All of us, from time to time, get to a point where we wonder what we can do to improve our work. We take class after class on technique, and study our gear until we know it inside out. We hone our skills, practicing lighting and post processing until we have developed our work to a point we can be proud of. Yet, when all that is said and done, our work still lacks something. Where do we go next?
David duChemin, if you haven't heard that name passed around the table, is a humanitarian photographer based out of Victoria, Canada. He is the author of many print books, including VisionMongers and Within the Frame. He is also the founder of Craft and Vision, where he also shares many of his thoughts as shorter ebooks.
David is also responsible for giving me back a tenacious desire to improve the photography I do for myself. His books and workshops encourage us to improve our craft, to let gear take a back seat as much as we can, and to focus on what's really important: the photographs we make. David's photographs speak volumes about his subjects and give you visual samples of everything he teaches.
Recently, he posted a series of blogs entitled 'Your Next Step', pertaining to four questions we all need to ask ourselves. These are deep questions, not the kind to be brushed over. They ask us to reflect upon our work and to find ways we can improve it. They ask us to search inside and to ask ourselves if our work is truly representative of who we are. These questions embody David's teaching philosophy and are a fantastic introduction to his ideas.
His four posts can be found in the following places: first, Authentic Work. Second, Vital Work. Third, Narrative Work. And finally, Unified Work. Each of these short posts invite you to consider your own work. I encourage every creative to read these posts and consider their own work with the principles being discussed.