Reflection: Rethinking photographers

When I first started working within the industry I wanted to work in product advertising photography then moved into e-commerce photography which is very similar after fifteen years I realised that this was not what I desired anymore.

Published on the 14th October 2019

I am not sure that the general public tends to think about these sides of the industry that much, as they may not be seen as important as fashion photography and photojournalist.

A deeper look into photojournalism, which could be separated in the public eye. For example, the war photographer and the paparazzi photographer.

The public may look at a war photographer as someone who has had to risk their lives for their imagery, which will then be used by the media to show the public what is happening in war-torn countries. Paparazzi photographers over most of the world will be seen as vultures that are trying to get that scoop shot, showing the viewer the life of celebrities for tabloids and news reports.

Both the war photographer and paparazzi photographer could be seen as doing a similar job if not the same, they both document people in situations with or without consent for media release. They are seen very differently by the general public.  Personally, I feel that all of the above photographic practices, product advertising, fashion, photojournalism, are all related, they all are used for promotion, a product, a story, person or an idea.   

I can see that areas within the public view of photojournalism relate to part of my practices in photography, I tend to photography street photography and people. Which have always run through my works in one form or another, and still do. Which has an effect on my work for getting consent from people who are in projects and how the perceive the work that is created which they are part of, if not the centrepiece of. Some people might perceive street photography as invasive, paparazzi, but many people value it as telling a useful story or message.

The change in technology I embrace in some ways and reject in others. With the influx of camera phones, it has two effects on my street photography, allowing me to be discreet and compose a test shot up with the phone beforehand, as people tend to be oblivious when people point a camera phone at them. When shooting on larger format film people tend to stop and observe you. Mainly because of people not being used to seeing these styles of cameras that often anymore, they tend to notice them and pay more attention to you when you are trying to be discreet. In that way technology has hindered my practice. Overall, I embrace the developments within the technology even if I don’t use them in my practices as much.

Tending to shoot on film for most of my work that is not in the commercial area is a reaction to my day job where I use digital. I love the process which is more hands-on throughout and having something that is not instant, you have to spend more time on what you are creating. I spend very little time on post production. The result is a less manufactured and over processed, more real image. 

Image Source: Guzy,C,2019,Us-Soldier-protects-crowd-after-an-explosive-device-is-thrown-into-the-crowd,photography,accessed October 2019,
https://www.washingtonian.com/2011/07/27/behind-the-lens-carol-guzys-pulitzer-prize-winning-photography-full-screen-slideshow/

Image Source: Galella,R,1979,Al-Pacino-No_Pictures,photography,accessed October 2019, https://www.mbphoto.com/artists/88-ron-galella/series/other-works/7687