VisionMongerers [Book Review]

VisionMongerers [Book Review]


VisionMongerers.jpgWhen I first started out in photography I was fortunate to have a lively group of photography buddies. Together, we were quite a band of enthusiasts and dreamers. We wanted to forge a different way with photography. We wanted to make a living by making pictures. We wanted to make a difference by creating art.

I imagine it’s like this for most people. When you first start out though, navigating your way through the photography world can be quite daunting. It’s easy to feel alone and uncertain about which direction to go. Wether you are just a beginner trying to wrap your mind around the techniques, an amateur wanting to tread the waters of the professional world, or jumping into full time photography, sometimes you just want someone to hold your hand and walk you through the process. A mentor can fill this need. A group of photography buddies could also.

Sometimes, having someone you know who has been there – who has walked down that road and has lived through the process – is a most invaluable resource. While everyone’s story within photography is different, sometimes just a few words of wisdom will be the difference between persevering, and giving up.

David duChemin has written a book that gives those words of advice, that reaches out that hand for help. I can say with profound respect that this is a book I wish I would have read before I took my dive into the professional photography world.

David duChemin’s book Vision Mongerers isn’t a book about the theory of photography, or creative techniques, and he doesn’t pontificate about philosophical business ideas. What he writes, he writes from experience.

From an expressive voice of humility, duChemin speaks of his journey like a caring mentor. He writes of the good – and the bad, showing the reader lessons learned the hard way. He doesn’t try to soften the facts: only the most resilient will truly make a career with their craft.

duChemin doesn’t claim that everyone entering this field will need to do the same tasks or have the same vision – In fact, the entire premise of the book is quite the contrary. duChemin tells his story throughout VisionMongerers, but he also gives incredible value by profiling the stories of nine other professional photographers from a variety of niches including those who mastered portraits, summited the extremes of sports photography, and even made it among the commercial arena.

Each photographers story is incredibly personal, ringing with an authenticity of individuals who were committed to their vision no matter what the consequences. Each had a different goal. Each reached those goals in different ways. Their candor keeps VisionMongerers fresh, and offers a conversation that engages the reader and answers questions that could only be learned from experience.

VisionMongerers covers a variety of topics that you won’t even learn in traditional photography school. He gives a clear picture of what the work really looks like, and provides a basis of questions to be answered before embarking on the journey. Other practicals include business and finance tips, outlining customer service, marketing, branding.

Not everyone can afford a photography mentor at $150 – $1000 a month. But anyone committed to forging a path down the road of photography can afford $30.00 for a book that gives experienced perspective for the journey. You may learn that professional photography isn’t for you, or you may be inspired by duChemin’s candor. Regardless, this book is for anyone who would appreciate having perspective down paths they’ve not yet trod.

Grab your copy of Vision Mongerers at Amazon (where it’s currently 36% off).

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Christina N Dickson is a visionary artist and philanthropist in Portland Oregon. Her work includes wedding photography and leadership with

Some Older Comments

  • Claudia May 6, 2011 10:56 pm

    This book is incredible and inspiring, especially David's own story.

  • Zoe April 29, 2011 05:28 am

    I have this book on my wish list - thanks for the review. Have to admit the spelling error caught my eye too, though. I said "Mongerer" out loud and got a little chuckle.

  • Frank Goss April 29, 2011 05:07 am

    I also bought this book and have read through it 3-4 times. The author tells it like it is. The "case studies" of actual photographers is one of the best parts.

    He also makes a case for marketing as an important of your photography business (yes, it IS a business).

  • Anita Broda April 27, 2011 07:45 pm

    This is a great book ! Very inspiring.

  • Deirdre April 25, 2011 12:20 pm

    I have and love the book, but there's a spelling error over and over again in the review, including in the title. It's Vision MongERS, not Vision MongERERS.

  • Michelle H April 24, 2011 01:17 pm

    I actually got this book, and am about 1/4 way through. While I love all the Craft and Vision books (and bought this one because of that), and like the concept of this book, I've been finding it kind of wordy so far. I'll get more into it, because there is some good information in there that I like.

  • Jim April 24, 2011 11:22 am

    Frankly I found this book rather boring and sent it back to Amazon.

  • Erik Kerstenbeck April 24, 2011 07:53 am


    Based on this review, I might pick up this book. Photography for me used to be Technique and Specs, then it changed to something I think of as Story Telling. I believe that if a Photographer or Artist can convey an Emotion or Story immediately from the first view, this is a success. For me, this has changed the way I approach any situation...not always do I hit the mark, but I am trying!

    Regards, Erik

  • Sandra April 24, 2011 07:23 am

    The word on the book cover is "VisionMongers", but on the article it's being called "Vision Mongerers". Typo?....