age fotostock photographer Jan Sochor artfully captures the social and cultural situation in the streets of South and Central America with a beautiful combination of composition, emotion and expression.

Documentary photography is a very powerful and narrative form of image-making that faithfully captures the reality of a situation in order to tell a story and send a message.


There are very different forms of documentary photography: images taken candidly at events capture the moments that mark the event special, sports photography document the game or race as it happens, while street photography immortalizes instances of everyday life in the streets.

Social documentary photography is a branch of photojournalism that focuses on documenting the day-to-day of a community, with the aim of drawing attention to ongoing and social issues, usually of the underprivileged or disadvantaged. The communication through emotions generated from this kind of photographs can be very impactful.


Some questions to ask when shooting documentary photography are: Does the photograph truly represent its subject? Why is this moment significant and how is it a symbol of a larger issue at hand?


A good social documentary photographer captures scenes as they happen naturally, in their environment, in order to produce truthful and objective images.

It is necessary to look at the big picture in order to accurately portray the environment and the setting of an occurance.


Similarly, it’s important to draw attention to details that can usually give unspoken information about a character or a place and add impact to telling the story.


Most essentially, each image or series of images should tell a story with an intention. This would be what is ultimately transmitted to the audience and what would provoke a reaction. These techniques, combined with a good eye, a compelling story and a unique visual style is what turns documentary photography into a form of art.


See more social documentary photos by Jan Sochor here.