Get inspired by these amazing documentary photography portfolio websites and discover how you can create a stunning portfolio to showcase your documentary photography projects.October 6, 2021
Reed Mattison is a photojournalist from southern Kentucky. His work focuses on family, regional cultures, and the environment. He graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in photojournalism and is currently based in Jackson, Wyoming.https://reed-mattison.format.com
Jonathan Frydman's photography is a mixture of portrait, performance, and documentary. Having gotten his start sneaking into hip-hop shows in South Florida, he immediately fell in love with photography. There was something alluring in where photography could bring him and the experiences he could share.https://jonathanfrydman.format.com
Cheney Orr was born in Arizona in 1990 and raised in New York City. His first long-term photo essay documenting his father’s struggle with early-onset Alzheimer's was published by The New York Times Lens Blog in January 2018. Further work has been published by VICE, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, VAGA Magazine among others. After living the majority of his life in Brooklyn, Cheney moved back to Arizona in 2019 to explore stories and current issues in the American Southwest.https://cheney-orr.format.com
Bernard Kalu (b. 1989) is a documentary photographer based in Lagos, Nigeria; his work is inspired by a passion to explore life and humanity. Photography is drawing with light and he's adopted it as a tool to not only tell stories but preserve today for the future. Bernard began working in photography in 2014, exploring street documentary and creative twists to wedding photography. He is a certified canon master storyteller and VII Academy Foundry alumni. Focus: Enviromental and Social issues.https://bernardkalu.format.com
James Deavin is a documentary photographer who loves working on projects he dreamed up himself, as well as on commercial projects with a creative team. James's photographic style is pretty loose nowadays and he tries to approach the subjects in a very straightforward way - probably because he shots on a large format camera for many years.https://jamesdeavin.format.com
Seif Kousmate is a self-taught photographer specializing in social issues who was born in 1988 in Essaouira, Morocco. After a career as a Project Manager in the civil engineering sector, he switched to photography as a new profession. Since then, he has been working on projects in Africa covering migration, youth, and slavery.https://seifkousmate.format.com
As much as photographing social issues can be a fulfilling component of documentary photography, don’t forget, it is only one aspect. Documentary photography can also capture happy events like weddings and family events. If you’re having difficulty finding those bolder and more provocative subjects, rather than forcing it, allow for natural inspiration. In other words, let the subjects come to you, and you’ll likely find those dream projects come up when you’re not expecting them.
Nicola Zolin is a photojournalist and writer interested in the social and environmental transformations at the borders of Europe, Middle East, and Asia. He explores how people in the world compete over natural resources and what freedom means for human beings, from youth to utopia-seekers, to migrants on the move looking for a better future.https://nicola-zolin.format.com
Isao Nishiyama Born in 1977, Isao is an editor, photographer and graphic designer from Tokyo and Fukuoka, Japan. He created and began publishing a visual magazine called “Studio Journal knock” in 2013, which features visits with artists all around the globe.https://isao-nishiyama-zocr.format.com
James Barkman is a photographer who draws much of his inspiration from the mountains and the sea. No stranger to the open road, his work, travels, and expeditions have taken him from the Arctic Circle to Afghanistan. His passion for honest storytelling and drive for genuine adventure has led him to work with a diverse and unique range of clients. A climber, motorcycle enthusiast, and writer, James is based on the Central Coast of California.https://james-barkman.format.com
Sandra Mickiewicz is a Polish documentary photographer who lives and works in London. In 2007, her family immigrated to the United Kingdom, where she started to develop her skills in painting and drawing. She discovered photography at the age of 15. Since that time, Sandra has used her camera as a tool to communicate with the world. She is drawn into very ordinary and conventional moments in our everyday life, which she documents by exploring portraiture and landscape photography.https://sandra-mickiewicz.format.com
Inês Gonçalves is a photographer and traveler focused on documentary photography projects, film and editorial work. From 2005, she conceived several documentary projects centered on the themes of migration and cultural identity, and, in this context, traveled for several months through India, Angola and Mozambique.https://inesgonsalves.format.com
Nelly Ating is a visual researcher whose body of work focuses primarily on deconstructing trauma in conflict and migration. She reimagines hardcore stories from a point that affectionately positions vulnerability as a powerful entity. Her work has been published on CNN, Premium Times, Vanguard, Thisday. She is a member of the Women Photograph, Girl Gaze, Black Women Photographers, and African Database for Photojournalist run by the World Press Photo.https://nelly-ating.format.com
No matter what your subject, when photographing documentary style, your goal should always be to let events play out as if you were not there. You don’t want subjects acting differently because they see you with a camera. You want to capture the natural essence of what would happen, whether you were present with your camera or not.
Giovanni Capriotti specializes in long-form post-documentary explorations that examine how time and the inevitability of compromise shape individuals, communities, history, culture, and the human condition. Through the integration of photography, moving images, audio, experiential prose, and personal testimonials, he strives to deepen his understanding of worldly affairs and the role of contemporary documentary practice.https://giovannicapriotti.format.com
Amr Alfiky is an Egyptian award-winning documentary photographer and filmmaker based in New York City. He studied medicine at Alexandria University in Egypt and assisted as a field medic during the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Shortly afterwards he began photographing and in 2013 Amr co-founded one of the prominent visual arts studios - Janaklees for Visual Arts, in Egypt.https://amr-alfiqy.format.com
As a native New Yorker Aaron had the privilege of being exposed to artist from all walks of life, from graffiti to Neoclassicism and everything in between. These interactions had a profound impact on him and led him, in his own right to become a multi disciplined artist. Aaron is an accomplished musician, sound designer, photographer, painter and programmer.https://aaron-nyc.format.com
Esther Sweeney is primarily focused on women, black people, identity, social issues, the culture, spirit of Africa and African people.https://esther-sweeney.format.com
Ahmed Qaid is a Yemeni American writer and photographer whose work explores the experiences of Arab and Muslim individuals living within contemporary America.https://ahmedqaid.format.com
When Jasmine Veronica first started her photographic practice, she only wanted to do portraits of people. Soon, she realized that she could use the camera to not only share her own personal struggles and life story, but can also debunk the stereotypes and negative representation given to black, plus size women.https://jasmineveronica.format.com
With all styles of photography, as a photographer, your goal is always to tell a story. This notion is especially true with documentary photography, which makes it the perfect opportunity to turn a singular project into an entire series. Whether it be similar subjects, ideas, or events, you can turn one project into a whole series that produces an entire story, or “documentary.”
Dan Bassini is a photographer in the New York City area specializing in digital and analog photography. He has released seven books within the "No Invite" series, and a new book: Cruel Summer, documenting six months under quarantine. His work has been displayed in many solo and group shows in the New York City area.https://danbassini.format.com
Wilhelm Philipp is an environmental, portrait and documentary photographer from Melbourne, Australia. His latest series looks into the relationship between life & death.https://wilhelm-philipp.format.com
Emile Holba is a portraiture and documentary photographer working with a range of clients from non-profit organizations through to commercial enterprise, and available for commissions worldwide. He has published two books – Generation Geilo: Portrait of a Community & We Teach Music, and a winner of British Journal of Photography 'Portrait of Britain' 2019 Winner.https://emile-holba.format.com
Maartje Strijbis (°1985) is an Amsterdam based portrait- and (conceptual) documentary photographer. From a young age she photographed everything with her grandmother's analogue box cameras. This way of recording and storytelling became intertwined with her musical- and performance practice; an eclectic mix of soundscapes, installations, performance interventions in landscape, photographic images – both analogue and digital, song and video.https://maartjestrijbis.format.com
Hannah Mornement is a Brighton based documentary photographer and began photographing professionally over 15 years ago. Her ethos, taken from fine art background, is to compose through the lens, using available light, recreating what is in front of her as closely and as ascetically as possible. With her passion for humanitarian and human-interest issues Hannah aim to produce work as a sensitive observer.https://hannah-mornement.format.com
After a career as an airline pilot at Air France, Valérie became a photographer. Her practice has been rewarded with numerous prizes and nominations in international competitions such as the "International Photographer of the Year" or the "Tokyo International Foto Awards". She has exhibited in Paris, Brittany and Tokyo. She is based in Paris, France. Her work is oriented towards three types of subjects. - Artistic and pictorial photography - Documentary travel photography - Architecturehttps://valerie-chauffour.format.com
Whether it be getting to a scene quickly, being able to navigate through crowds, or making yourself as invisible as impossible, you want to be as mobile as possible when shooting documentary style. Of course, you still want to use the highest quality equipment possible, but you need to balance this with mobility. Doing so will allow you to get the amazing shots that you might have otherwise missed.
Jamie Cameron is a freelance photographer, musician, time-wasting master-of-none living in North London. His photography and design work have been featured by such publications as The Guardian, The Times, Stereogum, DJ-Kicks, the BBC, Electronic Sound, Mojo, The Wire, The London Jazz Festival, The Line of Best Fit, The Fader, The Quietus, Bird on the Wire, to name a few.https://jamie-cameron.format.com
Raghav Goswamy is a photographer based out of India. His work is largely based on personal experiences and is honest to how he feels and tries to understand the space around him and the emotions that come with it.https://raghav-goswamy.format.com
Conor Beary is a London based documentary and portrait photographer. He has worked with clients such as New York Times, Vogue, Hunger Magazine, Mother London, Gup Magazine, Gieves and Hawkes and more.https://portfoliogppdrxb.format.com
Iris Kivisalu is a portrait and documentary photographer living in Tallinn, Estonia. She's studied journalism and sociology which both contribute to her unique style of melancholic beauty often paired with documentary storytelling found mostly in portraits and work with creatives. Her film-noirish take on photography has granted her numerous international collaborations up to Der Spiegel. Her work has also been published in The Guardian, Vogue, Life Framer and iGNANT.https://iris-kivisalu-ysgg.format.com
"Whenever I find myself standing with a piece of concrete reality in my hand, I like to observe it and disassemble it to reveal new imaginary scenarios." Emanuele (b. 1987) is a visual artist working mainly with photography. His personal and intimate narrative lies in between the conceptual and documentary approach. He currently lives and works in Italy.https://emanuele-camerini.format.com
Yezoi Hwang was born in 1993. She started photography under parents who obsessed overkeeping collections and records. She resonates stronger with personal historythan grand discourse. She unravels her story mostly through family and personalportraits.https://yezoi.format.com
As much as you are the storyteller as a documentary photographer, when you’re working in weddings, you have clients, and ensuring they are happy should be your number one priority. In order to do this, get to know your couple, so that you’re able to capture candid, special moments that they’ll cherish for a lifetime. For example, if you know the bride is particularly close with her grandmother, seek to capture moments between the pair.
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