Emotional Photography

As I start to think about my final images I want to create, I start to think about what I want too portray through my images.

I want my images to be representations of emotion as I find emotional photography to be the most effective on myself as well as the different audiences that they include. I decided I needed to research into different photographers who focus on creating ’emotional’ photography to see the different techniques that they adopt to help them create a story.

One of the photographers that I stumbled across was editorial photographer Steve McCurry who specialises on documentary images which have a lot of emotional element to them.



I found McCurry’s work inspiring as it is a depiction of life that is unknown to many of the audiences. For example, the first image of a young boy holding a gun to his head was shocking to me as it is not something that I experience throughout my everyday life. The fact that the boy is upset created emotion within me as well as the use of the gun and high key lighting, which McCurry has used well to make a documentary image and a realistic photograph. The use of the boy’s dirty clothes is also an emotional aspect as it shows that not everyone has the same lifestyle that most of the audiences would be used too and therefore creates sympathy and sadness within them.

The second image creates a whole different kind of emotion. McCurry has created a black and white image, a typical method used within documentary photography. This image creates a range of emotions and depends on how different audiences respond to the photograph. For me I saw a Dr comforting a young child who may be sick and created a sense of happiness within me as I saw that the Dr was helping the child by making a joke and focusing on the fun rather than what he was there to do, a sense of fun that the child and his family are obviously responding too.




Steve McCurry focuses on different places, different people and different times which give us a sense of life that we may never have realised before. He has managed to capture some amazing people with a variety of values that are built up due to different circumstances, circumstances which we forget when we are living in our Western world. This is why I enjoy the work of McCurry and take inspiration from the rawness of his photographs, a rawness which I hope to bring to my own images.


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