- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (November 21, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321670205
- ISBN-13: 978-0321670205
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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VisionMongers: Making a Life and a Living in Photography 1st Edition
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About the Author
David duChemin is an assignment photographer specializing in humanitarian projects and world photography. A passionate contributor to the international photography community, duChemin's first book, Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision, received worldwide acclaim for its vision, passion, and depth. Find David online at Pixelatedimage.com.
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Top customer reviews
The author chose Vision Mongers for the title as a reference to selling visions. I would say that is the perfect description of what he's talking about - selling one's authentic artistic vision without selling one's soul.
I think this book should be read; and used to guide a thorough self-evaluation by everyone who thinks that they might, possibly, maybe, someday want to become a professional artist in any medium. His experience with loving his art, avoiding his art, coming to love it again and finally balancing his personal and artistic principles with the requirements of marketing his skillset and vision in order to pursue his vision gives a good insight into what it takes. Perhaps his counselling background gives the author an advantage - but regardless, anyone considering a career in the any art will likely save themselves much time and travail if they read this book and conduct a deep self-evaluation first. There is no shame in becoming a professional and there is no shame in choosing to not; but everyone should know which they truly want.
If you decide that you want to become a pro, or even if you just want to get better, follow this one up with "Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs" by Roberto Valenzuela. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321803531?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00
David (not Dave) lays it out plainly and simply that being a professional is not for everyone. It's not just about being talented, original, or well-versed in your craft. It's not even enough to be passionate about what you do--though that's a big contributing factor to success. It's about hard work and paying attention to the business side as much as to the craft of photography. That may mean finding the right people to do some things for you (marketing, finances, legal, etc.), but they have to be done. While scaring the crap out of you (but nicely), he talks about his own path to photography as a vocation and interspersed throughout the book, he describes the journeys of several pro photographers you might recognize, like Chase Jarvis, Gavin Gough, Chris+Lynn and others. These stories can inspire you or scare you, depending on how you interpret them, but they certainly make you think about photography as a vocation.
In the end, what's the secret he reveals? Why, that there is no secret. There's no formula for your path to success in photography because you bring something unique to the pursuit of the craft. That may sound a bit disingenuous, but David certainly knows what he's talking about, having experienced his own "long, strange trip" to professional photography.
I highly recommend this book, along with David's previous book Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision, to anyone who has thought about turning their passion for photography into a career. There's an ancient proverb that says "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear." I think for many of us, the teacher has arrived. David pulls no punches in letting you know what's expected, but if you're still willing to give it a go, he's there in your corner.
That said, I don't think it was a waste of time for me. For one thing, it confirmed why I'd never go pro! And it was very well written.
Now, if you're thinking about going pro, this book is a must read! It's not a how-to manual, by any means. But it will help you think about the right things in making the big decision. Have you thought through all the business stuff that needs to be considered in running a photography business? If you haven't, you'll probably fail. The author helps you do that. And he tries to warn you not to do it: it's hard work. According to him, you should only become a vocational photographer if you can't imagine not doing so, and are willing to make the sacrifices and do the work -- yes, even the unappealing stuff -- that it will take. Very good advice!
So, although the book is not for me (and probably not for most of you), it is an excellent book for those who are considering going pro.
This book just never grabbed me and I can't really say why, just wasn't for me I guess. The images didn't blow me away and the authors apology for not being able to include his best images because of certain publishing restrictions just didn't sit well with me from the start... almost like he was apologizing for a book he knew was sub-par.
If you're looking for a book that will pump you up and get you excited about photography or beginning a career in photography, buy Photography Q&A by Zack Arias.