Dr. Steve Marshall

The Photo-Dialogues


The photo-dialogues are an experiment...


Every successful endeavour begins with a clear vision.


With the vision established, we should define our mission, set objectives and monitor progress on the path to success.  Achievement becomes a product of a well-defined process and determined effort.

But my world doesn't seem to work like that.

And I'm pretty sure it's not like that for other folk either. Even if it does work for others, the effect of 'bigger, faster, better' has been to separate us from the reality of our existence and promote damaging ways of working.  Our world is a social and ecological mess.

I am trying to learn how how leaders working 'differently' in the world conceptualize and work with their sense of'vision'.

These leaders seem to be interested in a way of working that values participation, social justice and emancipation, sustainability, relationship to each other, our place within nature and with our planet.  And they are attempting to work beyond the conventions of easily defined 'elevator pitch' business propositions. 

On these pages I am showing you the 'short-form' blog style summary of much longer conversations. As I work with these 'visionaries', themes emerge and questions arise. I find that I begin to question my own vision and the way that I try to bring it to life. As I continue to wrestle with my meaning making and encourage this work in others,  you will find longer articles that will give a different shape to the work. But for now, here are the first 'outputs' of my efforts.

I'm presenting each Photo-Dialogue as two photographs and a conversation.

This first image is my picture; an attempt to offer witness to the person before me. The conversation then tries to unravel first signs of how a new vision, an often fragile, only slowly developing image,  is being brought to life.

The second image is 'directed' by the subject. We work together to make an expression of their sense of themselves 'in their vision'.  Sometimes, the image is easy to plan and visualize; my work is simply to light and frame the photograph. More often, we search, seeking something that would an expression of a different way of working, living and thinking.

In every case, the photographs say at least as much as our words could tell.