Are you familiar with a photography rut? We have all been there at one time or another… times when we don’t know what to capture, or we feel like we’re just doing the same thing the same way over and over and not really growing. So today I want to offer a remedy if you’re up for it!
What are the defining characteristics of documentary photography? Or more specifically, what is it that makes a photo technically considered documentary and not lifestyle?
In a nutshell, a documentary image is one where the photographer had zero input into the scene. And in that respect, it presents a challenge as we need to find a way through the mindful use of framing, to take a great shot in a situation we can’t control. And that is one of the most powerful ways to grow as a photographer!
When everything is easy and we only shoot what we already know, in safe and predictable scenarios… we might become really good at that one thing… but we never really grow. And that’s when we fall into that dreaded photography rut!
So when I began collecting photos I love from our Grad’s group for this week’s highlights reel, documentary photography began to reveal itself as a connecting them, and ultimately shaped this week’s blog post.
I hope it inspires you to get out shooting with a documentary theme in mind, and push out of your comfort zone to try and make magic in less than ideal situations and scenarios! Enjoy!
If you’re already shooting in manual mode, on our Advanced Photography Course you will learn to shoot with confidence in any scenario, expand your tech skills and push yourself artistically to develop your style through intensive 1:1 critique on your work. Our next course begins soon, join our wait list to get an email when we go on sale!