Do photojournalists feel that they are "part" of the images they create. I refer to those news experiences where there is no control over the subject or lighting (beyond exposure and flash); rather than feature assignments where the setting and action are controlled by the photographer.

-- L. Millman (, December 16, 1999


Not unless you show up at the scene in cutoffs or t-shirt, three cameras, a camera bag, a vest with everything possible on it. It is possible to get pictures candidly. Only after the event is over and you ahve to get id information from the police do you really have to be part of the happening. However, if you are a tv news team, YES, everything they do is performance art, from standups, to mikes with "tin can" logos.

-- fred bunch (, December 12, 2000.

I was just reading an article on performance art and thought I would search the web to see if anyone has ever mentioned photography as performance art... I found only two sites on one engine..... interesting question no? I would present the idea that photographers are for sure part of the performance..... they are responsible for us "remembering" whatever it is they photograph (or in the case of digital "create").... this idea of " a distanced/objective photographer/participant" can no longer be taken seriously, photography is a subjective act in which the photographer is accomplice (whether consciously or unconsciously)... ever when as L. Millman states "where there is no control over subject or lighting" the photographer does have the final say: to take the picture or not to take the picture... to photograph the face of the burn victim or the solitary shoe that has abandoned its foot..... even if the photographer (in the case of the photojournalist may not direct what occurs infront of the lens, he/she certainly has power over what is transcribed photographically).

-- dasha (, July 16, 2003.

I appreciate the responses to my query.

In some situations, most notably demonstrations, the crowd 'comes alive' when the cameras come out. I have long experience with the subjects playing for the media, they often don't show their most vivid support or outrage until they know the moment is to be recorded.

When I worked in Israel the journalists had a (very) informal agreement that the cameras stayed in the bag, or car, until the demonstration (rock throwing, what ever) started. Granted a media savvy crowd recognized the opportunity and began the action, but still, it was them first, not us. We did not 'make the news.'

So, 'they' announce the demonstration in hopes of media attention, 'we' cover the event in hopes of a Pulitzer moment. We are part of the story.

-- L. Millman (, July 21, 2003.

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