Photography

11 Documentaries Every Photographer MUST Watch.

Why watch documentaries? They are boring. Well, practicing isn’t enough. In order to build your skills, you must regularly browse through the works of your influencers through their websites, social media, and educate yourself about the history of the craft.

French-American author Mireille Guiliano wrote, “Garbage in, garbage out.” Unless you are exposing yourself to the work of the masters in your field, you will hardly ever improve. The quality of image you consume on a day to day basis will have a direct effect on the quality of photographs you produce. If you look at artists who expertise in post-processing, you will naturally be inclined to that genre of work. If you regularly browse through the work of documentary photographers, your taste will vary accordingly.

It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out or have already spent decades mastering your craft, exposing yourself to different genres of work remains the fundamental necessity for improvement. You have the liberty to choose what you want to imitate from your heroes, but what I have found is that having more than a couple of heroes who are doing completely different kinds of work, and regularly imbibing the work that they put out in the world into my psyche has made me the unique individual I am. Blindly following one single mentor is the surest way to a disaster – you are not them, and everything that they do will not work out for you.

For this same reason, I have curated a list of 11 documentaries that you can watch to gain exposure. Although I made this list keeping in mind what a photographer might find interesting, everyone can dive into this list for entertainment as well as knowledge.

List of documentaries:

FINDING VIVIAN MAIER

Release Date : March 28, 2014

Rating : 7.7/10 (IMDB)

Language : English/ French

WAR PHOTOGRAPHER

Release Date : November 2001

Rating : 8/10 (IMDB)

Language : English/ German/ French

BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK

Release Date : March 16, 2011

Rating : 7.9/10 (IMDB)

Language : English

CHEVOLUTION

Release Date : 2008

Rating : 6/10 (IMDB)

Language : English/ Spanish

BROKEN CAMERAS

Release Date : March 30, 2012

Rating : 8/10

Language : Arabic/ Hebrew

MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPE

Release Date : June 13, 2007

Rating : 7.3/10 (IMDB)

Language : English/ French

THE MEXICAN SUITCASE

Release Date : November 11, 2011

Rating : 7.9/10 (IMDB)

Language : Spanish/ English/ Catalan

THE SALT OF THE EARTH

Release Date : October 15, 2014

Rating : 8.4/10 (IMDB)

Language : English/ French/ Portuguese

VISUAL ACOUSTICS

Release Date : October 9, 2009

Rating : 7.5/10 (IMDB)

Language : English

SMASH HIS CAMERA

Release Date : January, 2010

Rating : 7/10 (IMDB)

Language : English

ABSTRACT – PLATON | PHOTOGRAPHY

Release Date : February, 2017

Rating : 8.4/10

Language : English

Have you seen any of these documentaries or movies? Drop a comment below.