I’ve just read the best book about being a photographer that I’ve ever read. It is the new book VisionMongers by photographer David duChemin.
I don’t even know where to start with my review of this book. I do have to say for the sake of full disclosure that I am one of 9 photographers profiled as a case study. I know that there will be some folks who discount my review of this book because I have a few pages in it. So for those of you who may feel this way, please buy this book and rip those pages out and throw them in the trash. Hopefully the majority of you know that I don’t jump up and down and scream from the rooftops about anything but I am about this book.
To do a full review of this book will take me a week to put my thoughts about it into words. VisionMongers isn’t a “how to” book. There is no formula to follow. There aren’t 10 easy steps to becoming a full time photographer. This isn’t a “follow your heart and be passionate and go get ‘em tiger” book either. It is more philosophy than ….
Look, this review is stupid so I’m going to stop and get into the meat of this blog post. I’ll do a better review later.
I only made it through the introduction of this book when I got on the phone with the publisher, Peachpit, to ask for 10 copies to give away on the blog here. Seriously, it hit me right between the eyes from the first five pages and it kept hitting me there until the end. So Peachpit sent 10 copies to give away. Then I thought that many emerging photographers will not buy this book because it doesn’t tell you a damn thing about what lens to use, what settings are best, how to use a softbox, the best way to handle post production, etc. This book has nothing to do with how to make photographs. It’s all about why we make photographs. It’s all about the demons inside that keep us up at night fretting with this “thing” that we have to do because we have no other choice but do it or die trying.
So if folks aren’t going to buy this because it has nothing to do with camera settings I thought I would give a OneLight DVD away with the copy of the book. Then I started thinking about other resources that have been super helpful and inspiring to me as a photographer and to me as a business person. So I got 10 copies of Drew Gardner’s Location Lighting DVD because I have watched that a number of times this year and it has been a massive inspiration to me. So VisionMongers, a OneLight DVD, and Drew’s DVD. Oh yeah then there’s this, and that, and the other… So I started making phone calls and this is what is going into each of 10 gift boxes. These are hand picked resources that have been a help to me this year.
1 year membership to KelbyTraining.com
6 month membership to ShootQ
VisionMongers by David duChemin
The Moment it Clicks by Joe McNally
Trade Secret Cards by Chase Jarvis
Location Lighting with Drew Gardner DVD
Sessions with Joey L DVD
Best Business Practices for Photographers by John Harrington
That brings the retail value for each package to $1,100 plus change.
There are a few other things that are going to be added to each gift box that no one will know about until they are opened! And, well, we might just get Willy Wonka on one or two of them. Who knows?
Here is the thing… It’s the holidays. It’s the time to give and not receive. So you CAN NOT win this for yourself. You are going to win this for someone you know and give this package to them on (insert the big day of your holiday choice here.) Like… Christmas morning or something. Right? All inclusive we are around here.
How to win ::
We love stories around here. We want to hear the story of someone you know who would really, really, really be blessed by this gift of encouragement. Someone who lies awake at night dreaming of becoming a photographer. Someone who is doing all they can to make this dream happen but they just aren’t there yet. Maybe they are just learning and dreaming about it. Maybe they are 1 year into it and are having a hard time. Someone you know needs a big ass package like this to help them get through the winter months and keep going. Every single person listed above knows about this contest and are personally interested in giving this stuff away to someone who will appreciate it, love it, and RUN with it!
Maybe it is your spouse. Your friend. A photo student. You know someone who will jump with joy to get this package and YOU want to give it to them. Maybe you can’t even afford a single book on this list and it would be a blessing to YOU to be able to gift this to a loved one. We only regret that we can’t give 1,000 of these packages away. We only have 10.
You figure out who it needs to go to and tell us their story in 750 words or less (or there about) and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You have until midnight December 10th to write in to us. Include a link to their blog, their site, their flickr account, whatever. If they don’t have a link, no worries. Send in their story all the same!
Who better to chose the top 20 stories than our two brand new interns? Two folks trying to get this madness of photography turned into a dream and turned into a vocation. So Robin and Rhonda are going to pick the top 20. One more intern may be added to the mix soon as well. Then on December 11th we as a studio will pick the top 10 and start packing the boxes.
Once we have the top 10 chosen we will notify the winners by email. The “winners” are the person who wrote in. We will be shipping the winning packages on the 15th. It will be the winner’s job to wrap it up and hide this away until big holiday morning of your choice. Like, Christmas morning, or whatever. Get it? Got it? You have until the 10th. Let us know.
Happy Holidays everyone. We love you a lot.
PS – Buy VisionMongers. I swear I don’t make a red cent off of it. I have no motives other than to say you have to read this book. Just buy it. Seriously. I’ll do a better review soon.
PPS – Legal stuff about winning contests and stuff and stuff and legal mumbo jumbo and stuff and responsibilities and stuff. Blah, blah, blah. Not valid on the moon.
PPPS – If you write in about yourself in third person to try to win this for yourself then your teeth will rot, your transmission will blow up, and Jesus will know about it. Just sayin’. :P