Three Amazing Documentary Photographs

Art & Photography

Documentary photography is probably my favourite type of photography because it tells a story of a world that is not your own in just one photograph. It’s intimate, beautiful, and powerful. Composition, lighting, context, and perspective is taken into consideration to capture an image to evoke emotion. It’s beautiful *flicks a single teardrop from eyes*

Here are three of my favourite documentary photographs:


V-J Day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt

A photograph taken in Times Square in New York, on Victory Over Japan Day. When he heard the announcement that the war between Japan and USA was over, the sailor grabbed a nurse nearby and kissed her.

“In Times Square on V.J. Day I saw a sailor running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn’t make a difference. I was running ahead of him with my Leica looking back over my shoulder but none of the pictures that were possible pleased me. Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse. If she had been dressed in a dark dress I would never have taken the picture. If the sailor had worn a white uniform, the same. I took exactly four pictures. It was done within a few seconds.”


Candy Cigarette by Sally Mann

This photo is of Jessie Mann, the photographer’s daughter. It’s both emotional and beautiful as it captures the raw reality of the awkward and complex transition from child to adult.


Photograph from the ‘Dead traffic’ series- Kim Thue

This photograph is from a series which documents dramatic slum life. It depicts the idea that innocent kids morph into criminals due to the harsh environment they are bought up in. This image is extremely powerful and intimate.



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