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Why Documentary Photography?

Updated: Jan 17

In the marketing world of portrait photography, client demand is currently being consumed by the ever so popular and growing 'lifestyle' trend. I remember shooting predominantly lifestyle in the early 2000's when posed and prop photography was still heavily relevant but overtime as more photographers and clients went on board with lifestyle, I feel it lost it's value.

The work I once used to produce could look like any other photographer who knew where the same field was or pretty garden location.. or maybe even the same street.

It got boring for me. There was nothing 'unique' or 'special' about lifestyle portrait photography any longer. I felt that any photographer could produce similar results if they knew the set up, location and lens used. It became sort of the new 'studio' for the 'outdoors'.

Needless to say, I moved on from lifestyle as I started to crave authentic and realistic work of everyday life. I discovered my love of documentary photography a handful years back after I gave myself permission to rest from the professional world of photography. I needed a break. I was burned out and needed more for my creative spirit.

I started studying the famous and timeless works of classic photographers; Henri Cartier Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Elliot Erwitt, Vivian Maier. These works were anywhere from 50 to 70 years old and were still very relevant in today's world.

I wanted to create work like that. Work that would remain timeless generation after generation. I wanted work that had depth and soul. I wanted work that could connect a stranger to the moment. I wanted so much more in my work than just to look at a pretty field with pretty dresses and think nothing more of it.

But did my clients want more?

The only way to find out was just to take the plunge. go for it! Educate the public about investing in timeless images. Bring awareness to the art of photography. Make them think about trendy -vs- timeless. Show them.

So that's what I did.

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