Category: How to Shoot Like a Documentarian

General photography tutorials, how-tos, light guide, composition, what to shoot to tell a story, etc.

how to organize family memories and stories

Take Your Love for Documenting Life to a Richer Level that Fuels Your Soul (+ Business!)

Seriously, fellow documentarian, is there anything better than opening your memory card to a photo you made that sets your soul on BLAZING fire, you love it SO freakin’ much? You can’t get it into LR or PS to polish it off + share fast enough. Oh, and, getting it in print? You may as well […]

Photographing Family In-Home

That Clutter in Your Home? There’s a Story There

Friend, you can skip the cleaning before you pick up your camera. Confession: my house is almost always a mess. It’s not that I like it that way or that I don’t care about it. It comes down to three simple facts: I want my children to have access to lots of materials with which they […]

Making Memories Tangible + Durable for the Littlest of Hands

How often do you practice what you preach? Countless times I’ve shared my perspective on printing beloved images to make them feel more real. Does something really happen if it’s not shared on social media? Do memories even happen if they’re not printed and preserved? Admittedly, I’m the worst at taking my own advice. Really, […]

client questionnaires for family photography

Why I Use Client Questionnaires for Documentary Photography

Ever show up to make documentary work of your clients, but they can’t seem to grasp the concept that you’re not there to direct? Or, they’re so stuck on the outcome of their pictures that the honesty of the story is lost? I’ve totally been there! In 2013, my client work was very trial & […]

Making a Connection With Your Client While Making Pictures of Her In Pregnancy

I won’t lie. Like many photographers, it took me awhile to find my feet. I began as a filmmaker and threw myself headfirst into the wedding industry, falling head over heels in love with photography along the way. I was happy with my work, but after awhile, I knew that the culture of high expectations in […]

Choosing a Photo Project You Can Commit to

The past 12 months or so just happened to be all about projects. I love how they keep me accountable for documenting all the important stuff happening around me. I really just wanted to give up the desperate feeling of where my next client was coming from and whether they like my style and to […]

4 Tips to Being Present While Photographing an Experience Simultaneously 

A couple weeks ago a group of girlfriends and I took a weekend away. We went to a no-name town in Wisconsin and rented a house in a quiet neighborhood on a quiet river. The leaves were painted by the brush of fall and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. If you would’ve asked […]

Day in the Life | Documentary Photography

Thoughts on Photographing Your Own DITL with Alaina Miles

We’re surrounded by photographers shooting their Day in the Life projects and offering these sessions to clients. If you’re anything like me, you’ve become too busy to do your own and too “I really don’t want to invest in a photographer when I can take our family photos myself with a little strategy to get […]

When Street Photography Becomes Less Scary and More About the Stories

Staring out in the distance, I’m always daydreaming. Seconds pass; I never realize why I catch myself doing these things. Always imagining myself as someone else, in someone else’s shoes. Wondering how a person’s life is so different from mine. People and their lives fascinate me. My upbringing was very different, which probably contributed to […]

Mike Riley on Saying Yes to Fully Documentary Wedding Photography

With regards to weddings, I tell people that I’m a documentary wedding photographer. But really, I’m just a photographer at a wedding. I resisted shooting weddings for so long, forever basically. The truth is that I just dont like wedding photography. I have an aversion to cheese and I see a lot of it in […]

12 Ways to Kick Your Photo Composition Up a Notch (When You Don’t Want to Pose Clients)

Have you ever been so captivated by a photo, not because of the moment or light, but because of the perspective? It felt like, “HOW did they do that?!” as you reflect on your own photos feeling kind of blah? Let’s combat that feeling with some killer composition techniques specifically for us storytelling, documentary photographers. […]

everything you need to know about creating a client guide for photography

Everything You Need to Know About Creating a Client Guide

The foundation of great marketing begins with understanding where your clients are at in their knowledge of what you do and how you can transform their lives with your products and services. In the F&F community, we know the majority of non-photographer potential clients still don’t quite understand what a documentary session even is. The problem […]

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