The Business of Documentary

a 12 week mentored business course with award-winning photographers Alice Chapman and Antonina Mamzenko

The Business of Documentary is an intensive mentored business and marketing course that will give you all the tools you need to design a successful documentary family photography business and set you up for long-term success on your own terms.

Are you stuck in the vicious circle of business mistakes?

Do you want to finally start making a living doing what you love?

Are you feeling overwhelmed with all things business and need a helping hand to guide you in the right direction?

Do you feel like it’s time to work on your business and not just your art?

“It’s a BRILLIANT course. If you’re on the fence about joining the next cohort, well, just jump right off it. I’m just so excited about the future of my business now.”

Over the course of 12 weeks you will:

  • understand the steps you need to take to get your business off the ground and make it successful and sustainable
  • learn how to attract clients that love documentary family photography
  • learn how to design a pricing structure that works for you, and is profitable and sustainable
  • learn to manage your time and find the right work/life blend
  • create a marketing action plan to take your business forwards
  • start selling without feeling sleazy and find the right approach that works with your life and personality
  • get advice from two experienced mentors with over 20 years’ joint photography business experience plus many more in corporate business
  • have all the information and resources to set you up for success
  • and much, much more….

Here’s how it works:

Every week you will have a new module to work through, and accompanying assignments to complete.

Each week we will host a group Zoom call where we will answer your questions, work through your blocks, discuss what’s working and what’s not, and offer a helping hand to get you to step outside of your comfort zone. Attending all the Q&As live is not essential and you can submit questions in advance and watch the recording later. The main learning content is in the course materials and we’ll be in the Facebook group to answer your questions there too.

Throughout the week we’ll also be on hand in the Facebook group to offer ongoing support.

We expect you’ll need to commit around 8 hours a week to this course to get the best out of it. We have built in two scheduled breaks with no new material, so if you fall behind you can use them to catch up.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • 12 weeks of intensive learning and mentoring with Alice and Antonina in a small online group setting
  • a new understanding of how to run your business, make money and manage your time
  • gain an improved confidence as a business owner
  • 24/7 access to a private Facebook group for additional support and encouragement from your mentors and your peers
  • weekly group Zoom calls to guide you, answer your questions and keep you accountable
  • advice on pricing, marketing and selling from two experienced working documentary family photographers who know what works and what doesn’t
  • a mix of course materials: written information and instructions; resources including document templates and spreadsheet templates; assignments; video walkthroughs; and video Q&A calls
  • be part of a group of like-minded people who share your goals and who will cheerlead you and keep you accountable

Don’t take it from us

Here are just some of the kind words our mentees said about training with us:

I cannot say enough great things about this course! I went into it with little to no idea on how to grow and transform my hobby into a business. Antonina and Alice handed me a road map to follow that I could take at my own pace. The course materials are invaluable and something that I will refer back to over and over again. As with all the Made for Documentary classes, they create an atmosphere where everyone can grow and learn from whatever stage they are at in the process. I’m so glad I signed up!”

Samantha Vaupel


“Once again the Made for Documentary team have created an exciting programme of learning that really addresses the needs of anyone transitioning to documentary family photography or already working in the genre. 

The course covers absolutely every aspect of running a business in comprehensive detail with the added value of Antonina and Alice’s invaluable experience, feedback and support. I love that from the very first week, I was able to put in place changes that made a difference to my business straight away and now, as I’m reaching the end of the programme, have a solid foundation for development and growth. I feel confident in my pricing, clearer about who my target clients are and how I can reach them, have a workflow that makes sense to me and really benefits my clients and I’m excited about the future!”

Michaela Strivens

“Antonina and Alice have both been so generous with their knowledge and experience.  I feel like now, more than ever, I am clearer about my branding, my message, what I want to say and who I want to work with. Before I started this course I wasn’t 100% sure why I was struggling to make my business profitable. Through the coursework and support from Antonina and Alice, I have identified my weaknesses and strengths and gained an educated insight into what my next steps need to be to move my business forward.”

Teresa Eldridge

“This class is your playbook for starting a documentary family photography business!  Alice and Antonina give you all the tools to design a business that YOU want while cutting through all the overwhelm that comes with starting something new.  I now have a clear path and the confidence to make my dreams of running a documentary family photography business a reality.  If you’ve had a similar dream, sign up for this class…right now…do it!  You will not regret it.”

Cristine Passler

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this course. The materials are presented in a logical, well designed way, and contain all of the essential elements needed to get your business off the ground. Antonina and Alice are both excellent resources and more than willing to help in any way they can. They are active in the Facebook group in addition to the weekly zoom calls, which is wonderful for ad hoc questions or stumbling blocks that come up. Most importantly, they’ve helped me to solidify and reaffirm many things I’ve been struggling with over the years so that I can finally move forward as a sustainable small business. I am very excited to see what the next year holds!”

Cindy Esquibel

“This course really exceeded all of my expectations. I was looking for some advice on the financial side of my photography business but I got this and so much more. The manual which comes with the course contains a wealth of information about pricing, selling, marketing, branding and business planning and this alone is worth investing in. I wasn’t expecting to find the weekly Zoom meetings so invaluable – the chance to hear other perspectives from like-minded colleagues on their own business journeys was really eye opening and I’m sure that being part of this community will have many benefits going forward. Alice and Antonina really gave their full attention to each individual participant and were very open in sharing their expertise gained over many years of combined experience in the field. I now feel like I have all of the tools required to take my business to the next level and to make it fully sustainable. I feel excited for the next steps and really grateful for everything I have learned.”
Nina Raingold

I loved getting back to basics with my business and making sure everything I needed was in place and then moving on to look at pricing, key marketing activities and work flow. It was a bit of a kick up the bum to get on with things and gave me confidence in pricing my work correctly in order to be sustainable. Thank you Alice and Antonina!”
Rosie Dedman

“I feel like The Business of Documentary course is what I’ve been needing – and looking for – for a long time! The amount and quality of information given by Alice & Antonina is priceless. By far, one of the biggest benefits is finally being able to understand & visualize my numbers and proper pricing. More so, believing that my time and work are worth it. I genuinely can’t emphasize enough just how much detailed education you receive between the zoom calls and the lessons. In the past I’ve felt a little lost in a sea of portrait photographers – how do I price/ market/ brand for this? Who do I bounce ideas off of when I don’t know other documentary photographers? With this class, you are essentially being given a blue print for a successful documentary business and cheered on as you work your way through it! Both Alice & Antonina were incredibly gracious with answering many questions and sharing their insight and expertise. These ladies created such a positive & helpful environment. You can tell they honestly want you to succeed and flourish in this industry, and thanks to their guidance, I feel like I’m capable to do so!”
Kylee Meyer Reed

FAQs

Who is this programme for?

This is for all photographers wanting to take the leap into the documentary family photography business, whether you’re at the beginning stages of your career, or if you’ve been trying to earn money with photography for a while but struggled to make it work.

What happens after I enrol?

Once you enrol, you will receive an automated order confirmation email. Approximately one week before the programme begins you will receive instructions on how to access the learning platform, the private Facebook group, and all other information to get your set up and ready to learn.

What if I change my mind?

Because of a personalised nature of this mentorship and the limited number of spots available in each run we expect our students to be fully committed to the programme when they enrol. With this in mind, the mentorship fee is non-refundable. Please read our full Terms and Conditions here: https://learn.madefordocumentary.com/terms

How much time each week will I need to dedicate to this mentorship?

The more work you put into the course the more you will get out. Depending on where you’re at in your business, we estimate you will need about eight hours each week to work through the assignments, participate in the group Q&A calls and start implementing the changes required. It’s okay if you fall behind as we’ve built in break weeks to help you catch up if needed. It’s okay if you implement or work on some things at your own pace later. We will be teaching you business methods and processes to use both during the course and in the future as you run your business.

What are the timings for the Q&A calls?

All Q&A calls are hosted during weekday school hours (London, UK time). Please get in touch for the proposed schedule.

What if I can’t attend the group Zoom calls?

The dates and times for all Q&A calls are released in advance to help you plan your time. We know that life happens and we all have different schedules so if you can’t make it live, you will be able to submit questions in advance and watch the recording later. We’ll be on hand in the Facebook group to support you there throughout the week.

I don’t think I can afford it right now, can I join another time?

We are passionate about enabling documentary family photographers to have successful and sustainable businesses, so we have tried to make this mentorship affordable and great value for money by packing it full of material and guidance. Think of it this way: not only are you getting all the learning materials, but you are also getting two highly experienced mentors to guide you and speed up your progress, saving you potentially years of figuring it all out yourself.

How many spots are available?

This group mentorship is limited to 12 students to ensure an in-depth experience and so that each participant can get regular individual feedback.

How long will I have access to the course materials?

You will have access to the materials for the duration of the mentorship and will be able to download all your learning content before the end of that period. You will have access to the Facebook group for the duration of the mentorship and for as long as you wish afterwards. Each cohort will have their own Facebook group so you can continue to benefit from peer support in your group even after the course wraps up.

How much face time will I have with the mentors?

There will be weekly (except for the break weeks) group mentoring Zoom Q&A calls where we can talk face to face to review the work that you have produced in response to the assignments. We’ll be on hand during the week in the Facebook group to support you there too, so this is very much a hands on mentored course. We’re with you every step of the way!

I have more questions!

Great! Email us at hello@madefordocumentary.com and we’ll answer any questions you might have.

Your Instructors

Alice Chapman

Alice has been a family photographer since 2011. The moment she realised documentary family photography was an established genre was the moment everything started to make sense. Alice is passionate about enabling families and children to be themselves in their family photos so that she can champion their individuality. Alice has been listed three times as the top UK family documentary photographer by FPJA, winning many awards. With 15 years’ people management experience, Alice only misses two things from her corporate days; office cakes and developing people’s skills. A qualified coach and experienced mentor, Alice is passionate about helping photographers to plan, do and grow.

Antonina Mamzenko

Antonina is a recovering lawyer who moved from Russia to the UK in search of an adventure and found her home. She started her lifestyle family photography business back in 2009 and after getting tired of telling people what to wear and where to sit, transitioned to a more documentary approach in 2015. Over the past 10 years she has become one of the leading UK family photographers working with clients from all over the globe. Her superpower is documentary portraiture and capturing authentic moments of humour and connection. An introvert to the core, she is passionate about teaching photographers how they can run a profitable photography business while playing to their unique strengths – and without burning out.