#000 – Welcome to the Intentional Documentary™ Podcast

It’s here! It’s here! The Intentional Documentary™ Podcast is finally here!

In this ep, I’ll set the stage for what this podcast is about: who it’s for and give you the {short-version} of the backstory of my own journey from, “what’s manual mode?” to OBSESSED with preserving life stories with my camera for myself + clients as a documentary family photographer.

quotes for documentary family photographers

Full transcript for this ep (sorry, not doing this for all eps, but this kickoff feels special):

In a nutshell, I picked up my camera for the first time (with an intention to learn how to use it) when my daughter was born: October 2011.

I literally started documenting our life with newborn right outta the gate! In the hospital, I was introduced to Pinterest. Shortly after, I read everything I could get my hands on to learn + practiced on the cutest little muse ever.

In late 2012, I took a few friends out to “see if I had what it takes” to be a family photographer and shortly after did my first mentoring session with a local photographer I looked up to, Stacie Jensen.

My client business took off after that – never being a big time photographer, but enough clients to start feeling legit as a business owner.

Somewhere along the way – because of my own limiting beliefs – I photographed clients far different than what I was doing for myself. I did what I thought I had to do to please clients and ended up stopping a couple years in to pursue documentary photography.

There wasn’t anyone else doing what I was doing – that I knew of – back in 2013. I wasn’t even sure if I could call what I was doing ‘documentary photography’ and was terrified I’d be called out (for being wrong).

(so I ran with documentary-style, as if the “style” at the end was like adding “ish” to the end of a word…. like ‘the cover of the book is blue-ish’ and no one would call ya out for saying the book is actually BLUE, ya know?) 

All I knew was that the pictures I was making for myself weren’t photographically perfect. They didn’t necessarily have great light, composition, or elicit a strong emotion out of anyone else.

My pictures were simple pictures with big backstories.

When I identified that, I thought:

I want clients to experience photography the way I experience pictures.

But, I didn’t know HOW to do that.

Have you ever felt that way… where you want to do what you’re doing for yourself, FOR other people, but there’s a disconnect?

That was me in 2013! I worked to figure it out, one step at a time.

Fast forward to today, I host the Fearless and Framed® website for photographers to help themselves SEE what lights them up (not just feel it) behind the lens + to help their clients tell real stories of their life with the camera…

…with a {mostly} documentary approach.

Like what you’re listening to / reading? Pin this ep!

Documentary Family Photography Podcast for Photographers

So, not only everyday moments: the stereotypes we’re starting to see in our genre with the funny + humorous stuff, (sometimes it feels like) the messier the better, or the more bare-bottomed the better. It’s like we’ve put on a filter for these moments only (or is it just me?).

There’s nothing wrong with any of that if that’s what lights you up.

That said, it’s not the only way we can approach documentary family photography. The how is what you’ve gotta discover for yourself, friend!

For me, what lights me up, is having a picture that takes me back to a certain place, experience, or to feel the relationship that I have with a certain person – something that identifies a characteristic or trait of that person I love. I want to feel those things so intimate and so purposeful in a picture – that’s Intentional Documentary™ to me in a nutshell.

To encompass those things without force, orchestration, planning, plotting. Just mindfulness of that value + the skill to anticipate it to make the picture of that organic moment or thing.

I want to explore with you + our IDP guests – what that looks like in action and how to put it into a client business. I don’t want this to be a super business-y podcast.

I want to talk about that connection where photography meets real life.

Hopefully, that gives you a small umbrella of what IDP is gonna be about! Speaking of umbrellas, that’s what started this. I started to recognize that documentary family photography as this big umbrella. Running my program, Mastery Moment-Seekers, I started to see the individuality in my students (photographers).

Even though we all shoot a version of DFP, I saw how their experiences in life + their perspective really molded who they are as a strong photographer. I wanted to AMPLIFY that.

If there were 5 of us in a row, all looking at the same, busy scene, we’d all see that scene differently. Even if a couple of us saw the same thing to narrow in on, we’d still shoot it differently, because our perspective is different.

I’m really excited to explore this with you – the how and the why to what we see!

Identify how you see + why you see the way you do and your work can truly explode (whatever explode means to you). Carry that uniqueness into how you speak in your brand – HUGE. Individuality is what’s lacking with a lot of photographers, because we’ve been so focused “growing” our photography side (skill), with no mind to a business voice. You’re a personal brand, so it all blends together.

Enough rambling.

We’ll get into the real meat + potatoes inside the actual Intentional Documentary™ Podcast episodes. Let’s go.

MORE GOODNESS:

MY SUBTLE ASK:

  • Use #fearlessandframed on IG to share your “simple pictures with big backstories” with a STORY behind the picture
  • REALLY digging this podcast?: Leave me / IDP a quick review! This will help me get us AMAZING guests for your listening pleasure. #helpmehelpyou
Author: MarieMasse
I help client documentary photographers fine-tune their workflow + marketing game, so their work is filled with sessions that represent their voice + client values while earning a living. I shoot undirected, off-beat stories that aren’t preserved often enough (like the story of couples before starting a fam or becoming empty-nesters – a dream project of mine), so my clients’ old box of photos is a meaningful, visual diary of their life + legacy to leave behind.

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  • “For me, what lights me up, is having a picture that takes me back to a certain place, experience, or to feel the relationship that I have with a certain person – something that identifies a characteristic or trait of that person I love. I want to feel those things so intimate and so purposeful in a picture – that’s Intentional Documentary™ to me in a nutshell.” THIS!!!!! OMG. This.

    I’m so excited for the podcast! I can’t wait to hear more.

  • Awww just saw this on Pinterest. Thank you so much for the shout out as well. What a great time this was mentoring and growing both our businesses. From shooting a camera at new and fun angles that people weren’t doing or seeing. To writing our first ebook together. Good times. I appreciate the credit. Xo

    • Good times indeed! And yes, it sure seemed like we were the oddballs (or trendsetters? ha) for shooting REAL life in pictures back then. This made my heart so happy to see come through <3