If you’re so new to photography you’ve yet to shoot manual, are questioning whether you have it in you to start a business and/or have never heard of Twitter, let alone have an account, then the content of David duChemin’s “VisionMongers” may just be revelationary to you.
If, on the other hand, you’ve been doing this for a while, check your social media accounts in your sleep and are pretty comfortable and/or confident in your photographic skills, well….not so much.
For me, the biggest factor in not giving “VisionMongers” a stronger review is that so much of its content is like reading a Cliffs Notes version of many other photo-related books and magazines out there (plenty of which I’ve already read). Had I read this in 2007 (even early 2008), I think I would have latched on to so much more content than I did this time around, as it would have been all new to me. While that can’t be said now, I will acknowledge that all the material duChemin treads in “VisionMongers” is still great stuff for any photographer to review—whether they’ve been shooting for 3 months or 30 years. And because every person looks at the areas of our industry differently—from pricing and style to branding and technique—I believe you can always learn a thing or two from someone’s new insights on the topics.
Here are some snippets of the seven pages of notes I took on this title (and given that number, well, clearly, I found plenty from this veteran photographer that I wanted to remember — even if much of it reads like an inspirational quote book for the photographer in need of a motivational boost.)
Words to live by — all of these:
“If you don’t feel like photography is something you are called to do—by God, your gifts, your talents, a small nagging voice inside, or just overwhelming passion for it—then it’s probably not the right choice for you.”
“In an age where high levels of competence at your craft are assumed, the thing that differentiates us is vision: the way in which you wield your craft to tell the stories you see with your eye and your heart.”
“It’s your calling, after all. You should love it. But you still have to put in the hours and log the time. These dreams aren’t going to chase themselves.”
“Your passion for what you shoot—and who you shoot for—will place you head and shoulders above the mediocrity that’s so prevalent in our industry.”
“We shoot best that which we love best” (and for me, that’s weddings!)
On maintaining a consistent brand: “Consistency builds familiarity and confidence. It is a repetition of design conventions like fonts, colors and styles that make you more memorable in the market.”
And my favorite:
“This is your journey. Do it slow, do it fast, do it however you choose, but do it your way. Any other path will suck the joy from the endeavor.”