Types of Photo Journalism – Reflection

The different types of photographic journalism and the styles which fall into the three main groups are completely different to my previous photographic experience. For the most part, my previous photography has been capturing images and moments that I liked the look of purely for aesthetic reasons, focusing more on the artistic side rather than news. The two ways that a photographic journalist would look at images was something that, previously, I had not considered.

The fact that the photograph can be the driving force behind a photograph and be the main subject, capable of telling the story without reading the word and portray the emotion of the story itself is an exciting concept. Photojournalists can also capture images to enhance what they or someone else has written, this is only to add to the copy, making the photographs less necessary to the actual reader.

The two main types of photojournalism are:

  • Editorial photography – using photos to illustrate the story with words the main focus
  • Photo Stories – using photographs to tell a story

The three main genres that fall into these categories are:

  • Documentary – photos of life unfolding (Social, industrial and street/candid )
  • Reportage – photos of events as they happen (War, politics, news and sport)
  • Editorial – photos that illustrate a story (Food, portraiture, fashion and pure illustration)

After looking into these I began to brainstorm ideas for a project and what form of photography would be the best fit for the stories I would come up with. For example, I’m passionate about the environment and the current situation of plastics littering the ocean. For this sort of story I feel as though going down the route of a ‘photo story’ would fit better, as the photographs captured could really convey the damage that plastic is doing to the ocean with the words assisting the photographs in spreading the message.

I will spend the next week looking into different story ideas, brainstorming the different styles I should use for each individual piece of content I may think of.


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