I actually started photography with my small 4 inch Newtonian reflector many (many) years ago. As a kid with little patience for guiding a telescope for hours and no particular budget, this proved to be a difficult hobby. I quickly became more interested in photographing things a bit closer!
However, technology has not stood still. Since I last dabbled in astrophotography, the scopes are better, CCD cameras have been developed, and software allows for remote control. The organization behind itelescope.net have put together a network of telescopes available for rent. Observatories located in Australia, Spain, New Mexico, and California lets hobby astrophotographers access high quality telescopes at dark sky sites from their computer over the internet. Renting is a bit pricy, but when you consider that cost of multiple high quality telescopes, the telescope mounts, the shelter of an observatory, and a dark site hours from lights, this approach provides great value. Hopefully, I will be able to set up observing plans to capture the astronomical data to create images of my favorite friends that I saw a long (long) time ago.