We discuss the photoproduction processes of light vector mesons ($\rho$, $\omega$, and $\phi$) from the nucleon near threshold. We first develop a simple model based on meson exchanges which is modified by the nucleon pole terms. We then extend this model to study other physically interesting topics. As examples, we discuss the missing nucleon resonances problem in $\omega$ photoproduction and the direct $\phi NN$ coupling constant in $\phi$ photoproduction. The calculated cross sections are compared with the recent experimental data. Various spin observables are discussed, which may be measured at current photon/electron facilities such as TJNAF and SPring-8 of RCNP. Precise measurements of such quantities would provide very useful information to understand the production mechanism.