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Documentary photography is a type of photography that follows a single story or topic comprehensively over time, as opposed to photojournalism’s real-time coverage of breaking events and news. By understanding stories of injustice, you can capture the attention of your audience with your images. However, it is not the easiest form of photography since it calls for a specific set of skills. Here we will be looking at the top 3 tips that will help you ace documentary photography with flying colors.
1. Do Some Research
Before doing anything, hit your local library or the internet to gather all the crucial information related to your subject. Before heading out to shoot, you must familiarize yourself with the topic that you are planning to tackle.The research will give you a good understanding of the subject, which in turn will help you come up with creative ideas.
2. Keep it Natural
Documentary photography is usually all about naturally-occurring events, or real-life reportage. However, it may also be an artistic, amateur, or educational pursuit. To maintain the ‘natural’ effect, get into the life of your subject’s and capture what comes naturally and what just happens. Avoid creating something that is not part of them, but just be there when something important happens.
3. Capture the Essence
Documentary photography is all about telling stories through emotions and faces. So be prepared to shoot a lot of close-ups that will accentuate the subject’s surroundings or the environment. Exhibiting your subject’s face, particularly the eyes, will help you narrate a story and also give your audience a chance to talk about a lot of things, which is one of the main purposes of this type of photography. Remember to take permission from the subject before taking their close-up shots.
With patience and practice, you will soon be able to master the art of storytelling through documentary photography.