The Photography Rule You May Have Broken

MAKE your life FEEL like A FUN GAME,

rather than something to survive & endure.


The Photography Rule You May Have Broken

  1. Jenny says:

    I have heard that you should also not change lighting while doing documentary style photography. This would be like turning on lights, opening blinds or even turning off lights….. documenting life as it really is. Is this true, or what if I see an opportunity for a great shot but need more light? What are your thoughts?

    • MarieMasse says:

      Hey Jenny! Great question. The short answer – in traditional documentary photography, altering the scene in any way then strays from true documentary. In tying this into the blog post, I want to encourage people to photography freely… trust your gut. Meaning, it’s ok to pull from various genres, approaches, and styles. I hear often in our community “Am I allowed to do this or that?” I get so frustrated with this question, because I believe people should follow their instincts. It’s pushing through your boundaries and self-limitations that make a strong artist. Photographers photographing in dangerous locations or in scenes where making any changes to the immediate environment need a more stealthy approach, but I can bet if they are in their own home, documenting their life and run into needing more light, they’ll flick on a light or two. I think it’s more important to try to be true to the client/subject’s story and not worry about getting caught up in the technical rules. If I can get away without adding light (turning them on, flash, etc.), I definitely do so. Personally, I like to push my limits with grain in the images too if it helps keep the scene genuine. However, if there’s not enough light, at the end of the day you have a job to complete. I absolutely would intervene and turn on some lights if I needed to in order to get great imagery of my clients’ story 🙂

  2. Laura Smith says:

    Thank you so much for writing this post! While I have been shooting as a hobby for years, I just started a small business this year. I have been struggling with whether I am shooting the way I love to, in a unique way OR if I am just falling into the trap of shooting like other people who’s photos I love. This was refreshing to read and a great reminder to shoot in my own, unique way that I see things. That is what people will hire me for….because they like MY style.

    • MarieMasse says:

      The awareness of how you’re shooting and why is such a powerful thing. Once you can communicate your voice to your potential clients in a way they will understand (and want) the benefits, then you can truly rock your photography voice inside your client sessions… because they believe in you <3

  3. Yachinda Katili says:

    This post really speaks to me! I’ve been wanting to start a photography business but I honestly don’t know what I should offer since I don’t know what to label myself as a photographer. I love documentary style so much but I love lifestyle. My style is probably somewhere in between. Sometimes I just want to shoot documentary with no direction and sometimes I just want to do lifestyle where I can interact with my subject. I honestly have been confused for awhile so thank you so much for this post!

  4. I agree that it’s absolutely the most important thing to follow your gut and your soul while shooting. When we shoot what we truly love, we are at our best. No one should be confined by a label. I think often times people become attached to a particular term not because it speaks to them, but because marketing is easier when you can fit in to a specific box. What we call ourselves is important. The question should not be “Is this photo documentary?” The question should be “Is it important to call myself documentary?” While in the short term having a specific label may seem easier, at the end of the day you can market any consistent shooting style without calling it anything more than just “photography”.

  5. […] of composition you’d see in classic documentary photography, but whatever. I love the idea of mixing artistry and different genres if it enhances YOUR unique voice as a photographer. Much like using multiple planes or shooting […]

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