. The building will have a 36' x 40 footprint, a covered porch area and will be sectioned into several rooms. The plan is for a 4 enlarger bay darkroom fully equipped, an alternative process room with plate burner and etching press for photogravure and an open, dry working room for gallery space, workshops, gatherings, talks, etc. Upstairs will be rooms for visiting instructors and guests coming for workshops or to simply use the facilities for their personal projects. For those attending workshops and wishing to camp on the property, the building will also include facilities complete with indoor and outdoor shower rooms.

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How to Help
I know it is a lot to ask to think you'll want to go out of your way to help. I understand completely, but what I am hoping is that all of you who believe will join with me in getting this thing built. A virtual barn raising of sorts. There are a number of ways people can help - financial is great, but just your enthusiasm will go a long way. I'm asking for your help in simply spreading the word when I do get a campaign going. Facebook, Twitter and all the now necessary evils will be helpful. I plan a website with updates as well as progress photos once it gets going and your help in getting the information out will be appreciated. I'll provide the links if you'll help post them in various places. The more buzz, the better.

Testimonials, Photos and Video/Film
I could also use some testimonials if that is OK. A lot of you have written such very nice things after the events and if you don't mind, I'll grab a few for use in the campaign. Imagery is another thing that would help and if any of you have that special shot you'd like to share, that would be great. It could be a killer shot you've made on your explorations at Photostock or something of others having a good time. Something done at one of the workshops we've run over the years would also be helpful. You get the idea. Many of you have provided images for me in the past and I will also look at using those as long as there are no objections.

Video is another thing that would help. I am currently producing a video grovel for the crowd funding I plan on seeking and anything you might have that can be included would be great. I can use photos as mentioned above, but actual moving pictures would be good as well. Forgive me for forgetting who, but I remember someone shooting Super 8 at one of them? it might be cool to use a clip of that.

Thank You!
I'd like to thank you in advance for even reading through this and any input you might have. Long winded, I know. I have some big ideas and I look forward to your help, suggestions and support as this thing hopefully progresses.

Bill