Photography Workshop Review: Finding the Photographer’s Vision

Instead of obsessing over gear, do something good for yourself with the short courses and online workshops like Finding the Photographer’s Vision.

Like most creatives, we photographers can find ourselves stuck, out of ideas, and unhappy about our work, whether professional or personal projects. Sometimes, it’s just not about the gear anymore. It’s our mindset that has to change and our skills that need to be upgraded. This is where short courses and online photography workshops come in handy. There are plenty of options now that caters to all kinds of photography. But if you want something that you can try regardless of the sort of photography that you do, Finding the Photographer’s Vision would be a good fit for you.

Finding the Photographer’s Vision is a workshop developed for Small Camera, Big Picture, a community of creative photographers established by Giulio Sciorio. We had the pleasure of having him as a former member of our staff. If you feel that your work has lacked the focus that that best fits you as an artist, this workshop is definitely for you. The emphasis here is on shaping the photographer as an artist, so there won’t be any shooting involved. It’s ideal for those who already have the technical know-how and are looking to either build a strong portfolio or build their creative vision and identity.

You can go through the pre-recorded workshop lessons within 3 to 4 weeks if you’re busy and only have a few hours to spare to go through the lessons and do assignments. You can catch up anytime, so don’t worry if your schedule gets hectic. However, if you want to join the coaching calls (and I highly recommend that you do), it will take a little longer for you. The lessons are very relaxed yet informative, and short enough to squeeze into your weekly schedule.

One of your goals for the workshop is to be able to curate your own work and build a strong portfolio like Giulio has here.

At the heart of the workshop is The Vision-Based Workflow. Through it, you’ll learn how to tap into your creative instincts to identify what makes a photo or image “work” for you. You’ll also get ideas on how you can use them as inspiration for your own creative vision. Your tool for this is the vision file, which is essentially a more decisive and goal-oriented version of the moodboard. If you’ve ever used or made a moodboard as a guide for your shoots and photography projects, you’ll have more ideas on how to do it more effectively. If you’re new to it, Giulio presents several ways you can do it through your devices and various platforms (Pinterest, Instagram, Adobe Lightroom, Apple Photos, Curator – Visual Notes, to name a few). You can even do it using prints of your photos to curate your own work later.

A sample vision file on Pinterest. But if you’re like us and you want to support more ethical choices, consider other options like Behance’s Moodboard feature.

I took the workshop with an understanding of the kind of photos that I like or get inspired over. But I don’t really feel confident yet about my own vision as a creative photographer. I also wanted to find a way to process all the creative inspiration I’m getting and integrate them into my own work.  These were primarily what got me interested in giving this workshop a go. After two months of going back and forth over the lessons and joining a couple of coaching calls, I think I’m getting ideas on how to approach my work.

I’ve always used the moodboard to collate inspiration for various creative projects. Usually, I do it with a theme or idea I already have in mind. Now, I mostly use Behance’s Moodboard feature to curate stuff for my vision files. For projects outside Behance, I use Evernote. Through the workshop, I learned that it can also be a helpful tool for brainstorming for future projects and curating our own work for a more compelling portfolio. Self-curation can be tricky if you don’t have a solid idea yet about what “works” for you on a personal level. The vision file should help you get started by encouraging you to analyze what kind of imagery, style, or aesthetic inspires you.

Out of the vision file comes one of the highlights of the workshop: coming up with your own Artist Identity. If you’ve ever been confused about how to describe your photography, or how it reflects your sentiments and ideals as a creative, this part of the workshop will definitely be of great help to you. You’ll have a better understanding of why you take photos the way you do, which will serve as a guide for your next projects. It will also allow you to come up with a statement that your audience can use to effectively grasp and describe your work.

Another thing I’m sure everyone will like is the community “feel” of the workshop. The live group coaching sessions reinforce this, so I definitely recommend joining them whenever you can. I liked how it’s not a “classroom”  type of discussion, so you don’t feel intimidated. Giulio also makes updates to the workshop and integrates them to the coaching calls. So, you’re essentially getting more than what you paid for. Take the class as many times as you want and free updates for life, as the workshop description says!

Does this sound like this workshop is just what you need to shape your photography? Check out Finding the Photographer’s Vision to find out more and sign up.