The story of the emergence of documentary photographs
Documentary photography is one of the directions of photography, which reflects the events that took place in reality. The goals of this trend are: the creation of a photographic document, which is evidence of genuine events, a document of a certain historical period, a message or a warning to contemporaries.
More recently, such a concept in the professional environment of photographers did not exist. Now it is understood as a kind of photography, showing events and phenomena of public importance. Such images are obtained using a deep immersion in the subject of shooting.
The appearance of documentary photography
The term itself was formed in the United States of America during the Great Depression. In the 1930s, a group of the American government instructed a group of photographers to take a series of photographs about rural life in the country. The goal was to display the life of an impoverished rural population without the use of artistic techniques. It was then that formed the basic principles of this genre, which are used today.
The bulk of the work relating to the classics of this trend was carried out after the invention and popularization of distance measuring and small 35-millimeter cameras. Professionals in the field of classical documentary photography recognized: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Eugene Smith, Harry Winogrand and William Eggleston.
Reduced demand for documentary photographs
After the end of the Second World War, the direction faced certain difficulties. Practically all the masters of this movement, such as: Diana Arbus, Eugene Smith, Mary Ellen Mark, William Klein, at that time worked alone or worked part-time, providing stories for famous illustrated magazines. Publishers sought to increase the demand for their magazines. In connection with this information orientation of periodicals has changed, they were less interested in documentary photography and specialists who worked in this direction.
Changed requests to provide photographs in the media. They had to meet the following criteria: be topical, colorful and attract the attention of the public.
Documentary photography today
Currently, publishers have the advantage of including stories and stories on various topics in their journals, they don’t want detailed reports full of photos. In this regard, photojournalism occupied the niche of documentary photography. The works of specialists in this area are now most often found in galleries, museums, books, photo albums. In periodicals such images are rare.