VisionMongers: Making a Life and a Living in Photography

In Books, Freelance and Business, Marketing, Self-Promotion, News & Stuff, VisionMongers by David55 Comments


Last week my new book got rolled out on, which means two things. Thing One: I can now talk about it. Thing Two: I guess I need to start writing this sucker now. Just kidding. Almost done, promise.

VisionMongers: Making A Life and a Living in Photography is due out in November/December. Amazon lists it at December 25 just to be safe but it’ll be out before then.

If you were asking me about it, and I know you want to, I’d tell you it’s a sketchbook of ideas about the pursuit of professional photography. But it’s more than that. See, I think the lines between so-called professional and so-called amateur are getting so blurred as to be almost meaningless. Same with the actual definitions of those words, so I approach this from a different angle; that of vocation and the notion that some of us do this not to make a million but because we simply can’t not do it. We feel called to it; by God, or our talent, our need to express ourselves, or just that persistent voice inside our heads that we can no longer ignore. So this is a book about following that call – it begins with passion and vision, taking inventory of ourselves, picking a niche, familiarizing ourselves with our market, and then taking our vision to market with the best marketing savvy and business acumen that we can. Within The Frame talked a lot about the balance between the artist and the geek, VisionMongers discusses the balance between craft and commerce.

Throughout the book are stories about other photographers from other niche markets, people like Chase Jarvis, Zack Arias, Gavin Gough, and Ami Vitale. These case studies look at the unique journeys each of us have taken to pursue our calling as photographers, and the commonalities among them.

I’m writing it, and nearly done, because I love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. Every day I get emails from people who want to do this, make a living with their vision and their cameras, and wanting some advice. The thing is we all have a different journey, different passion and vision, and a different path to get here. So this is no road map, no book of secrets – because there are none –  just a book of solid ideas about how to make a life and a living in photography, though specifically for the freelancer/entrepreneur, which these days is the bulk of us. I wrote this book to help others find the same joy and purpose in vocational photography as I’ve found, whether that’s full-time, part-time, or as a moonlighter.

The book is available for pre-order now, out in November. You can find it HERE on Most importantly, the book will be the same size as Within The Frame, so they’ll be symmetrical on your shelf, which is in itself a great reason for buying the books.  🙂


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  7. Been doing wedding photography for 8 years and I’ll say that this is the Best book i’ve read in years.
    Just read about meeting the customer and discussing the exact details of the job.
    I went to this meeting for a wedding job. I meet the young bride and her parents.
    I was excpecting to discuss shots, poses, must haves etc.
    ALL they wanted to talk about was the timetable and how everything will fit in.
    I was sooo frustated. I wanted to talk pictures and their requirements. All they wanted to talk about was Timetables. Oh well thats REAL wedding photography for you.

    Thank for ALL Your help.
    I wish you a fast complete recovery

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  12. Got VisionMongers as a xmas present. Excellent read. A ‘must have’ for anyone seriously interested in improving their photography business.
    All the best

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  24. I just got in the book and can’t wait to finish it and write my review about it.
    This book is on point with the photography business and very inspirational.
    Dave, you made a new fan out of me! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  29. Dave,

    This book sounds great. I am 61 years of age and my real passion in photography statred when I was in grade school when I bought my first SLR. I dabbled in it on anf off for years and now I want to get more involved as a paying hobby; I’ve been told over the years I have a great eye for photography and it’s a great and enjoyable.


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  31. i’m so psyched to see this, since i enjoyed your last book so very much! You work fast 🙂

  32. I can’t wait for this book. Books about this subject are so difficult to find…

    I’m sure this book gonna be a great succes.

    thanks david

  33. This sir, is exactly what I want to read right now…

    Why oh why must you tempt me with such a delectable offering that is still so far away?

    Needless to say, I’ll be ordering one!


  34. Ah finally! I spent 6 (yes SIX) days and nights refreshing that damn amazon page and it turned up on the last day during a 4 hour sleep!!!! just to try and get the edge, I was also monitoring all other amason worldwide sites……meh it didnt happen. Im kinda hoping a reward in the “signed copy’ department will restore my faith in humanity 🙂 its also still not available on for pre-order though 🙁

  35. Congratulations, I can’t wait to read it. The title is great and the cover as a whole really grabs my attention, even if I didn’t follow the blog, were I to stumble across it in the bookstore I think I’d be forced to pick it up.

  36. LOVE the title.

    You do know that you don’t have to write a new book every time you want to visit NY, right? Actually, perhaps I shouldn’t tell you that as we’d like more books. Hmm, but NY would also like to see more of you. Tough choice. Do both!

  37. Looking forward to the new book. How about a teaser of the content? Maybe a small extract to get a sense of what it’ll be like. Not that I need more reasons to get it, I just want to know more!

  38. I can’t wait! After how much I enjoyed WTF, I’m putting VM on the top of my to-read list!

    As always, love your writing and photography!

  39. Sounds awesome! It’s great that you have that bit about other photogs stories – how they got to where they are, I love that stuff, it’s encouraging, inspirational and generates ideas. Looking forward to reading it all.

  40. This is great news, David . . . I really enjoyed Within the Frame. It seems you’re books are right in tune with my exploration into photography. Are you going to be offering signed copies like you did with your last book?


  41. I need some symmetry here so I’ll have to get this one as well!
    From the insights that you have always provided in your blog, I am sure this will be a great read. I am looking forward to it!

  42. As Taylor and Serge already said, I’m looking forward to this as well. If you’ve got another book in you, David, you could put together a good trilogy for photographers.

  43. I like that you called it “Making a Life and a Living IN Photography” instead of “Making a Life and a Living FROM Photography”.

    That’s the key here, I think, and what sets your book apart from the rest.


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