Recently I hit a milestone in my photographer’s career: I’ve accomplished 250 paid assignments. It took me ten years and half a million frames to get there. I thought it’s a decent reason to reflect a little bit on what has been done and what the journey feels like.
Photojournalism and documentary photography are fields that most of the time are developed gradually and exponentially while gaining more experience, building up a quality portfolio, and mastering the art of telling a story with a series of images.
Knowledge and skills are obtained with the pass of the years whereas working with the equipment that one could afford at that time. The logical step of development is upgrading equipment when the current gear isn´t enough, or simply does not live up to the final expectations of the work to be achieved.
One of the most powerful applications of photography has been as a tool to document some of the most important moments in recent history, whether that’s in terms of a shared history of the world in the form of photojournalism, or in the more personal history of family snapshots, personal photography, and street photography.
Photography for personal use is prevalent in everyday life perhaps more today than ever before; every dance-floor selfie on a night out is photographic storytelling, every published snapshot in some way contributing to the wider communal pool of stories being told. It is accessible to anyone with a smartphone, and the barrier to entry-level dedicated camera units is immensely low secondhand. Photography is essential in messaging apps, a part of daily communication like never before.
I think the question of whether something is or is not art is a bit disingenuous, and can be used more as a tool for gatekeeping than true analysis or critique. There is no objective standard for what makes something enjoyable as a piece of art, whether that is a photograph, music, sculpture, or a blade of grass in a field. However when it comes to the deliberate creation of an artefact I think that the intention of the creator is very powerful, and can offer some strong insight into the way that work can be interpreted.
Documentary portraits are becoming more popular than ever. While once more the domain of magazine features, they’ve become a lot more widespread over the last few years and can offer insight into a who a person is, rather than just what they look like. In this video, photographer Joris Hermans talks us through his seven top tips for shooting documentary-style natural light portraits.
We have discussed several times why shooting only with one lens can be a good call. And no matter the genre you shoot, you can benefit from using only one lens. In this video from Advancing Your Photography, documentary photographer Daniel Milnor will share three reasons why you should use only one lens if you’re shooting documentary photography.
Wedding Photojournalism or Photojournalism? What’s The Difference?
This is an unposed, naturally caught moment at Rachael and Carl’s wedding at The Vineyard in Stockcross, Berkshire. It’s recently won a couple of awards from This is Reportage and the Wedding Photojournalist Association. It’s a striking image, and drew some criticism that it must be staged, or was not photojournalism. So I thought I’d explain why I believe this is wedding photojournalism, and how I came about taking this image.
There is a particular obstacle that stands in the way of almost all travel, documentary and cultural photographers alike and, for some reason, no one seems to be willing to talk about it – so I’m going to.
The way I see it, that obstacle could be best described as ‘Misconception’. No matter how hard I try to prepare for what may lay ahead in my photography projects, it never ceases to amaze me how much of a difference there is between what I think I’m going to find and what is really out there. So many times places I thought would be completely isolated from the outside world were overrun by travelers, and cultures I thought would be extremely protective of their arts turned out to be some of the most hospitable and welcoming people I ever met. My last photography journey in Ethiopia was a perfect example of just how these misconceptions can affect a photography project.
I’m a documentary photographer. I work really closely with families, business and professionals and I create candid unposed images that show love when comes to families, and passion and hard work that comes with it when it comes to professionals. No posing, no smiling, no lifestyle images that pretend to be real. Pure photojournalism. Street photography principles taken inside.