Wake Up and Don’t Settle for Powdered Milk as a Photographer

When I was a little girl, I lived in Incirlik AFB, Turkey. We lived for a year off base on the third floor of a very large apartment building. My parents spoke no Turkish and the landlady spoke no English, but somehow, they managed just fine.

My dad was a lot cooler about the whole thing than my mom. But then, dad left and went to work on base each morning, while my mom had to deal with things like mice in the kitchen, Turkish toilets, and the man who walked his bear down the street each day, doing tricks for money. Yes, a real bear. And if the man saw you watching from your apartment window, he wouldn’t leave until you paid him. Or until the landlady shooed him off.

After a year, my family moved onto base housing and my mom finally exhaled. I think she had been holding her breath the entire time.

During our stint in Turkey, my parents did the grocery shopping every Saturday morning at the Incirlik AFB Commissary. The food was shipped into the base, which meant that a lot of the fresh food we received wasn’t that fresh by the time it ended up in our grocery cart.

And fresh milk? Well, that was a luxury. It was served in the mess halls and in the cafeteria, but what we drank at home was what was available at the commissary…powdered milk. It was shipped in powdered form, mixed upon arrival, and sold from cartons in the refrigerated section.

My older brothers hated it. Me? Not so much. In fact, when we went on vacation to Athens and ate a meal on base, they served us fresh milk and I refused to drink it because it tasted funny. Rich, creamy, fresh pure milk tasted funny to me because I had grown used to the taste of powdered milk.

Why am I telling you this story?

Because some of you are drinking powdered milk right now, unaware that that is NOT how milk is supposed to taste.

You drink powdered milk when you price yourself too low.

You drink powdered milk when you settle for “good enough.”

You drink powdered milk when you don’t push yourself to improve.

You drink powdered milk when you take the lazy route.

You drink powdered milk when you feel pressured to admire the unadmirable.

See, some of you have been feeding yourself a steady diet of powdered nonsense. It may be because you don’t realize there’s something better. Or maybe you’ve been told by someone that a powdered milk life is just as good as fresh. Or possibly you don’t think you deserve the real stuff.

Or maybe you entered a world/career/industry where the powdered milk philosophy was pushed on the masses until it was considered the norm.

This is spelled wrong. It should be spelled “L-I-E.”

Whatever the reason, I’m here to tell you Powdered Milk People that you’ve been missing out. This is not the 70s and we are not on an Air Force Base in Turkey. (And if you DO happen to be reading this from an Air Force Base in Turkey, it still applies.)

Real, fresh creamy milk is right there for the taking. All you have to do is realize it.


Raise those prices.
Never settle for “Good Enough.”
Push yourself to improve.
Avoid the lazy way.
Don’t admire horrible people.

And when you walk away from the powdered milk awfulness of mediocrity, I shall raise my glass of cold, fresh milk in salute.

Now, go be great. Oh, and stay away from bears.

P.S. For those lactose intolerant, this metaphor still works. Feel free to substitute almond, soy, oat, coconut, goat, hemp, flax or rice milk. I don’t want you getting sick all over this article.

P.P.S. Yes, I know babies drink powdered formula and like it. But really, babies are kind of dumb.

P.P.P.S. Except YOUR baby, of course. Your baby is wonderful.

About the author: Missy Mwac is a photography satirist, a lover of bacon, a drinker of vodka, a lover of sparkle, and a guide through the murky waters of professional photography. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can connect with her on her website, Tumblr, and Facebook. This article was also published here.