My Critical Study Introduction

For this assignment I have to write a 3000 word essay/critical study, this post explains what my subject is that I have chosen to talk about.

Subject/Question – Whatever happened to the photo essay/story?

The points I will discuss will hopefully come together to draw up a conclusion as to how the photography stories have disappeared and why its happened, I think these bullet points will be good starting points to begin with. I will also discuss the impact that social media has had on this, and why the digital age has taken over, and how it has changed our way of thinking. During this study i will include my own work and why i base my work more to this subject.

  • Storytelling
  • Subject matter
  • Images only
  • Images with captions
  • Images with full text
  • Composition
  • Debate
  • Punctum/studium of images
  • Technology – added to decline

Photographers to look at –

  • Darcy Padilla
  • Marcus Bleasdale
  • Altaf Quadri
  • Eugene Richards
  • Martin Roemers
  • Alfonso Moral
  • Andy Spyra
  • Bevis Fusha
  • Steve McCurry
  • Don McCullin
  • Tom Stoddart
  • Eugene Smith

There are more photographers that I will research and add into my blog but here are a few I am going to cover within my research.


Altaf Qadri – The Lonely Mother – This story is about enforced disappearence, which is one of the most harrowing consequences of the armed conflict in Kashmir. This photo story follows a Kashmiri woman called Mughil. Her only son who was a teacher by profession, Nazir Ahmad Teli, left for school in 1991 and she never saw him again.


Marcus Bleasdale – Dijbouti – This is about how children are suffering for food and households are struggling in Dijbouti city.


Darcy Padilla – The Julie project A photo documentary of an AIDS patient she documented her life in 1993 – to when she ended her life.

Some of the books i will use for reference for my research

  • Susan Sontag – On Photography
  • Roland Barthes – Camera Lucida
  • Photography The Key Concepts – David Bates

I will be visiting the Conflict Time Photography exhibition on the 6th March – this will form part of my primary research.


6 thoughts on “My Critical Study Introduction

  1. I like your theme, you could also consider Diane Arbus’s work. There is alot to talk about here especially with discussing the effect social media has had on photography stories.

  2. Steph, this sound like a very interesting subject which grabs my attention. I feel you will have no problem gaining your word count with so much to discover. The social media aspect is an area will tie into the subject. this is also a very suitable essay for your style of photography.

  3. I think you have a strong idea in which you explore several areas of photography. I would be interesting to see how photojournalism does very much use photo stories however through different contexts.

  4. your interest in photojournalist images and style will really help you with this.
    you should try walking around Birmingham city centre as I think you will find a lot of interesting people to photograph there 🙂

  5. look at why the photoessay was so sucessfull to start with as that will lead you to its fall in popularity. I dont think the photoessay has dissapeared its worth has just been forgotten and is frequently used on the Biking site or Redbull Illume. maybe investigate where the photoessay could fit into modern life and how technology could help give it new life.

  6. I think this is a good subject its right up your street, there is so much you can consider writing about, many different areas of photography you can write about.

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