Using Photography to create emotions by telling stories.
My love for the medium of documentary photography comes from how it attempts to draw the viewer into a particular story. This is undoubtedly an art, something that can take one year's to perfect and master. Over the centuries there have been many 'masters' of this genre, too many to name here, but amongst some of my favourites are Irvin Penn, W.Eugene Walker, Mary Ellen Mark, Margaret Bourke-White, Gordon Parks, right up to more contemporary artists such as Pieter Hugo and Lynsey Addario. Each of these photographers(and others) demonstrate the persistent authority that photographers have always relied on – that a camera allows you to step into communities and situations and take a look, while also stepping back, reflect and comment. Contemporary documentary photography is not a unified form, but neither is it a defunct or endangered area of photographic practice. It's merely that its contexts, visual styles and the motivations of the photographers are various. The dissemination of contemporary documentary photography now relies on many settings and is spread between magazines (its traditional environment), books and art galleries.
It's been said many times, that a photograph can communicate a story much faster than words ever can. With our growing impatience for getting to the fact or heart of a subject, within a blink of an eye, photography has become an ever more critical artery to how we digest our news and information. Therefore, the paramount importance of documentary photographers and visual storytellers alike is that we should adhere to the fundamentals of reportage photography, one that is ethical and above all genuine.
I found this new this new program in the US which aim's to continue the practice of excellent documentary photography and the importance of the genre documenting the once prosperous Detroit, and it’s now rebirth, cultivating a community of photographers who can tell the untold stories of a people on the up again.
I love the idea of bringing photographers together, with all their idiosyncratic notions and outlooks, but all working with same agenda and perspective, these results can be powerful, building a project that celebrates the city, but just as importantly draws viewers in from the outside into their particular story. Photography as the power to do this, any one image has the potential to do this, be the catalyst for change and for good.
You can check their work and project here: https://www.documentingdetroit.org/