We dare you
take our challenge
It’s time to think outside the box. It’s time to go beyond traditional portraits, lifestyle photography, documentary photography, storytelling photography, or any other trendy name.
Take the Fearless and Framed Dare to Photographers and I guarantee you’ll have an ah-ha! moment about how to approach your next client sessions . . . and even your own shooting.
We are on a mission to fuel photo sessions with more realness, sentiment, and meaning than ever before—and it begins with you.
Quick note: this Dare is part of a document protected by a registered US copyright: the Real is the New Perfect Photo Challenge. Do not copy or use this content without clicking here to purchase the gorgeous PDF (inside the Client Attractor Toolset) to use with your clients.
The Dare - Let's Collect Memories
Grab a pen and paper. List of three of your favorite people: your mom or dad, your sister or brother, your favorite aunt, your bestie, your spouse, your grandma, your son or daughter, your mentor or coach, the little old lady neighbor who watched the neighborhood growing up, the cousin you only got to see a few times a year, even your pet.
Next to each person, list three memories of times you’ve shared with them. These can be from the distant past or present-day memories-in-the-making. Then, add two details that come to mind when you think of each person.
This doesn’t have to be done in 5 minutes; dig deep and marinate in your memory bank.
my personal dare:
Our memories are often made up of little bits of time. The memories that first come to mind are often bigger, like an incredible trip or a milestone event. For this challenge, I want you to think deeper. Think of those smaller experiences, senses, emotions, and personality traits.
Here is my own list to fuel your memory search:
My husband, David:
Memories: Our 3 week adventure across the country; when he proposed to me on top of the Ambassador bridge at the Canada/U.S. international line (true story); when we did our Tim Horton’s drive-thru breakfast dates + dreamed of our future pre-baby era.
Details: his sexy jawline and his love for his garage
Memories: Back-to-school shopping and eating Hot Stix at the mall food court; driving up north every summer to the family cabin jamming to Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey; our girls’ weekend trips when dad was hunting
Details: She’s often in her Mickey Mouse jacket with a bottle of Mountain Dew in tow
Memories: The 3-4 day sleepovers when she taught me to crochet; making iced tea; painting shirts with fabric paint; and our epic tea party with her fine china.
Details: Her love for writing poems & journaling.
Memories: He always greets people with a big, open-mouthed kiss; the endless nights of putting him back to bed after a bottle and rubbing his back til he fell back to sleep; how he would turn our kitchen into a lake after his sink baths.
Details: his curls and his favorite toy, monster trucks.
Memories: When she greets me in the mornings with, “Momma, the sky’s awake, so I’m awake, so we have to play” (yes, Frozen fever over here); cooking or baking with me in the kitchen on her stool; doing on our mom-Kendall dates each month, like to dinner and the Pinkalicous play.
Details: Those eyes that WOW everyone and the way she curls up on my lap.
Now that you have your list, how do you feel? Gratitude? Joy? You may be thinking, “I wish I could go back in time,” or “I hope this never ends.” These details have made your relationships what they are today.
Now let’s push the envelope. Look through your list and circle the items you have photos for. Most people, including me, find they have very few photos of their list items. It’s pretty crazy considering the list is composed of your most valued memories, right?
Here’s the thing: the list items you do NOT have photos for are at risk of being forgotten. Maybe not today, but eventually. You probably won’t forget the big things, like your child’s birth. However, the retelling of those stories will likely end with you.
Life is composed of small details that shape us and our relationships. Too often, we don’t even recognize these details while knee-deep in life, let alone photograph them. We look back at the good ‘ol days and often want more. Photographs are a way to celebrate those memories and be a little closer to having that “just one more.”
Today, I challenge you to let your list inspire your photography vision. Make photos to keep memories fresh, not fuzzy. These important pieces of your life are part of your unique photography voice.
Make More Meaningful Photos For Clients
Imagine running a session where you collect the memories of your clients’ life today, right now, for them to look back on someday. It’s possible, and the demand is growing as more clients become aware of the opportunity to capture their memories-in-the-making.
I dare you to take just one of the items on your list and turn it into your next portfolio photo session. Don’t do the session for me or with income hanging over your head. Do it for you . . . for the sake of your own damn memories. Your life matters!
How do you shoot this way?
Envision the memory-in-the-making as it happens. What does it look like? Who is doing what? What are all the feels felt? The smells? The light? The environment?
Use your list to inspire the ability to visually express things like, This is where we met. This is how we used to spend our summers. Your mom was so hard to get to sleep through the night, and this is the chair I sat in night after night rocking her to sleep. This is what your great-grandfather did every Saturday.
For actual help in learning to shoot with an un-orchestrated, freeing documentary approach, join our 7-Day Storyteller’s Challenge for an incredible free training experience.
and in case you chose truth over dare:
Here are a few of my personal favorite images that have documented my life:
If you’re still not convinced, head over to this blog: 100 Year Old Family Photos that Mean Nothing
(and How You Can Avoid This) — coming soon
Take Documentary Photography to the Next Level
Once you start shooting with a documentary approach, you may run into some roadblocks. Luckily for you, these areas are where I can help you! These are the three most common questions asked in our community, along with solutions to get you started.
Click one of the three topics below to take your documentary photography to the next level!