#026 – Serving First + the Practice in Being Fully Expressed with Davina Fear

I had a wonderful conversation with Davina Fear in this one! She’s a documentary family photographer who sometimes travels for clients, she’s located here in South Carolina with me, has been in business for over 15 years, and also mentors photographers. She’s got a lot of wisdom for us!

In this ep, we covered:

  • What Davina thinks photography + entrepreneurship are really about
  • Her recent orphanage trip with her family – how she balanced serving + photographing, not having money to pay for this trip + embarrassment + making it happen, and overall SO MUCH goodness around doing a trip where you’re there to SERVE
  • [30:30] Davina’s DAILY emails that I’m paying attention to – they started April 12, 2018 with email subject line: I quit social media (so we talk a little about ending social media + the impact of personal connection)
  • [37:30] Another dimension of those emails – showing up mask-free: totally fearless and owning DAVINA (owning who she is to the world)
  • Hot email: “What Have I Done?” CLIFFHANGER
  • Her faith – a major part of her life that tends to take people back a little when she shares it. She’s kept that part of her life quiet + under wraps – even with close friends. She’s been hesitant + scared to express herself in the past and shares with us how she’s truly started to let that go + allow her truth to power herself + guide her actions
  • and the RESULTS of those emails – that interaction with people from these DAILY emails she’s been writing now for 30+ days

Davina’s words on photography + entrepreneurship (so good!):

[06:45]

“What I really love about photography too is – and being an entrepreneur – is that it’s really about you and you becoming a completely different, better, awesome-er version of yourself or, like, rolling back the layers of who you are – uncovering who you are, because we’re already super awesome people, everyone is already a super awesome person, and it’s really about someone else seeing that in you.

As a photographer, I want to see that in other people. I want to see that in families. That’s one thing I do: I photograph the soul of a family – who they really are, how they’re really connected, and how powerful + awesome that is.

It’s also about me allowing myself to uncover all that stuff and see the awesome ME that’s under all the stuff that’s kind of piled on top of me over the years – that I’ve held onto or not released.

I think that whole evolution has happened to me over the years and that photography + entrepreneurship have totally been part of that vehicle. Leaning into that and realizing who I’m becoming is really so much more awesome than how many clients I have, how much money I make, where I’m living, where I’m traveling to, all that kind of stuff – that I am uncovering the someone who’s really cool and the more I do that, the more I see that in other people.”

Davina’s Iconic Photos: 

Documentary Family Photography Family Documentary Photography

[57:54]

“Both of these photos are from my England trip. The reason I love these photos is because they were from when I actually realized, “hey this is what I wanna do.”

This is the total… photographing a family like this, who they really are, how they really interact with each other, the dynamics – I was a family science major in college and graduated with a degree in that (so I love the dynamics of family to begin with) and this family I just love. I’ve photographed them several times since then.

They do have 3 children – their youngest child is under the stroller. I love this, because we were in their little village that’s right next to where they used to live in Woodbridge – and this little village was so cute. We have just come out of a bakery and these two ladies had just walked by and they were just “oohing and ahhing” over this little baby.

And I love the expression on the little girl going, “Ohhh, who are you? Why are you talking to us?” and the parents are so proud of their cute little baby.

I just love this moment, because of how happy and interested these little old ladies are who just happened by.”

Enjoy the story.

More goodness:

MY SUBTLE ASK:


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Volunteering your photography

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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