#028 – Staying True to Yourself with Erin Hensley

A Facebook post by Erin’s Hensley sparked this episode (shown below). I brought Erin on to go deeper into her message. We don’t all experience the same things and I recognize that. Still, I know I’ve gone down the rabbit hole! 🙂

If you’ve really wanted to be featured or published, and it’s been a part of your flow: you shoot, get your stuff on your computer to polish, and go: “ok where can I submit this?” It’s part of your process. Or, you may not have ever recognized this: if you’ve felt influenced when you open up your laptop or cell phone when you see work of other photographers – a blend of conscious and sub-consciously you think things like:

  • I should try to shoot more like that / more in that light / in that location
  • I love how CLOSE these images are or how that photographer really pulled back

So then, you go out and try to shoot more like that rather than from your true self, then this episode is for you.

In this IDP ep, we cover:

  • what sparked Erin’s FB post
  • my story in running “The Photo Factory”
  • Criticism, comparison, and influence
  • The power of DOING vs. seeking information
  • Being on the OTHER side of the limelight
  • and more!

Enjoy the story.

Erin’s Iconic Photo: 

Documentary Family Photography

[jump to 34:01 for the full story]

“I took this one on a random hike last year. There’s a few reasons.

First, it was a random, last minute decision to take my kids out on a hike – to get out of the house and see what happens. A lot of times when we do that, that’s when I get my favorite pictures – when it’s just an impromptu trip that we take. Things just happen that I’m like, “Wow this is amazing – I’m so glad we came, I’m so glad I brought my camera.” And it’s always a good reminder TO get out more often.

Then, the fact that it’s free lensed – that’s been a huge part of my work. Then, being black and white. I’ve always had a soft spot for black and white imagery.

So, the way those 3 came together in this photo and also the fact that if someone were to critique the image, they’d probably say something about the composition not being ideal. So, I feel like that’s another reason I love it, because I tend to rebel against stuff like that and I like it anyway.

When I took the picture – the tree that drew me to the spot – sometimes when that happens, I’ll encourage one of my kids – whichever one is the in the best mood usually – to go play in this certain area. So, that’s what I did there.

It’s just been a favorite since I took it.”

More goodness:

My Subtle Ask:


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028 Intentional Documentary podcast for documentary photographers

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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