Looking for a Good Photography Documentary? Check These Out!

If you want a solid photography documentary, check what we’ve got below!

If you’re passionate about photography, then it’s likely your interest goes beyond the practical aspect of the craft. Your love leads you to consume: other photographs, photo books, tutorials, and the like. A well-made photography documentary is popular with budding photographers and seasoned pros. Thanks YouTube, there are plenty of photo docs you can invest your time in, and gain inspiration and education along the way. Let’s take a look.

1. Abstract: The Art of Design

As part of the series, this particular episode focuses on the work of portrait photographer, Platon. The episode is a much-needed insight into the work that happens beyond the camera. Platon expertly demonstrates the power of human empathy and rapport. From the weird world of celeb to the heartbreaking story of abuse, Platon gives a masterclass on how to get the best out of your subject. It’s a fascinating watch, and one that should appeal to all types of photographers.

2. National Geographic Photography Documentary

Ask any travel photographer or photojournalist what their dream gig is, and almost all of them will say working with Nat Geo. From Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl to Sarah Leen’s photo of Cassandra Wheatley, Nat Geo has been the epicenter of some of our most iconic photographs. In this 50 minute documentary, the photographers themselves share what it takes to reach that level. From what makes a good photograph, to how to photograph with dignity, this doc has it all!

3. Everybody Street

Everybody Street was directed by Cheryl Dunn. Released in 2013, it looks at the growth of street photography in NYC. In this 90-minute photography documentary, Dunn focuses her attention on the masters. For anyone wanting to learn more about street photography, this will give you what you need. Not only does it cover the technical aspect of the genre, it also shines a light on the emotional elements. It’s an inspiring documentary and a must-watch for everyone!

4. The Man Who Photographed 9/11

The 9/11 attack is the most talked-about moment in modern history. Many photographers were out on that tragic day. 19 years later, most photographers working now have no clue what it feels like to work in such circumstances. (Hopefully, they never will.) World-famous Steve McCurry was there, and in this 30-minute photography documentary, he retells his story of photographing the attack. Emotional and educational, it’s a fascinating watch.

5. The Camera at War – Photography Documentary

War photography is the most challenging genre of all. Each decade, brave photographers put their life at risk so the world can be shown its reality. The Vietnam war lasted for 10 years, and this one-hour special focuses on the death and destruction that unfolded. Produced by the BBC, the show’s producers speak with experts as they look as some of the most iconic imagery of that time. If you’re impacted by images of violence and suffering, this one’s not for you.

Your Favorite Photography Documentary?

What photography documentary do you most enjoy watching? Which are the most influential that you feel can educate and entertain other photographers? We would love to know! Let us know in the comments below so we, and our readers, can get even deeper into the world we love!

Dan Ginn

Dan Ginn is a content writer and journalist. He brings with him five years' experience writing in the photographic niche. During that time he has worked with a range of leading brands, as well as a host of professional photographers within the industry.