Ami Vitale on Trusting Your Instincts

Ami Vitale on Trusting Your Instincts

This week we launched the 2011 Inspiration Handbook, which includes a series of audio interviews with photographers who participated in our recent webinar on Inspiration. We really enjoyed the insights from Grover’s interview with Ami Vitale. Ami’s work and her approach to the cultures she’s photographing have inspired us for years.


On the topic of inspiration, Ami shared 7 Tips for Finding Great Story Ideas, including:

  1. Read voraciously
  2. Talk to different types of people to get different perspectives on the same topic
  3. Localize and humanize a bigger issue
  4. Think visually about an idea. Not all ideas work visually.
  5. Write a lot. Put ideas on paper. (will apply to grants just to help flesh out the idea even if she doesn’t expect to get it)
  6. Be an observer of life
  7. Trust your own instincts

You’ll really enjoy the colorful stories Ami shares behind each of these tips, like how Ami’s images from Angola captured the world’s attention because of the unique stories she chose to photograph — despite her editors originally insisting that work from Angola would never get published.

To hear the rest of Grover’s interviews with 8 outstanding photographers, download the 2011 Inspiration Handbook.

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There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Julia Robinson at 4:32 pm

    Thanks for that one, Grover. The distinction between the low and high self-esteem voices was very insightful. There’s so much psychology in the work of photography both with our subjects and ourselves.

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