This is the vision statement part of your Project 52.
A vision statement is not an “elevator pitch”.
A vision statement is not a marketing message.
A vision statement is not a ‘tagline’.
A vision statement is not necessarily shared with the world.
This vision statement is about you. Right now.
It is about your vision of the world, and how your photography fits into it.
Video just added:
What do you want to do photographically?
(EDIT: See related post by Chase Jarvis – link here)
Tell us with a single paragraph what you want to be able to do with your images. Tell us what you do without telling us you are a photographer. Accompany that message with a single image taken around your home. Inside or out, make a photograph that adds insight into the mission statement you will be writing.
Don’t get overly flowery, just write down what you want to do.
A few examples.
“I am a story teller. I illustrate the times in which we live and try to put it into a context of meaning with images of ordinary people in extraordinary situations. I strive to enlighten each and every one of us by portraiture that reveals more than the surface reflects.”
“I capture that moment between reality and fantasy with my images. A tiny sliver of time caught for eternity, and worthy of notice, is what I work toward with every image I take.”
“Nekkid Hott Chicks in heels, wrapped in caution tape on railroad tracks…”
OK, maybe not that one. Seriously not that one.
A vision statement, even a rudimentary one, can make a huge difference when you are shooting.
It reminds you what you want to do. It helps the focus of the image be what you want it to be. It can help put you back into the position of creating instead of taking. And even those photographers who ‘find and take’ images have a vision that helps them do the finding.
Creative burnout can happen when photographers stop doing the personal work they love and concentrate totally on the commercial aspects of it. The commercial doesn’t end up squaring with their personal vision, and the whole focus of their photography becomes muddled.
Now. MAKE A PHOTOGRAPH that illustrates your vision statement. It doesn’t have to be technically difficult. Do not think you have to do anything in any way that is prescribed for you. You do not have to use strobes or natural light or desk lamps… this is NOT a technical exercise. It is a vision exercise. This image should be very much a personal one.
It should be done in or just outside your home. It is not a ‘big shot’, it is YOUR shot. If you have never worked on a vision statement before, this is where we look inside and work it out. The good news is there is NO wrong way to do your vision statement. Unless it is wrong for you, it makes no difference to anyone else. It is YOURS.
As for the photograph… think long and hard about it. It should reflect your vision statement as best as possible. It can be done indoors or outside. I only want you to to shoot around your house/apartment as an exercise in creativity.
Sometimes we have to make do with what we have… and I want you to make do for an important photograph without leaving your yard. That is the extent of the rule.
Flickr Page is HERE: Post: Image/Vision Statement.
That is, put your image into the Flickr thread, and put your vision statement in the description of the image. Flickr is free, and a free account is all you will need. When you post your image on Flickr, use the “tag” area to add this tag: proj52one2012
(If you have a Photoshelter or Imagebucket account, you can simply link your image into your Flickr thread. 500 pixels wide please. Unfortunately you will not be able to tag the image.)
Use these questions to guide your thoughts.
- Pull the 5 images that you love the most. NOT the ones that got the most comments on Flickr or other Hipstamatic, the ones YOU love the most.
- What do they all have in common… write it down.
What is different about each of them… write it down.
- How would you describe those images to someone who couldn’t see them.
- Do the images that mean the most to you reflect something you are personally interested in? No right or wrong answer, just think about the relationship between you as a person, and you as an artist.
- If you had an opportunity to do any kind of photography, and be paid well for it, what would it be?
- What do you think about when you think about photography? (Gear? Shooting? Experience? The Image? Recognition?) – again, there is no right or wrong answer.
- When people describe your photography, what terms do they use? What terms would you want them to use to describe your work?
- List three photographers who you would love to shoot like. Not as a copy, but as an influence/mentor.
(For instance me, they would be:
they change all the time, but currently I am loving the work from these three)
Now take all that into account and see what makes sense to you, what makes you happy, what influences you and what all of those things have in common.
This will give you something to focus on while you are working on your vision statement.
NOTE } FLICKR ASSIGNMENT PAGE IS HERE.
The critiques are based on the pages at the Flickr Forum.
I would encourage you all to listen to all of them. If I missed one or two, let me know and I will get it up there. I think I got them all, but we’ll see.
That is 2+ hours of audio critique. Listen to it all if you have a chance. Find yours on the page and listen to that page’s critique for your individual one.
Thursday, January 19, 2012 Vokle Show.
Thanks to all who were in attendance. I look for an even bigger crowd next Thursday.
“I look for the spaces between. Between relationships, between thoughts, between objects. I find the moments that are usually missed, and frame them in a way that brings clarity and order.”
– Don Giannatti