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I thought I was done with book reports

I just finished VisionMongers by David DuChemin and have to say that it was one of the best photo-related books I have read.

In this book, David proves that he has almost made career changes his very profession.  His circuitous path to, as he calls it,  vocational photography has included five years in theology school and twelve years working as a touring stand-up comic before finally jumping into humanitarian photography.  He uses these experiences and the leaps he took into photography as specific examples to illustrate his concepts.

This book is not a technique book.  He does not include recipes on travel or portrait photos, nor does he illustrate lighting techniques, but he instead speaks in much more general terms.  Much like Fast Track Photographer by Dane Sanders, this book is about how you, the reader, must carve your own path into the industry.  Comparisons to Fast Track are inevitable, as the two books are similar in scope, but differ in their execution.  Where Dane includes specific suggestions on how to create your career in photography, David's book is much more of a cheer-leading work; encouraging the reader to explore creative avenues.

In addition to his own life, David interviews several successful photographers in a variety of genres to discover their paths, hurdles, and breaks on their way to vocation photographic work.  Included in this list are such modern luminaries as commercial shooter Chase Jarvis, food photographer Kevin Clark, music photographer Zack Arias, among others.  Such a wide variety of careers and paths into the industry only further illuminates David's lessons on individuality.

In contrast to most of the other photo books I have read, David's writing style has impressed me.  He writes in a conversational style without descending to complete informality.  He seems to take his role as author, teacher, and mentor seriously and has created a book that can encourage all but the most timid of photographers to try to make a go in the profession.

Two thumbs up from me.
Scott Everett