It takes tremendous skill to immortalize the iron-willed defiance of a protester, a mother’s tender touch, or the resilience on the face of a refugee. This type of powerful imagery strikes a delicate balance between documenting real-life and inspiring social change. It is commonly referred to as social documentary photography. As we discuss this specialty, you will notice that its applications often bleed into other related specialties, such as humanitarian photography and brand narrative.
I’ve spent most of my career working as a photojournalist and director of photography, and I’m happy to have recently started working with Wonderful Machine as a freelance photo editor and creative consultant.
As a photographer, I work from my home base in Istanbul, completing assignments for places like The New York Times. But, just like everywhere else, COVID-19 has put a damper on normal human interactions in Turkey. So, when a photo editor at The New York Times gave me the option of shooting an assignment remotely, I was intrigued. In addition to health concerns, the three subjects I needed to photograph were worried about having their location disclosed for security reasons. And though it might have been possible for me to get to them, I had never tried a remote photoshoot; with all of us looking to minimize travel, I wanted to give it a go.