I had coffee recently with another photographer when the subject drifted around to the difficulty in developing an individual vision for art and photography. I believe this difficulty is why many people take the easy road and develop such a glut of instructional texts, videos, and community presentations on technical matters and nearly nothing on exploring style and vision. It was even pretty difficult to talk about, even over good coffee. As the coffee disappeared, the above image became the topic. Photographers, as well as most other artists, seem to carry around a mental checklist entitled "Those Subjects That Maketh a Good Photograph", and for me it includes mannequins. The most cliche subject (or would that be abandoned buggies or waterfalls?) My point of the conversation was that photo classes are pretty much like the typical camera club as far as artistic development goes because they seem to drive people into taking the same style of photographs. If you want something refreshing, give your camera to a 9 year old and see what they find interesting in the world. Not all agree, I know you are surprised to hear that.
So I pulled my copy of David duChemin's Photographically Speaking down from the shelf, hoping to give it another look to see if it could be developed into some sort of class that would be helpful. It still seems to be a lot of art babble. Maybe more later, after coffee and chewing on the subject some.