Awesome Things to Know in Documentary Family Photography January 2018 | Fearless and Framed

Awesome Things to Know in Documentary Family Photography January 2018

We’re trying something new in the spirit of unity + community.

Each 1st of the month, we’ll have a new post for you centered around what’s going on in the documentary family photography community – not just with Fearless and Framed® – but with other DFP hubs, vendors, and more.

We’re committed to putting this together for the first 3 months of the year, then we’ll evaluate to see if it’s been impactful for you (our readers), effective + beneficial for our contributors and sponsors, as well as cost-effective use for our time. We’re really excited to see where this goes –

the relationships being forged, the spirit of community coming together, and bringing you the best of the best for your needs.

Two important things:

1. Because our first one is a little like throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks, we’d love to hear what you’d like to see in these posts. Tell us by completing this survey.

2. Also, to have these posts emailed to you (so you don’t have to remember to come check), sign up here.

Happy 2018, friend!

This post contains information about other businesses and our sponsors. We work hard to ensure accuracy, but please remember to check the original sources to confirm details. Prices, themes, and more are subject to change. This post also contains affiliate links.

Living Memories to Record this January

  • back-to-school winter edition (after holiday break)
  • what do you want to remember about January?
  • snow + winter outdoor activities
  • indoor crafts, playtime, & fort-making
  • what’s so HIM?
  • what’s so HER?
  • indoor community activities during the cold months (skating, bowling, etc.)
  • family dinner
  • experiences / things tied to extended family + friends
  • speaking up + showing kindness (writing letters to your congressmen, participating in a march, volunteering)

For more ideas, follow #sessionsparks on Instagram! Follow F&F here to see our Session Sparks in your feed.

Session Sparks by Fearless and Framed

Fun Themespiration Calendar

So sorry, we are a U.S. based company and simply cannot know the calendar of the entire world. Here’s some fun dates this month and if you have something to add, comment below!

  • 1/4/18 – National Spaghetti Day (or as my Kendall says, “basquetti.” ha! need to document that one)
  • 1/8/18 – Clean off your desk day
  • 1/11/18 – National Milk Day (ooooh I can see a lot of shares in the group happening for this one! I’m guessing we’ll have the most shares with this)
  • 1/19/18 – National Popcorn Day
  • 1/21/18 – National Hug Day

January 4th is National Spaghetti Day – We love these spaghetti stories from our community members.

Photo Credit: Alicia Thwaites

Photo Credit: Jenn Reese

Photo Credit: Jessica Hachey

Awesome Events + Workshops


Mastery Moment-Seekers

Marie Masse / Fearless and Framed® • 12 week program beginning January 8th – Register Here

After 12 weeks, your dream clients’ ears will be perked up and the documentary approach will tug on their heart strings through creating timeless content (aka connection pieces) and putting ’em into a marketing system so you can get back to doing what you love.

The Art of Telling Stories

With Colie James Photography • Jan 24th – Feb 13th Register for this Workshop

A three week photography workshop that explores everyday photography to tell the personal stories that need to be remembered. For those who want to find their storytelling style within lifestyle and documentary photography.


The Best Damn 365

with Emily Ockwigr / The Narrative Society • Jan 8 – 21st • Register for this Workshop

In this workshop, we will define and map out your Project 365, to help you meet those goals. I’ll share with you my favorite tips and tricks for daily shooting, staying motivated, and how to push through the inevitable ruts. We’ll work on finding your stride and consistency in inconsistent settings.


Breaking the Glass Ceiling

with Stacey Ilyse Photography • Jan 5th – Feb 5th • Register for this Workshop

Breaking the Glass Ceiling, a workshop geared towards helping you to find your groove, push you forward, and inspire you with your personal projects.  How to look beyond just “the moment” and produce images that are visually interesting, memory-worthy, and also showcase the relationships of the subject(s) being photographed.


Cris Stephens Workshop

With Cris Stephens Photography • 4 Week program Jan 14th – Feb 11th and/or 2 week program  Jan 14 – 28th Register for these Workshops

Walk away from this workshop with information related to how can light speak in the image, how external elements can bring variety and drama in a capture. How to work on your intentions while shooting and while editing. Develop skills that can make a big difference when capturing personal images but also when working with clients.


The Documentary Department

with Natasha Kelly, Erika Roa and Friends • in the Seattle May 17 – 20th • Register for this Workshop

The Documentary Department is retreat for women photographers interested in documentary photography. A weekend to make photos, critique photos, connect with others and reconnect with yourself.


Family is Everything

with Colie and Sara/ Colie James Photography  • Aug 2-5 (2 seats remaining) Register for this Workshop

This workshop will take place outside Denver, Colorado.If you are passionate about balancing the roles of  businesswoman and artist, this is a unique opportunity to see two very different approaches to running a family photography business. Making new friends and drinking all the wine are just icing on the cake.

Recommended Tools to Use in 2018



Our email service provider of choice. What makes them different than the rest is their powerful segmentation + automation features without the price tag of the other industry leaders. We moved from Mailchimp to ConvertKit in 2016 and haven’t looked back! Learn more here.


  The Documentary Family Photographer Client Contract Template

Documentary Family Photography is different than Portrait Photography, so your contract should reflect that. This is a lawyer-drafted contract template made for you: the documentary family photographer. Learn more here.



Ever wish you could take a break from Social Media, but continue marketing your business? With a Content Library and the ability to either select a date / time to manually schedule your posts or set up a queue so that selected shares happen like magic, this has been our choice of social schedulers since 2014. Learn more here.




10 Ways to Increase Client Demand: Stop feeling like ‘no one gets it’ and let your bright documentary light be contagious! Grow a community based on a shared core value where documentary photography can be their solution (their obvious choice when hiring a photographer). Click here for your free playbook.


5 Keys to Getting Clients to Act Natural: easy cheat sheet + training emails. Learn how to Get Clients to Act Natural
and infuse your documentary sessions with more client authenticity. Click here for your cheat sheet.


7 Phases of a Workshop: Plan your workshop in a way that sets you up to grow your email list, potential client & student roster + provides a high value experience for your students. Grab your free workshop guide.



Challenges and Contests

>> Fearless and Framed

Fearless and Framed welcomes the opportunity to feature other photographers and industry leaders. Join us in the documentary movement. Share your story, your photos, your thoughts, & more.

>> Beyond the Wanderlust

Available to all fans of Beyond the Wanderlust. The Daily Story is a collection of images that capture the emotion of storytelling.

>> Sham of the Perfect

Unposed, un-styled, documentary images from your personal archives or from client sessions. Interesting images that tell a story and celebrate life in it’s most raw and honest form.

>> My Name is Mama

My Name is Mama is a collaborative project that’s willing to tell the truth and embrace the joyous, painful, inspiring, authentic, boring, beautiful stories of mothers around the world.

>> Dads in the Wild

Monthly themes with a goal of capturing all the amazing dads out there and their relationships with their family + children!

>> Documentary Movement

For photographers transitioning from posed sessions to documentary sessions (or those already shooting documentary style)


FB Groups/ Pages/ Communites we LOVE

>> Goodbye Posing Guide

>> Modern Storytelling Family Photography

>> The Stories that Make Us

>> The Documentary Movement

>> In The Now

>> Breaking the Glass Ceiling – A place to share your personal photo projects

>> Emotional Storytelling with Twyla Jones


Follow these Hashtags






Stories we love


Documenting Real Stories: Project, La Mano de Maria (Part 1)

Gaining Closure of a Life Change Through Making Pictures

Documenting Real Stories: A Surrogate Birth Story

Why I Use Client Questionnaires for Documentary Photography

client questionnaires for family photography

How to Make Your Business Fit Into Your Life (Not the Other Way Around)

5 Ways to Define Your Dream Clients and Serve Them Better (For Real)

Upcoming Blog Posts

Here’s what you can expect to read this month on the Fearless and Framed blog.

>> 17 Reflections in Marketing + Memories + Life from 2017

>> Simple Pictures with Big Backstories of 2017

>> 10 Ways to Make Your Photography Business More Efficient


What I’m reading + learning

This will be a mix of topics here – some to do with photography, most not. I’m always learning and excited to leave some nuggets here for you!

Just finished:

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Just put this one down.

Currently involved in:

Easy Peasy LOA
After doing Ease-y Money with Susan Ferraro (LIFE-CHANGING in 2017), I wanted more. I used to think manifesting was kind of… out there, but I’ve gotta tell you, I’ve never been in a better mindset than I’m in right now. It’s not even about manifesting what I want, it’s about clarity in who I am and who I’m stepping into becoming. If you’ve ever felt totally stuck, not sure of “your purpose” (or if there is such a thing), anything of Susan’s will help you get your groove back.

Up Next:

Magical Parent Magical Child: The Art of Joyful Parenting

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