Each of us has a vision of life, whether we’re aware of it or not. It shows up in the way we live, the people we spend time with, the media we consume, the work we do, and the organizations we support. Each of us has a vision in our photography too, which shows up in the photographs we take. Each of us has a voice. What we say and even what we don’t say speaks volumes.

David duChemin says that our voice is the way we express our vision. I’ve been thinking about this lately since taking a course on racism (next offering in September). I have a particular vision on this topic but does my voice really reflect that vision?

Growing up, I was painfully shy and I spent many, many years just learning how to speak, and especially to speak up for myself. As I get older, I’m learning how to speak up more strongly for others; that includes the natural world as well as people. I can do that through conversations, through where I put my resources and efforts, and also through my art.

I believe life is a process of becoming. We are new people in every moment. Our bodies change and age, and our minds grow and learn. The same goes for our vision and voice. They emerge gradually and even change along the way. How effective they are depends on how closely we’re paying attention.

Vision and Voice in Photography

wood, wabi sabiOur photographs hold clues to our vision and voice. They are a reflection of us and what we care about. They reflect our mind and heart, whether consciously or subconsciously. Sometimes, their meaning doesn’t show up until much later. Below are a few posts on vision and voice to get you thinking about your own.

On Vision with David duChemin

“Personal vision is who you are and how you see the world. Photographic vision has to do with how and why we make a particular photograph.” ~ David duChemin

In a recent post, duChemin recommends getting in “vision-priority mode” and asking yourself, “What do I want to say?” and “How do I want to say it?”

Trust your Photographic Voice

Trust your inner self and you will unveil a magical world not seen in quite the same way by anyone but you.

Letting the Body Lead

The problem is that we are so used to letting our minds lead, that we’ve become out of touch with what our body is saying and feeling.

Listen to your Inner Teacher

The inner teacher is you, unfiltered.

For the big picture, ask yourself this question: Why do you Photograph?

The third session of the visual journaling workshop, Once Upon a Time: Your Photographs have Stories to Tell, is called Emerging Vision and Voice. It begins Monday, May 8th and runs for four weeks. We begin with this question, Why do you photograph? Anyone can sign up for this standalone piece. Sessions 1 and 2 are not required. Sally and I will be presenting writing exercises and ways of organizing your photographs that will help you see your voice and vision more clearly. Learn more and register here.


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