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WHY ZEN?

Zen is not a religion. Rather, it's a way of looking at life and the world around us.

Photography, much like Zen, is also a way of looking at life and the world around us... and capturing it!

Most high achieving photographers, whether pros or hobbyists, are constantly searching for new ways to enhance their skills and knowledge while capturing life and the world around them.

World renowned portrait and editorial photographer, Annie Leibovitz, said she uses her camera "in a Zen way."

Zen and the Art of Portrait Photography focuses on   sometimes neglected, yet wildly important, elements of portrait photography. It does so in ways beyond the more commonly seen, step-by-step, how-to, approaches.

Much the way super-star photographers like Annie Leibovitz once discovered, this e-book will help you discover, by embracing less talked about skills, perhaps by doing so "in a Zen way," methods and approaches designed to elevate and enhance the creative look and
feel
of your images.

Actor Alan Alda, best known for his role as Hawkeye Pierce in the long-running TV series, M*A*S*H, once said: "Begin challenging your assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while or the light won't come in."

Challenging your assumptions about photography is something photographers should engage in regularly. Zen and the Art of Portrait Photography encourages its readers to do just that.

Robert Pirsig, author of the acclaimed best-seller, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a book which inspired this e-book's title, tells us: "The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there."

Much like Pirsig's observation about mountain tops, the only Zen you'll find in your photography is the Zen you bring to it.






"there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask 'how,' while others of a more curious nature will ask 'why.' Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information."

-Man Ray


Zen and the Art of Portrait Photography
is a 140 page e-book about photography: More specifically, portrait photography. It targets all genres of photo portraiture:  From commercial, fashion, glamour and celebrity, to simple head shots, business and family portraits, and more. (Note: For those who would like to see the e-book's chapter titles and/or read a few short excerpts from the book, please Click Here.)

It is intended as a thoughtful and practical guide designed to help you grow and develop as a portrait photographer by examining  less-discussed elements of photography associated with people posing in front of your camera. While Zen is an underlying  theme, this e-book is not a Zen guide-book. It contains little substance regarding the actual, day-to-day, practice of Zen.

Unlike many e-books on photography,
Zen and the Art of Portrait Photography includes no photos. Nor does it feature how-to techniques, lighting diagrams, gear suggestions, or tutorials. Instead, it relies on ideas, observations, and insights as expressed by a number of eminent and greatly admired photographers, past and present, as well as a few notable non-photographers. The book, as its title suggests, is punctuated with relevant Zen wisdom.

Zen and the Art of Portrait Photography
sets out to help you discover and apply some simple and practical, non-technical, ideas and concepts to your portrait photography. It's Man Ray's "why" it is after. Instead of providing photographic recipes using pre-packaged ingredients, it aims at enlightening, sparking inspiration, and revealing proven, results-oriented pathways to becoming a better portrait photographer.

New and exciting technologies and the many ways to employ them have been a boon to today's photographers.  They might also be confusing and overwhelming, especially to newer photographers, heightening the learning curve rather than flattening it. Worse yet, they may cause photographers to sometimes neglect or overlook equally, perhaps more important, aspects of shooting portraits of all kinds. While it's easy to become overrun with the many technical elements of photography, perhaps even experiencing information overload, you can never be burdened by inspiration or feel too often inspired.

Helping photographers increase their knowledge and hone their skills, become more creatively aware and focused on the important and proven foundations of portrait photography, simplify the process and emerge outstanding portrait photographers is
Zen and the Art of Portrait Photography's goal.

Technical skill is mastery of complexity while creativity is mastery of simplicity."


-Sir Erik Christopher Zeeman



 

What a Few Photographers Are Saying About This Book

"If you love photography, Zen and the Art of Portrait Photography will make more of a difference for you than any new piece of gear, software, or technical instruction can.  As a photographer, your most important piece of equipment is your mind.  Zen and the Art of Portrait Photography is a guidebook for developing a personal philosophy of photography.  James Digiorgio mixes his own brand of no 'BS' honesty and opinion with a humility and eagerness that draws you in.  Interweaving quotes from the masters, decades of experience as a true professional, and insightful stories and messages, Digiorgio cuts through the noise and leaves you with the kind of truth that will set you free.  Read it in sections. Let it sink in. Apply it to every aspect of your photography.  I highly recommend this book." -Ed Verosky, About-Photography.com

"If you're looking for a book that gets it right early and often, this is it. Jimmy's style of teaching boils down decades of experience into concise, easily understood concepts. It just shortens the learning curve so much when you have this kind of info at your fingertips.  Practice what's in this book and you WILL be shooting pro portraits, the kind of portraits people pay you to take of them." -Bob Marcotte, Commercial Photographer, Fresno, CA


"Finally, a 'Why To' instead of a 'How To' book on photography! Sometimes, it takes a thump to the back of my head to help me realize many things. Thanks for the big thump, Jimmy! This book helped me understand so much more about photography. For one, it made me realize whether I think I'm shooting inside or outside the box, I AM the box. And it's a much bigger box than I thought!" -Rick Davenport, Glamour and Beauty Photographer, Kansas City, MO

"I LOVED THIS BOOK! It delivers the kinds of keen insights that will help all photographers move forward, amateurs and pros alike. E
specially coming from a guy with years of experience competing as a pro in an area filled with so many other pros. He shares enlightening stories and offers many useful lessons. It's also crowded with ideas, concepts, and observations you can successfully integrate into your photography. The Lite Lighting Exercise in Chapter 3 alone is worth the price of admission! The chapter on composition helped me immensely. This book constantly reminds us of the things we should be doing: Getting it right in the camera, working to make very picture count, enjoying the wonders of photography and more. Much more!  Jimmy has flipped the light switch on for me in many ways. I'm confident his new e-book will do the same for you!"  -Tom McElvy, Photographer,


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