5 Reasons Why Documentary Photography Matters

Let’s keep this simple and to the point.

Documentary photography matters. And here’s 5 reasons why:

  1. The images communicate a story

Storytelling is as old as time, with the power of image capture we have the ability to savor the story line forever. What offers more storytelling than everyday life?  I couldn’t agree more with David Du Chemin: “If I could say everything with words, I wouldn’t have picked up a camera.” The photographs are genuine.  Why am I passionate about documenting families? The stories that create memories and happen on everyday basis, those moments are slipping away without any chance.  As much as we are aware of the fleeting time and the importance of our most common, yet most intimate times together we do not generally capture those to last.

  1. Creating meaningful keepsakes for future generations

Powerful way of preserving evidence of life as you know it. Future generations can find themselves fascinated with the way of life back then.  It happens in a time and place that is most comfortable and familiar for your family – your home, not in the middle of the autumn meadow waiting for the golden hour, not inside a studio where you are surrounded by umbrellas, lighting equipment and ‘interesting’ backdrops.  Your living room, your backyard, your favorite café, those are your backdrops with a meaning.  A matching outfit or the studio’s pretty sofa and their vintage rocking horse will tell you and everyone else NOTHING about your way of life.

Durango, Co

  1. Your story is worth telling

Documentary images have purpose and meaning. They are uniquely yours.  Even if I don’t know your story, you do.  You will recognize and appreciate the small moments and details surrounding you on daily basis and you won’t even realize how much meaning those details have until you look back at the photos.  Be it tomorrow or when you share with your Grandchildren.  The most common parts of your day are those we usually fail to notice yet those are the moments that are so important to us.  However routine based your average day is the life still remains unpredictable, children are unpredictable in ways only parents can dare to assume.  Capturing your real life pays attention to all the predictable and unpredictable, all the subtleties, without a script.

  1. Everybody is in the picture

You get to look at your life from another perspective and there won’t be anyone missing in the picture, literally.  Everybody’s in, even your dog who never seems to leave your side and even yourself, who is usually behind the camera creating images of everybody else.  If your family albums look anything like mine then they consist of motherless memories full of good times between Dad and the kids or the kids alone.  Whether you are a Dad or a Mom who always ends up taking the photos, don’t let that always be the case.  Get the true story recorded, not just for your kids but for yourself too.

  1. Ordinary parts of your day turned into art

Have you ever turned a favorite snapshot from your phone into a wall-art? Are you often able to or want to display photos of yourself with the family in the same image you took? Are you even a part of family photographs at the best of times?  It could be a simple tight hug you share with your little one dozen times a day documented from above or below, it may be the cheeky look you get from your loved one all the time, the look in your child’s face when he sees you after a nap or the siblings’ mischief when you’re not looking or perhaps the detail of those tiny toes tangled in a blankie that turns into an image you want to place on your wall to admire and treasure.








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