Method. A personal ideas generation tool to help set direction. Principle is to envisage what you would like to achieve in order to determine the steps necessary to achieve that state. It’s important to understand this is not specific goal setting, which comes later, more a description of where you want to be.
Described as “time travel” the key is to think about a future point in time when you will have achieved the vision. This should be a realistic time frame / target as if too distant or too big a leap will not provide the motivation to follow through and if too soon, too small is a to do list rather than a vision.
Exercise : To develop a vision for what you would want you photographic portfolio to be when you graduate in July 2015.
As this is a personal exercise it requires a little quiet thinking time to “get in the zone”. This was not easily achieved in the classroom environment as not everyone bought into the concept and there was some disruption from people chatting. Those not working / concentrating on the task were asked to leave and this markedly improved the environment.
This is a particularly valuable technique of photographers who often work alone rather than in teams and thus giving yourself some dedicated time to think about a specific issue and what needs to be addressed around a particular topic is extremely valuable.
It helps provide clear focus on what is to be achieved and therefore what specific steps / milestones are needed and thus a plan to achieve the vision. As an example I said I wanted enter International Salon competitions and therefore some steps that emerge are :-
- Research the sort of images that are successful and in which Salons.
- Determine the entry criteria and costs
- Talk to successful entrants e.g. fellow camera club members
- Develop plan to shoot some potential entries
One suggestion was to think about what you want to achieve when in the act of taking a photograph, not certain this meets the definition of visioning as being a longer term view but can see that it is a valuable technique in improving the quality of the resultant image and focussing on eliminating redundant or unnecessary detail from an image.
As a technique I think this will require practice to become proficient in seeing past the immediate task and able to view the future scenario objectively and realistically. However I can also see that this would become a virtuous circle i.e. as goals are realised, ones confidence to deliver a vision would grow.
- Only requires time / quiet space, not dependent on any resources or other people.
- Enables practitioner to clearly focus on output required
- Aids development of a clear development plan to achieve desired vision
- No verification / checking vision is realistic and achievable.
- Discipline is required to convert vision into firm, actionable steps.
Portfolio Vision Output
- To have a collection of (min 20) excellent images that demonstrate creativity, skill and quality.
- Enhance / support reputation as a photographer that can deliver a result.
- Support working on a commercial basis.
- Develop ability to critically evaluate portfolio and improve on a continuing basis.
- Create images suitable for entry into National / International Salons.
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