7 Day Storyteller’s Challenge Case Study 02

Wouldn’t you feel like you had the coolest mom ever if you got to go “register” for your 4th birthday at your favorite store?!

Photographer Jessica Swartout from Florida is that cool mom! And, she photographed it for her second round of the 7 Day Storyteller’s Challenge. Jessica did created a photo story of her mornings at home with her family and those photos turned out fabulous (see here). Then, she did this session as a second try for the story. This brings me to my point: you will get even better the more you practice!

Right around the corner (if you are reading this as I publish), the October 2015 7 Day Storyteller’s Challenge will commence! You may be able to join (deadline is 9/25) if you hurry and visit HERE.


I asked Jessica 3 questions about her thoughts on the challenge. Here are her responses:

1. What made you sign up for the 7 Day Storyteller’s Challenge? Did you have any fears going into the challenge?
I’ve been gravitating towards more of a lifestyle approach to my portrait sessions, so when I saw the challenge I was so incredibly excited to get a better look into true documentary style photography. There were so many things you said in your blogs and even in the Challenge info that just spoke to me. “Do you feel like a cookie cutter photographer…” “Do you get tired of posing your families…bringing props…” etc. “YES!! That’s me!!!” I shouted at the computer! Haha!


2. What was the biggest lesson you learned walking away from the challenge?
There were so many, but one thing that I loved—and was actually shared on the first day of the challenge—was the pre-planning portion of a session. How simple to think of it literally like writing a story. “There needs to be a thesis; a who, what, where, when…” GENIUS! Reading that, it was like a light clicked on and really made be understand how to put everything I want to do, all together for my client, into a perfect story.


3. Do you plan to incorporate what you learned into client-based sessions?
ABSOLUTELY! I’m currently working on building my portfolio in Storytelling Sessions and I’ll be taking submissions to do a couple of free ones to have a variety and get “real time” experience. I look forward to really launching that part of my brand in 2016!


Take a look at her photos. You can see her full blog post here over on her site (click here). Then, follow Jessica at the following links: 


Target-070715_2212-2 Target-070715_2216 Target-070715_2227 Target-070715_2228 Target-070715_2236-2 Target-070715_2239 Target-070715_2241 Target-070715_2243 Target-070715_2244 Target-070715_2246-2 Target-070715_2276 Target-070715_2278 Target-070715_2281 Target-070715_2286 Target-070715_2288 Target-070715_2290-2 Target-070715_2307-2 Target-070715_2308 Target-070715_2309-2 Target-070715_2312
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.

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *