Documentary photography from here and there – What is it?

Although most photographers tend to specialize in one or two types of photography, we tend to take many other pictures. I’ve been travelling to places with the aim of doing some art photography but on the road, I took pictures that would not fit that category.

I’m also a peace and conflict researcher and travel for other reasons than taking photos. For instance, I go to conflict zones to try to understand what is going on and, when possible, of course, I take photos both to document what is often unique or historic scenes and to document my life.

Third, there are people, moments and milieus I want to preserve through photography because they are important to me but which I believe are also not too private to be useful or even enriching to others.

For instance, I go to art fairs and museums – and sometimes want to share what were wonderful experiences to me; and art exhibitions are only temporary, soon we only have images of them.

My dear mentor, Viggo Rivad (1922-2016) always said that photography is like saying “see what I have seen.”

Of course, people today travel much more and see for themselves – or they travel online (not the least after the Coronavirus) – but I may still see something they have not seen, or seen the same way.

So, fourth, there is the ever-present thing called history: I was there, then, I witnessed something. It was important to me. We record the moments that may, sometimes, never come again.

Documentary – is what I call those four activities.

For my documentary photography, I use the excellent Exposure platform which contains so much interesting photos and texts from around the world. I recommend a general, inspiring visit – so much creativity and sharing out there…

You may also go straight to my Exposure space with several photo and text series, or photo stories. I’ve been surprised that over the last few years it has received more than 200 000 visitors.

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