Photojournalistic Style...What is It?...Truth Seeker Images Story Portraits/Brisbane Photojournalistic Photography

Photo displayed is by Taslima Akhtar, called 'Final Embrace'  which was shot in Bangladesh and shows a couple who were found buried in the Rana Plaza building collapse where garment factories were situated. World Press Photo Awards Exhibit, Brisbane Powerhouse - June 2014.  Photo by Kerry Warnholtz.

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliott Erwitt

Have you ever read about a photographer having a 'Photojournalistic Style'?  Do you really know what that means and if so, are you a fan?  You may have seen this description of a photographer's style for weddings. It seems to be a popular catchphrase in photography that's developed recently.

Basically, if you didn't know what that is, a Photojournalistic Style of photography, is a style based on photojournalism, and the way a photographer strongly portrays moments and emotions, where the story or narrative is the main focus of the image.

If you look closely at the image at the top of page, you'll see that the photograph of the couple in embrace has captured a tragic moment.  The image evokes extreme emotion that moves.  It's not about a 'pretty' picture or people looking their best.  It's about capturing the raw and the natural that is at the heart of the image.  It has a certain authenticity about it.

A photojournalistic style of photography can be described as 'arthouse' , and images have an artistic feel to them. Photo:  'Bar Alto', bar and restaurant, Brisbane Powerhouse. Photo by Kerry Warnholtz

Photo: 'Bar Alto' in B&W

So does a photojournalistic style appeal to you?  What about when it comes to portraits and weddings? As a photographer who is studying Photo Media as my photography major, I really love this style.  I think that if you photograph people, to really capture personal moments which are unique to your clients, you need to be able to recognise and draw out their authenticity in a way that doesn't seem too contrived.

Even with themed or styled shoots, the objective is to place your clients in an environment, location or setting that your clients have a certain connection to.  This will more often than not, create authentic emotion derived from their connection and imbued feelings.

Images are often in black-and-white, but not always.  And photojournalistic style is very much about the photographer's own artistic sense and how they choose to accentuate that through composing their image and post-editing.

So if you'd like to incorporate a mix into a portrait session or wedding, then let me know.  Photojournalistic style can be used especially well to document different stages of a wedding or event where candid moments are the focus, such as the reception and moments leading up to and beyond the main formal parts, i.e. ceremony, formal group shots.  

It also works well for less formal portrait sessions where the story is central. Like a portrait session documenting a simple and personal ritual that you might enjoy as a family, such as you and the kids making pancakes on a Sunday or just kicking around at home.

But with most portraits and weddings, a mix of photography works best.  It's great to get your candid shots. But it's also important that photographers still capture traditional shots which will often end up as centrepieces on walls and are images that family and relatives always seem to want for their own keepsakes and will treasure the most!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on photojournalistic style of photography.  Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Kerry XX

Gallery Above:  Images by Kerry Warnholtz taken at Brisbane Powerhouse and World Photo Press Exhibit & Brisbane Street Photos


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