Jen Buchanan (Banned)
By Jen Buchanan 1194 days ago

Week five to Week Seven - VANCOUVER


At this point, you should have a solid understanding of the photographic medium and have practiced this artform quite a bit. You have kept your eyes open on trips and around the host cities to find stories to tell from observation.

Now is a great time to think more deeply about what stories you observe and care about, how you interact with them as a photographer, and what type of photography you are inclined to do.

Observational Photography

I endeavor to claim that all of us practice observational photography on our travels, meaning we create images of real life witnessed. A couple different approaches to or types of observational photography are street photography/portraituredocumentary photography, and photojournalism. What do you think the differences are across these three approaches?

Consider these three approaches to photography and make a list of what you think the difference is between them:

1) Street Photography

2) Documentary Photography

3) Photo Journalism


Do you agree with their breakdown of each? Comment on this photo album any affirmations or changes you would like to contribute to this definition at TGS.


It doesn't do much good to only sit and talk about which style you think you like. It's time to take to the streets and experiment with your camera (or iPhone) to better understand what and how you are inclined to capture. Decide upon your goal for the outing.  Will you try to find one story and create a sequence of images? Or will you endeavor to find something of a more journalistic nature to cover honestly and objectively? Use the definitions above and below to recall the difference.

I've provided some good resources or pointers to consider for each of these three categories:

Street photography/portraiture

If you plan on approaching street photography/portraiture, please read this blog post (and leave a comment about Brandon's process). It's important that you think through how he operates, so as to not find yourself awkward on the streets. Mentally prepare for engaging with people you find.

Documentary photography

Take a look at this article of resources and images for documentary photography to get a better sense of this storytelling approach.


Listen to Pharell Williams interview Spock to better understand the difference between fine art photography and photojournalism.