There is no doubt that documentary photography is a very interesting and creative art form. It is also one that often requires a great deal of skill, knowledge and understanding. Documentary photography has its roots in the field of journalism. It can encompass a wide range of techniques, from the classic still picture to moving images, but the ultimate goal of all documentary photographers is to tell a story through their images. As with all forms of photography, there are some differences between a photographer who documents their life, and one who is documenting a particular event, such as an anniversary, wedding or funeral. In the case of photojournalism, the camera is often there to record a specific moment in time, as well as to tell the viewer a story. The two are often confused, and this can lead to frustration and disappointment for those who are interested in either form of documentary photography. But, there are some basic similarities between the two, which should help you to distinguish between the two.
A documentary photographer may choose to document a particular moment in time. They might do this for personal interest or as part of their work. They might also be there to capture an event, which will be published later. The nature of a documentary image depends upon how the subject and the photographer come together. A documentary photographer will usually focus on a particular aspect of the subject, and will spend time with them and explore the area they want to photograph. They will then compose their picture, taking into account all the elements they have captured. They might use light, colour, depth of field, a particular setting, the inclusion of a prop, or other techniques to create the composition they want. In some instances, they might even ask the subject to pose. The subject, however, does not need to know what the photographer is planning to do. Sometimes, they might ask to be included in the finished image, while other times they might be asked to sit in a chair or position in front of the lens, and others may be asked to act out a particular scene. There are some subjects, however, that are not suitable for a documentary style. For example, a couple having sex, an animal with its young, and a pregnant woman are not suitable subjects for a documentary photographer. It is possible to ask the subject to pose in these cases, but the photographer may be disappointed with the results.
Documentary photographers are sometimes called photojournalists. This is because they are there to record a particular moment in time, as well as to tell the viewer a story. They may carry a camera and shoot pictures of the event they are covering, although they might also be there to shoot an interview or talk to a member of the public.
Photojournalism is a term that is sometimes used to describe a photographer who is present at a particular event, and is shooting pictures to be published in a newspaper or magazine. The photographs might be used to illustrate the story, or to document the event. These photographs might be taken in the same style as a documentary photographer, and will be composed using the same elements as a documentary photographer, such as a particular background or the inclusion of a prop. However, unlike a documentary photographer, the main focus of a photojournalist will be the content of the image, rather than the composition. This will often be the result of the events, and the story they are trying to tell. This means that a photojournalist will be more concerned with the subject of the image than with the lighting, location or other photographic technique.
A photojournalist who is working on a story might ask his subjects to take part in the shoot, for example, to act out a scene. These can be used as a basis for the final photo, but if the subjects are not comfortable they might ask to be replaced by others. They might do this if they have been paid to be a model, and they are not interested in the story being told.
A photojournalist who is covering a story might take a series of photos, which will later be edited into a single image.
A photojournalist will use the same technique and equipment as a documentary photographer, but will be more concerned with the story they are telling than the style of the shot.
The most successful photojournalists will take many different types of photos, including candid shots, portraits, close ups and action shots.