While humanitarian photography may seem like a combination of documentary, editorial, and photojournalism, its history has a long tradition of photographers advocating for change.
Early twentieth-century photographer Lewis Hine’s images of children working in factories prompted government officials to develop and strictly enforce laws against child labor. Exposing mercury poisoning in the Japanese city of Minamata, W. Eugene Smith’s work brought justice and visibility to the victims. These photographers’ humanitarian images affected change by making visible the human condition.
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