Documentary Photographers share their experiences

10 Photographers on what they’re doing to improve their skills as visual storytellers

I asked some of the photographers who have been interviewed in the Documentary Photography Review podcasts to share their thoughts and experiences in response to a series of 12 questions. (You can read the responses to last week’s question, and sign up to the DPR newsletter to be kept informed of future articles.)

This week I ask:

What are you currently doing to improve your skills as a visual storyteller?

[divider]Lewis Bush [/divider]

Absorbing everything I can.

Lewis Bush
I shoot, write, talk, curate, and teach about photography, journalism, history and art. Lecturer at the London College of Communication and run the Disphotic blog

[divider]Cinzia D’Ambrosi [/divider]

I am trying to be more confident in shooting video and working with audio. At the moment, I use audio for captioning my photographs.

I would like to add/explore the video dimension as part of a finished social documentary story.

Cinzia D'Ambrosi
Photojournalist and documentary photographer. My photography work is motivated by my desire to investigate, expose and stimulate public response seeking the potentials to change a path, to modify a legislation, to tell a story otherwise untold.

[divider]Jonathan Goldberg [/divider]

Looking all the time at influences within photography, art, current events and of course life. Experimenting with different cameras in order to inspire myself and develop.

Jonathan Goldberg
I am a London-based portrait and documentary and documentary photographer with 20 years of experience. In between my regular portrait and documentary commissions I undertake personal projects relating to issues that I'm passionate about.

[divider]Ingrid Guyon [/divider]

Taking notes, observe and collaborate with the subjects.

Ingrid Guyon
I have lived and worked as a photographer, community worker and photography facilitator in London since 2001 and graduated at the London College of Communication and Social Anthropology in 2006.

[divider]Eduardo Leal [/divider]

Trying different ways to tell the story other than the still image. Video, time lapses, audio, graphics. We need to look for other formats to engage with our audience.

Eduardo Leal
Eduardo Leal is a Portuguese freelance documentary photographer focusing on Latin America social issues and politics and Portuguese traditions.

[divider]Claudia Leisinger [/divider]

I am shooting more and more video, hoping to figure out how to combine stills & moving images in a way that works for me and is also beneficial for the story. I find these two disciplines very different in their approach, so it doesn’t come naturally. But I think overall I am profiting from the more “stilted” and controlled working method I am forced to adopt when filming.

Claudia Leisinger
At present I work as freelance portrait and documentary photographer, based in London. I have had my photos published in the Guardian, the Telegraph Magazine, the Big Issue, the NZZ newspaper and the Foto8 website, amongst others.

[divider]Tim Mitchell [/divider]

I’m not sure I’m doing anything to improve my skills other than purposefully putting myself out of my comfort zone and collaborating/talking with people from other specialisms and experimenting with my own. Perhaps rather than improving skills it is about finding the best ways to position yourself to experience and then translate or convey stories to others. How best to do this is a constant negotiation. I’m trying to find the best way to study and look at issues around our relationship with our surrounding environments and ecologies. And finding it quite difficult.

Tim Mitchell
Tim works as a photographer, artist and educator taking on photographic commissions, workshops and teaching within the UK. Often working collaboratively, his projects document our relationship with our surroundings.

[divider]Hannah Mornement[/divider]

I recently completed am MA at the London College of Communication. It is important to keep learning.

Hannah Mornement
Originally a painter, Hannah Mornement is now a freelance documentary and reportage photographer, currently based in Brighton. Hannah has focused on people, places and humanitarian issues and has had over 10 years experience within the humanitarian and development sector.

[divider]Lucy Piper [/divider]

Making friends with other, more established photographers in the area where I live, and working under their mentorship. They give me critical feedback, which is a very positive catalyst to work off.

Lucy Piper
Editorial & Documentary Photographer based in South-west UK

[divider]Roberto Zampino [/divider]

I read and look at other photographers’ work. I constantly organise workshops with my favourite photographers so that I can learn and share my views.

Roberto Zampino
I am a Sicilian photographer and filmmaker. I have been based in Italy, Cyprus and London working as a freelance photographer, commercial and photography teacher.

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