Changes are happening at a rapid pace, and it isn’t just photojournalists snapping photos as evidence of the changes we see happening around us. Citizen journalists are taking up documentary photography and stepping outside of their comfort zones to create projects that document history. No special tools are required. Just a camera and the one on your phone is likely good enough. All you need is the narrative you want to convey, then go out and about and take the shots to construct a narrative. The more photos you have, the better a story your photos can relay to future generations.
The purpose of picture framing is preservation.
When you put together a collection of documentary photos, you can curate them into albums. Depending on the volume of photos you take, or the amount you need to tell your story, some can be curated in a photo book with the most striking portrayed within a multi-aperture photo frame. A single frame can contain as many as 25 photos. Enough to create a historical piece of photography.
What if you have more?
Gallery walls don’t need all the photos to be hung on a wall. You can create many types of art installations, even in small spaces. A single multi-photo frame hung on the wall with shelves on either side and perhaps a side table placed below the larger frame would create space to include more photos. Some could be on shelves as a leaning art installation, with a photo book presented on the table below the wall hanging for viewers to flick through pages of history.
What changes do you see happening around you?
Are there forestations being ripped down? Old buildings, or even schools and college campuses being turned to rubble to make way for new housing developments? How about windfarms? Before, during, and after photos are powerful documentary photo stories that will be talking points for future generations. The changes of today and yesterday are history in the making. Taking photos of the current changes is what will be history years from now. Even on social media today, you can see people sharing photos from the 1960s -a bygone era that would be hard to imagine without the photos to show the true depictions.
The photos and art that you create today are what can be passed down to future generations. They can be educational, creative, artistic, and importantly, documentary style. With the rise of AI, when we see photos now, more of us are questioning if a photo is real or if it’s AI-generated. When you print your photos, or order prints, once you have them, a good idea will be to write on the reverse of the print (or the back of picture mounts in a photo frame) details of when and where the photo was taken for archival purposes.
You could even record the details of the device the photo was taken with, which wouldn’t be a bad idea considering new models of smartphones can turn frowns upside down, altering the facial expressions of people in photos. Not something you want to be happening when pursuing a documentary photography project. Keep the focus on realism and frame true historical photos.