Documentary photography, especially news or war photography, isn’t for everybody. It’s certainly not for the squeamish. There’s the obvious — danger, death, etc., but there’s also the simple matter of having to photograph people who don’t want to be photographed. Even more important, quite often it’s to the photographer to show us things that we don’t want to, but need to see. The work is often shitty and the pay is worse. So why would anyone in the world do it?
I’ll let the photographers tell you in their own words.
One thought on “How to Shoot: Part 2 — It’s Not Always Beautiful”
The art of turning people’s misfortunes into art. That’s not as flippant as it sounds, but it’s true in these two cases. The photography comes first in other words, and getting that great comp is the prize. Being a photographer/artist, I agree with that completely. Is it justified? Hell yeah. If you can see it with your own eyes and recount the story to someone else, then the shot is justified. Is it disrespectful to others that you share their misery and make it something of beauty? Is it disrespectful to everybody else to have to be witness to it, and to have to live with the image of society’s mistakes? It’s a fascinating juxtaposition of social dynamics when you walk down any street. Street photographers just see between the spaces that everyone else pretends is not really there. Weegee was something else… 🙂