We’ve had A LOT of business-y episodes lately and in upcoming episodes I’m going to get back to the Intentional Documentary side for awhile. This one is a mix of the two, where real life meets business.
Even if you’re not in biz / never plan to start a business, but Intentional Documentary speaks to you – meaning, my messages on recording what matters in your life – in pictures, in film, audio, writing, etc. as a way to connect to what matters speaks to you – listen all the way through.
In full transparency, I’ve got a workshop coming up called: The Memorable Story Collection – a branding workshop for documentary + lifestyle photographers that this episode is inspired by.
When I started stepping towards a documentary based photography business, no one got it. My inquiries were never for what I wanted to shoot – even though I was mostly showing what I wanted to shoot.
We have to remember that our communication output – our words and our pictures – are NOT always heard in the way we mean them.
Once you understand that, you can practice HOW you convey your message or a series of messages in a way that helps others to “get it.” These people want what you do for themselves, which means, you get to work with your dreamies!
Eventually, you can get really good at leading someone who has no idea what you’re talking about (say, someone who has no idea what documentary photography is, much less why someone would ever pay to have a photographer hang out with them all day, making pictures, that they could “take themselves”) and teach them your perspective in a way that allows them to feel like they’ve arrived at this new perspective from a genuine belief of their own – not a belief you’re telling them to believe.
This is why you’re probably not getting much traction in messages like, “Let’s document your story – you (and your kids) will be so thankful to have these images looking back!”
Even though it’s likely the truth, you don’t want to be told how to feel.
It’s like someone ordering for you at a restaurant – um, no, I’ll decide what I want, thank you very much.
In my direct sales business, long ago, I was taught to plant seeds throughout my demo to spark connection between my guests and a potential next step: an order, book a party, or join my team. It worked!
When I started using brand story seeds in my photography + Fearless and Framed® businesses:
All 3 of these women spoke about the undeniable vibration you feel when you show up and you’re unapologetically, fully self expressed.
It’s contagious. It feels GOOD.
It feels like truth + freedom + light + ease all rolled into one when you can show up online (or off) and talk about what’s actually on your heart – not what you THINK people wanna hear.
When you try to think your way to the “BEST” story to get the most engagement or whatever, you block it. You block your connection to your inspiration. But if you ALLOW the messages to come through you, it makes everything cake.
What do people know about you beyond you being a photographer? I mean, the REAL context of you. You can always tell when someone writes an about page and it’s filled with cutesy-fluff like “and I like Pumpkin Spice lattes on cool, fall days in a great pair of boots.”
The EMOTION stories get remembered. I’m pretty sure my husband’s jawline is famous, because I’ve told the story behind it too many times to count.
In a nutshell, it’s the story about how I met him. His sexy jawline caught my attention and I went up and spoke to him – a total stranger at a concert – because of it. So now, when I share pictures, people don’t just see my picture of my man’s face, they totally GET what I saw in my heart. See the impact? Then, they want their version of that story.
You know when you’re angry or over-the-moon happy and how much PRESSURE bottling up those emotions feels? Then, you talk about it and there’s a sweet release of that pressure? You instantly feel LIGHT.
For me, getting my stories out does exactly that.
My favorite way has been with chips + salsa at my favorite Mexican Restaurant – Sagebrush Cantina – with my friends. When the night is filled with friendship and bottomless stories. Again, #storiessparkstories.
But also, in writing, because of this next one…
This is your heart. There’s something you can never get out of making a picture of someone you love – and that’s THEIR message.
Photographers listening are like WHAT?! A great picture doesn’t need words – and the person’s soul comes through the image.
I’m not denying an image’s power to express a message, but let’s face it, 027 episodes in and every time we share an Iconic Photo submission from a guest – we ALWAYS get more to the story when they share their back story.
Example: 019 – Brittni’s note from her son. That was HIS heart he chose to give to her. All of her IG shares, that’s her heart and if I – in my early 30’s – found these shares of my mom’s or dad’s, I would be so, so thankful.
THIS is what we’re getting into and if for no other purpose, these same stories are gold for your Legacy Box.
How can you expect other people to open up + believe in documentary their story if you’re not doing it for yourself?
Get good at sounding like a broken record, which is what timeless content can do for you. A member of our Facebook Group just proved the value in this one. At the time of recording, the podcast has been out for MONTHS and even though I’ve been sharing each episode release + teases leading up to its release in April 2018, she didn’t know I had a podcast until this week!
Your stories are timeless content.
How to use timeless content is what I teach in Mastery Moment-Seekers.
Your why, your voice. It can be layered, it can be a mix of different variables, but the more you dig into it – dig into your life – the more you’ll learn about you and your why / voice.
The stuff that jumps off the metaphorical (or literal) page is a sign.
Building your memorable story collection is truly a tool to help you gain clarity on your why / voice and to package it up into a mission for your work.
THIS is what the workshop is about. It’s a 5 day dive into uncovering YOUR stories + setting yourself up to DO something with them. I ran this last November and it was the most energetic thing I’ve ever done in the history of my business.
People, like Tara, said things like, “I thought I knew my why, but I had no idea!”
Tears were shed, lightbulbs turned on, and stories were both recorded and put to great use.
If you wanna skip the workshop, these are the zones I want you to pay attention to:
Tune into the Intentional Documentary podcast for the rest of this episode 😉
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