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Documentary photography

The first photographic type I will be discussing is Documentary photography.  It is the type of photography that draws my attention the most because when I look it my heart experiences all the emotions portrayed.

Documentary photography is used every day to capture the truth.  It is truthful and objective images of a particular subject and it captures the mood portrayed in the image and not just the image itself.

This type of photography has many different purposes and reasons why it developed into photography that has a huge effect on the society today.  It records history of certain events or even just something small considered as a memory, it reveals the truth and shows reality.  It can be used to persuade people and also to express feelings that can’t be expressed by words.

Looking deeper into these purposes I found that documentary is abused today because it messes with ones feelings e.g. images taken at war or in rural countries  are used on billboards to persuade people.  Most of these billboards are campaigns that raise money for countries that needs help.  When you see an image of a little girl that you can see in her eyes how terrified she is without anybody to protect her you immediately sponsor money because you feel guilty about everything you have.  These images manipulate us to feel guilty and to have sympathy with the people in need.  Documentaries are not always negative; it helps us to understand the intenseness of certain situations when we are not able to experience it for ourselves.  It makes it possible for us to learn the history and to better understand where certain things come from.

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I found a few examples on documentary photography but one of them caught my eye because of the intense pain I experience when I look at the image.   This girl is in an awful situation.  You can see the pain in her eyes as if she has lost someone forever and she is holding on to one materialistic thing that will remind her of what has been before and now taken away from her.  You can see she is scared to take another step because she is uncertain of herself and terrified of what will happen next.  You can see form the dirt in her face she has been through a lot and I experience the intense pain when I look into her eyes.  It feels as if I am there with her in the situation and I can help her.  That is what documentary photography is all about:  It draws you attention in such a strange way that it actually feels as if you are part of that reality.       


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