Learn More About Documentary Photography 

Photographers often turn their lens toward disenfranchised or struggling areas to raise awareness about inequity and unfair policies. Photographer Paccarik Orue moved to San Francisco in 2008 after struggling for a handful of years in Miami, Florida as a recent immigrant to the United States. Far from his birthplace in Lima, Peru, Orue found solace in and forged a connection to some of the Bay Area’s most neglected areas: Bayview-Hunter’s Point and the city of Richmond.

Paccarik OrueAnnelise Wunderlich | KQED Education

From 2009-2011, Orue photographed residents and structures in Richmond for his book titled, There Is Nothing Beautiful Around Here. “Because of my own immigrant experience, I seek communities that may be struggling and experiencing things that I can relate to because of my background,” Orue said.

Photojournalist Matt Black wanted to capture images that represented income inequality. His photo essay “The Geography of Poverty,” featured on The Global Oneness Project website, highlights a California community in Tulare county that suffers from a lack of water and infrastructure. How do these images convey the challenges this community faces? Does the use of black-and-white photography affect the impact of the images? How or why?

Ken and Melanie Light spent five years documenting communities in California’s Central Valley, capturing “manifestations of the lack of any sustainable or sensible water policy.” In the Central Valley, water is a major political issue with some businesses controlling more than their share, and improper farming practices have led to birth defects, among other challenges that have negatively affected farm workers and their families.

Sebastiao Salgado_webSebastião Salgado photo exhibition Genesis at National Museum of Singapore

 

Sebastiao Salgado, featured in this TED Talk, is another photographer who highlights disenfranchised communities through photography, creating gorgeous landscape and portrait photos that, upon closer examination, often highlight problems. He has captured some of the most poverty-stricken areas in the world, and some argue that creating beautiful photos of tortuous places can have a negative affect. These critics feel that making beautiful images of human suffering can encourage a sense of voyeurism rather than empathy.

A Christian Science Monitor article about Salgado’s work references a critical essay:

“In an influential 1991 New Yorker essay, Ingrid Sischy wrote of his photographs: ‘[T]his beautification of tragedy results in pictures that ultimately reinforce our passivity toward the experience they reveal. To aestheticize is the fastest way to anesthetize the feeling of those who are witnessing it. Beauty is a call to admiration, not to action.”


Learn More…

LESSON PLAN: Citizen Photojournalism (Global Oneness Project)
California has the highest poverty rate in the country. A widespread epidemic in the U.S., poverty affects health, access to education, homelessness, unemployment, and food security. This lesson plan examines how the photojournalism of Matt Black captures this reality, and how social media platforms can raise awareness about social issues.

ARTICLE: The Complex Life of ‘California’s Heartland’ On View at SF City Hall (KQED Arts)
This article describing the Valley/El Valle photo exhibit at San Francisco’s City Hall highlights the work of photographers who strive to capture the humanity of California’s Central Valley.

ARTICLE: The Salt of the Earth Does Justice to Sebastiao Salgado’s Life and Art” (The Christian Monitor)
In this film review, the author writes about how Sebastiao Salgado’s photography has captured some of the world’s most remote and tortuous locations, but claims that the film doesn’t really acknowledge the criticism his art has faced.

VIDEO: Collecting Life’s Remnants with Nigel Poor (KQED Art School)
Nigel Poor’s activity ideas about photographing discarded items in your daily travels can help highlight the identity of a community.

How Can Photographs Help Create Social Change? 24 August,2017Kristin Farr

  • Lauren Rhude

    I believe one thing that is quite unfair in today’s society is being homeless. No one deserves to live out on the streets and many resort to drugs to forget the hard life they live. I do believe sharing pictures online could potentially make a difference. Everyone is already aware homelessness is a problem, now we just have to do something about it, but what? Once people live life like that, can they return to the normal society? #DoNowPhoto #MyCMSTArgs @KQEDedspace
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5ff651e8de86582cf2e37812dbe40eeba65556e8b02a40b99320d4b4261ff775.jpg

    • Kim Cuong Nguyen

      I agree! Photographs help society see the problems often overlooked. It provides a new insight into such issues. Homelessness is a major problem in our society. Photographs can help raise awareness for the homeless, which could motivate people to prioritize decreasing homelessness through community programs, state level resolutions, etc. Photographs raises awareness for other issues in society as well. Photography is very important because it allows the public to see what is often ignored. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowPhoto

      • bgirl272

        This is very true. I hadn’t thought about how photos with messages are often on tough issues that aren’t exposed as much as they should be. Using this form of art is a great method for those who prefer this way of conveying a message on a difficult subject.

    • Erica Marie

      I do agree homelessness is a problem and it is extremely difficult to get off the streets once you have entered that lifestyle, but I disagree with the idea that once they are homeless, they start using drugs to “forget”. In fact I believe most people living on the streets got there because they were already using drugs. Drugs to such an extreme extent that their loved ones were forced to leave them behind, to actually give up on them. I think a step in the right direction would be give interventions with the homeless that are abusing substances, and try to reunite them with their families. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowPhoto

      • Lauren Rhude

        I agree that a lot of homeless people start drugs before they are homeless and that could contribute to why they are homeless but I also think that in some cases they continue doing drugs to forget the hard life they live and because they don’t have the necessary resources to detox or to get help detoxing. #DoNowPhoto #MyCMSTArgs

  • Kim Cuong Nguyen

    Photographs does help raise awareness by providing an unfamiliar view. Brandon Stanton, a photojournalist behind Humans of New York, captures the everyday people through the streets of New York and provide mini interviews of the people in his photographs. The little excerpts beneath every photo gives his viewers a sense of familiarity for the stranger in the photo. Sometimes these stories holds a viewpoint that is uncommon, so the photographs that Stanton puts up provide different outlook to different aspects of life and society. Another example where photographs really affected the mindset of the mass was the photograph of the Vietnam War. Before, the common consensus regarding war is positive. War was deemed honorable, and the true horrors of war was set aside. This notion resulted because people had no idea how war was like. The only thing the public knew about war is that it was to protect their government and themselves. However, this notion changed when the Vietnam War happened. Photographers captured the true essence of war in Vietnam — the horrific acts that was done to another country’s citizens. Photographs like Napalm Girl was released to the public, and this increased the public disapproval regarding the Vietnam war. The photographs showed what it was like. Photographs help make people understand others’ stories and viewpoints. Photographs can even changed the public’s viewpoint regarding war. Photographs raises awareness for social, international, domestic, etc issues by letting people see what others’ experienced. #DoNowPhoto #MyCMSTArgs http://www.humansofnewyork.com/ http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/10/power-of-photography/draper-text

    • Lauryn L.

      I like your first sentence, “Photographs do help raise awareness by providing an unfamiliar view.” A lot of people view things from a lets say ‘censored’ point of view. It makes it less emotional and painful to look at. However, when photographers release photos that are not ‘censored’ it creates an image in peoples minds that they never would of thought of.
      #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowPhoto

  • Ben LI

    Photograph could raise awareness about an issue if it is share and went viral through multiply social media platform. The image must be powerful and meaningful. If the image has a strong message people who want to know about the context. People on social media platform also care about image if it is a dank meme or if it is posted by a popular internet celebrity. If the image is powerful enough people would care and try to make a difference.

    • Erica Marie

      I agree but I must add it also has to do with the viewer itself. There are many people in the world who think homeless people are homeless because it is their fault, and drug addicts are addicts because they chose to do the drug in the first place. As a society we must shape our viewpoints on major issues so that we WANT to fix the problems because all the problems in some way come back to effect us, not leave the problem for the person themselves to fix. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowPhoto

  • starsfromabove

    Could sharing your image on social media make a difference?

    Yes, I think it could make a difference because we live in a social media based society and posting pictures on a large internet platform will open up opportunities of being discovered by a larger organization in which help can be provided to develop larger projects. For example, many models are being discovered online from Instagram and they are given an opportunity to join large modeling agencies. If you are informed of your talents by a larger, more powerful source, it may make you realize that you have a unique quality that no one possesses.

    • Thomas

      I have noticed that a lot of people are being discovered thanks to photos they share on social media. Many people I know who get paid from body building and models that I have met were discovered on Instagram or other media sites.

  • Julian Kirk

    I believe sharing pictures on social media makes a big different especially if you have people who already follow you or you have people willing to spread the word. The effect would depend heavily on the context of the image but I do think it is a good way to spread a message or get through to people.

    • bgirl272

      I definitely agree! Everyone has social media accounts and that’s where we get the bulk of our information. In our fast pace society it is only logical that powerful images are used as a fast way to get information our there in an efficient way.

    • Karla

      I agree that most images are more powerful when they are exposed to more followers that to fewer. #MyCMSTArgs

  • bgirl272

    Images on social media are a way to spread a message extremely quickly. Powerful images have always been extremely successful in conveying important messages throughout history, and in these days it is even more efficient. With increasingly fast lifestyles, people often get the bulk of their information on social media, and in the quickest way possible. People are intrigued by photos, and often go to them in place of the time it takes to actually read something. Photos are a great way to get information and opinions out there. http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread565919/pg1

    • Maddie Barraza

      I agree that people might not read the whole story and just look at the photo. We need to understand the importance of the whole context. Looking at something, and not knowing what it means can cause even more confusion at times. #DoNowPhoto #MyCMSTArgs

  • Erica Marie

    I definitely agree social media is an excellent way to spread awareness about something. Especially in the year 2016, it is hard for people to stay away from all forms of technology, and even harder for society members to see the world in a different lens other than their own. But with so many people in the world, it would be easier if big celebrity/political figures used their fame to show images that would really hit home for the common person. Then again there are ways that certain things can go viral to bring light to a normally dim situation people would rather turn the other way when talked about. Recently a photo from a police department went viral when 2 adult parents were seen passed out from meth while their 4 year old child was strapped in the backseat of a vehicle. This sparked major outrage and led to people demanding answers, how did it get this bad? Drug abuse, homelessness, sexual assault, and so many more things can be brought to light with social media. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowPhoto

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ab1516bc69270976dfeacb30a8ef663e88a76b4d435ce398e412f57a5b9c68dd.jpg

    • Jodi DeMassa

      I agree that although when people post photos on social media, it doesn’t spark as much discussion as when a celebrity does it. On any given social media, there is some access to knowing what’s going on in the world, of disastrous situations, and scary ones too. I also agree that the internet is weird in the way that just a few select people have made an issue or topic viral. Either way, I believe that photographing unjust situations helps promote discussion about whatever it is that need the most reform. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Yashar C.

      Woah.. This is a powerful image. What do you think would be the solution to at least reduce the issue of drug abuse in America? #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowPhoto.

    • Lauryn L.

      This picture is insane! I agree that some photos may be hard to look at but it spreads awareness of things that are truly going on. I used the example of celebrities sharing images and campaigning in my post. I feel like celebrities and social media are the biggest impact due to their wide variety of followers. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowPhoto

    • Maddie Barraza

      You make a really good point, photos do bring some light to a situation. After seeing something with their own two eyes, people are going to want to demand answers.#DoNowPhoto #MyCMSTArgs

    • hayleyhibbens

      I completely agree that social media is a very valuable tool in bringing light to certain situations. I think the photo that you chose to share was very powerful!

    • Alisha

      I really like your example. It gives a story to an issue. FOr example, a lot of people know that “drugs” are a problem, but aren’t encouraged enough to learn more or find out what kind of issues it entails. However, the second a picture like this pops up on Twitter, everyone is concerned. However, do you think it’s the shocking story or the picture itself that inspires people to want change? Sometimes I think it’s a shocking story on its own that can do the trick… but the visuals definitely help. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Rigoberto Lomas-Velazco

      This image evokes a variety of emotions. Child abuse is discussed everyday but its not until you see the images of a child being neglected by irresponsible parents. Which in itself can also be a problem. If people don’t get the full impact of a problem like child abuse or neglect until they see an image of a child in that situation. I just feel like that could cause a problem with prevention efforts.

  • Rigoberto Lomas-Velazco

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c1b3bebe37655f19061eda998578bb3bdf0e7457cc79c8b1e95dee2cfe6fd7c0.jpg
    This image is very important to me because it is of my parents hometown in mexico. I used to go to Mexico every December when I was younger. The town is very small and full of poverty. As a child I wasn’t able to understand the conditions that those people were having to deal with at the time. I just saw the pretty face the town put on every December when the tourists went to visit. But as I grew older and was able to spend a year there I was able to see the harsh reality. I see this image and all I see is a beautiful aerial view of the town, What I want the community to look like. But if you were to be at ground level you would see the deplorable state of everything.

  • Lorena Z

    I agree that sharing an image on social media can make a difference in the world. It is an amazing way for people to show what is happening where they are and spread awareness. Photography is something that can show many things in one moment and get someone’s attention. By sharing pictures of something that is not right, it could bring in many people and find a way to fix it. Social media is an amazing way to share your opinions and help get things across.

    • Jodi DeMassa

      I agree. I believe that even though a post on social media is a small gesture, it can make a difference. It can spark some discussion amongst friends and so on to think critically about an issue. Photography definitely can capture the event as it is, revealing to people that something isn’t just. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Maddie Napier

      Social media is a perfect way to get the story out there is captures the attention of everyday people who don’t necessarily keep up with the news and it gives them a way to find information about things they care about, which makes it easier of us as a society to share our opinions and help spread the word of the way the world is working.

    • Thomas

      I agree that they are a great way to get the news out to others. Photos shared on social media through friends all over can lead to outside help in other communities.

  • Jodi DeMassa

    I believe that photos can give truth and spark some discussion about an issue, but I also believe that it can manipulate what’s actually going on. As the above article said, Sebastiao Salgado had the primary intention of capturing a poor-striken area, but at first people saw it just as a beautiful landscape.
    In other words, I don’t believe that photography alone does it. It needs to have it’s own context and description what the artist was doing there and how there’s a problem needed to be adressed.
    This link shows the reality that drug addictions bring. This mom is a single mother, who went to the grocery store to get her daughter something. All of a sudden, the mom collapsed and the daughter started to cry, trying to wake up her mom. This photo is from a video that people took of her. After letting the kid try to wake up her mom for a little bit, they called the police, suspecting a drug overdose. #MyCMSTArgs
    http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/eagletribune.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/4e/e4eb8ed6-7f80-11e6-ac5a-b34affc6a44d/57e1b71fc5d08.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C1089

    • Yashar C.

      I too believe that sharing an image on social media can make a difference. However, that difference will take time to come about. Unfortunately, some individuals in power don’t want change because they see nothing wrong with the people’s circumstances. This is because they either don’t care about the people’s shortcomings or dont considering the fact that not everyone lives like them. #DoNowPhotos #MyCMSTArgs

  • Yashar C.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d0a50a89cc8be00d45b94f7b24e2c966643c8cc894fb58cfcb7fb3d556df0a08.jpg

    This is a drawing I did awhile back addressing police brutality in America. http://newsone.com/2023676/police-brutality-against-blacks/ .The beaten Black male in the piece represents the Black population’s defenselessness and oppression from a considerable portion of the U.S. Police system. The shackles represent the restrictions of racism and poverty, putting them at a disadvantage to be treated as citizens not “thugs” , “criminals”, or whatever else term the media likes to place on them especially when addressing cases where innocent blacks are killed for no reason. Though the police has shown examples of brutality among almost all races present in America, Black people have been proven to receive the most subjection to police brutality. I am not disregarding all other races who experience such, but it’s certainly evident that America continues to show far less care for Black cases. Will sharing this image make a difference? I truly doubt it considering that people protest, make music, educate, and take such cases regarding this issue to court and police brutality is still here. #DoNowPhoto #MyCMSTArgs

  • Lauryn L.

    The world, nowadays, is based off of social media. As residing in Chico, we see a lot of homeless people roam the streets. Personally, I have seen many of those homeless peoples on drugs and even injecting drugs into their veins while in public. Many of these people sit and beg for money on the streets daily or have an addiction that cannot be solved. I didn’t personally take this picture but I am aware of the beautiful park that resides in the middle of downtown Chico being over taken by a ton of homeless people. I believe that social media has a huge impact on our society nowadays and the way people outreach to their communities is through social media. I’ve seen many celebrities campaign for voting in the upcoming election on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube. People highly pay attention to what goes on in the media. Twitter is one of the biggest news and drama websites. People follow candidates on these websites and that’s how they get information on who to vote for. One photo or video can make a difference on social media. With the millions of accessible websites and search engines, people thrive on the information that is available within seconds. #DoNowPhoto #MyCMSTArgs https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/271b94aff9c1248720acb0bc4e61ca0bc395acebdad75cbe7a97e97c255827dc.jpg

  • Maddie Barraza

    Using photos to tell a story, or prove your point is the strongest, most reliable way to do so. For most people it’s, “I’ll believe it when I see it”, and when you have photographic evidence to backup your point, people have nothing do to but believe what your saying. The example I’m showing is a side by side from Lake Orville. It’s obvious by the picture that the effects from the drought are devastating. With a photograph, there’s no imagining how something would look. There is no uncertainty of what the information given to you might look like. It’s right there, staring you in the face. Photographs give you the ability to share reality.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5f34c5ff5d51b04c9f4ea0b445f14cb8427f1db124530a87924e132ae9a7d45a.png

    • Keaton Hill

      I like that you have pointed how photography can be excellent for proving a point. Over the course of photography’s existence, I definitely believe that opinions surrounding major world events would have been profoundly different were it not for photography’s massive influence.

    • Saraya Rider

      I really like that you used some local photography for your example especially since seeing these photos did exactly what you stated in your writing for me when I originally saw them. At first, I heard that the lake was low but it was not until I saw this picture that it really hit home for me and I realized how serious the problem actually was. Great example!

  • hayleyhibbens

    I think using photos is a great way to send a message. I also love that these photographers are taking a place that may seem “ugly” to some people, and are portraying it through as photo as something beautiful. It’s important to show everybody that even if a place seems a little rough around the edges it can still have some beautiful areas too. I also think this type of photography can bring awareness to a situation. Lots of times photos can be much more powerful than a piece of writing or word-of-mouth. The photo I’ve attached is very famous, and brought awareness about the conditions that these people had to live in. #DoNowPhoto #MyCMSTArgs
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a76985669fec5d17e6aa48a7d7f8ff58412d83292ae1a6f5ce64ed0ec7224147.jpg

    • Rigoberto Lomas-Velazco

      I remember looking at this image in a history class when we were going over the Great Depression. My teacher already spent some time going over the topic and trying to illustrate the conditions through his words. But it wasn’t until he showed us this image, along with a few others, that the gravity of the situation actually hit us.

      • Karla

        I agree with what you are saying about photographers trying to make everything seem beautiful….also love this photo. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Lauren Rhude

      I completely agree with you. The Great Depression was a terrible time for America and I think some ways that brought a lot of awareness to the issue was portrayed through photography. I also agree with you when you say a photograph can even make an “ugly” situation somewhat beautiful in it’s own way. #DoNowPhoto #MyCMSTArgs

  • Alisha

    It’s one thing to hear a story, listen to the words and try to imagine what it was really like to be there and it is another to actually see it. With that being said, photographs or even videos, have both positive and negative attributes to them when it comes to telling a story and attempting to promote social change. On the positive side, photos can provide a visual for people to see what some issues (such as poverty in this article https://www.globalonenessproject.org/resources/lesson-plans/citizen-photojournalism) are really like. Photos can be a play on pathos, used to spark a change in emotion in the viewers. Photos can also give a better representation and evidence to a claim. For example, no one knew what the Vietnam War was really like and how badly America was doing until they saw it televised- the video became proof. However, all photos, can be interpreted in different ways. This means that anyone can use a single photo to make a dozen different claims, which may not be the best thing. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Keaton Hill

      As I said in my post, I agree that photography can really open peoples’ eyes to the problems the world faces. Without photography, some of the most historical events that you mentioned might have been quite a bit different, if they would’ve even happened at all. I also agree that the impact of photography is not fixed, and can take on different forms for different purposes.

    • Saraya Rider

      Though photos can be used as “pathos” in a good way to help a situation, it is also important to note that it could be used in a negative way as well. For example, the perspective of a photograph could be altered to create a bias and favor one opinion over another even though it might not be the morally right perspective.

  • Rigoberto Lomas-Velazco

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/46fce45dadc33dd0b751a05d542f5647f6c780986cf9702651fac12b3b03077e.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4f48f3da748970d26da778f74fd1b097ad05fef1536676368ec99160f8e1a286.jpg
    These mages are particularly powerful for me because when they are images of my parents hometown in Mexico. When I was a kid my family and I would go to Mexico every December for vacation. Back then I saw the town like it was pictured in the first image. It looked like a beautiful town and the people who lived there at the time all looked happy. Recently I was able to vacation in Mexico for a full year. Now that I had a more mature point of view I was able to see that the town wasn’t as peaceful and as happy as I used to think it was. I was able to see the town not just during tourist season. I saw it lose its color and the the smiles of the people who live there. All the tourist money was gone and the local government was embezzling the rest of the money supplied by the federal government. The town then seemed more like the first image. With buildings looking old and weak, as if the slightest breeze could knock it over. All in all the images of this town give me a large variety of emotions now. They make me feel the joyous emotions of when I was a child visiting, and the melancholic emotions of being an adult and seeing how the people there are forced to suffer.

  • Keaton Hill

    Photography can help bring people to the scene of something important when they are removed from that situation. For example, over the past two centuries since photography was invented, millions of people have been able to see little snapshots of major world events without actually having to witness it firsthand. Most major wars in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries have been captured on camera, leading to the whole world being able to see the horrors of war, such as that of the American Civil War, both World Wars, Vietnam, and the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. Photography hasn’t just captured negative aspects of life on Earth, however, as before and after comparison shots have allowed people to see the progress humans have made over time. In addition, photographs can also bring light to the suffering of millions around the world, and help motivate people to make a change in the world. #DoNowPhoto ##MyCMSTArgs

    • Maddie Napier

      I agree I think that photography can be a very powerful thing no matter what it is depicting. They ability to see things from a different perspective, it brings people to the situation that might be thousands of miles away but they are able to look at the picture and it is like they are there.

    • Kim Cuong Nguyen

      I agree. Photography is a great tool to use to capture events and presenting it to those who weren’t there to witness it first hand. Photography is timeless, it’s great to see it capture historical events which help people get more immersed in the history and to better understand it. I loved your points and sincerely agree. #DoNowPhoto #MyCMSTArgs

    • Mason Dossey

      I agree that photography is an awesome tool to capture moments and use as a credible source. I agree with all your points and examples. Photos last forever and because of that it is a great way to capture some history. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Maddie Napier

    This is a photo of my hometown of Crescent City after the 2011 tsunami that was caused by the earthquake in japan http://weather.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/11966/kicking-and-screaming/ and I believe that is is a good way to show that sharing a picture can make a difference. Crescent City is a very small town that most people have never heard of but when photos of our harbor after the tsunami started being share online people actually took notice of us and help us get money to fix our harbor #MyCMSTArgs

  • Karla

    Sharing a photo online puts a visual to the story that you are trying to tell. So yes i think that powerful images can make a big difference on social media websites. If you think about it we spend most of our time on social media and scroll through so many post. Many of them leave an imprint on the mind. In some instances people just post pictures and let the public make there own assumptions on what the picture means, and affects them. #DoNowPhoto #MyCMSTArgs https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/19dbf296981ee70a0abe52625637a814549b9e8100bfd5fad9991ee82018472a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/291572ebcce3c99d28f57d27d4421ddb604f9cea0a36031ed995eb469836d323.jpg These images show how people on the opposites sides of the world are impacted and they both tell similar yet different stories.

    • Austin Blair

      It is a very interesting point how some photos can be so impactful, yet we spend hours a week scrolling through meaningless selfies and birthday shoutouts that we probably could care less about. Maybe we are starting to take photos for granted and are creating less meaning for them as we move forward. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Saraya Rider

    CMST 255- Saraya
    I believe that photos are essential to any sort of story telling. This is because any one can make claims and arguments but when photographic evidence is involved, it is much harder for someone to say that your facts are not accurate or not pay as much attention. Photographs simply add much more credibility to the person making the claims and therefore should be utilized for that reason. In addition to this, the use of photographs when story telling can help show the reality of the situation you are addressing in a way that could have been difficult to put into words. This article from PBS explains this concept in more detail. http://www.pbs.org/ktca/americanphotography/features/social.html #MyCMSTArgs

    • Mason Dossey

      I agree that photos are a great form of credibility. If someone thing is captured in a photo it is hard to refute. That is why we have to be careful in today’s day-in-age with posting photos because it can affect our lives completely. Police officers for example need to be extremely careful with how they handle people because people are always taking pictures or videos as a credible source to get them in trouble. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Robert Duron

      I agree with you, here is an example of another picture where a story is easy seen and hard to refute http://d3819ii77zvwic.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/drought.jpg
      #MyCMSTArgs

  • Mason Dossey

    Photos are a huge part of our society and social lives today. A picture could be worth a million words, so YES I definitely agree that photos can affect social change for the better. Photos are also a big form of evidence. Photos are credible source of information as well. Like the example in the article, photos can definitely help with some social change. There is hundreds of famous photos out there that stand for something and are symbols for other things. #MyCMSTArgs

    • Austin Blair

      Before reading your post I had not even considered how many famous photos have already changed our society such as the bomb dropping of Nagasaki or the first man on the Moon. I think that Orue (the photographer) is trying to use the impact of photos like these to create change. #MyCMSTArgs

      • Robert Duron

        completly agree with you, Photos can tell the whole story and really evokes emotion out of the audience in a different way. Something you dont get from just reading about something or hearing it from someone. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Austin Blair

    Photos are evidence, well at least non-photo shopped photos are incapable of telling a lie. This is why i think Paccarik Orue likes to use film, because you cant alter the original image and it can only speak the truth. The phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words” really is the perfect explanation of why photos could be used to change society. Orue’s photos were specifically taken to show proof of the hard times a lot of people on this earth and even in this country are experiencing. This proof has the power to spark our society to work together and conquer these problems. I truly do think that photos have a ton of potential to create change. #MyCMSTArgs -Austin Blair

    • Julian Kirk

      I agree with what you said but sometimes it is hard to tell which photos are photoshopped and which are not. People can lie with words too though so I definitely think photos can be a lot more truthful than words can. At least with photos you can sometimes tell they are fake. You can’t really tell if words are fake especially if they are on a screen because you can’t tell factual expression through a screen.

  • Robert Duron

    Photography is a very powerful tool in various ways in todays community. This is both good and bad depending on its usage. It is a good when it is used to spread awareness like the pictures taken of the neighborhoods with poverty. We are able to see the actual affects and horrible things happenig to humans just like us. It brings out emotions in the audience and allows for us to interpret the image in our particular way. This can also be a negative thing if our perspciive on the picture is wrong or not what the photographer intended. Also, in todays society cameras are everywhere with cellphones and can capture any moment. People need to be careful and aware of what thy do. #MyCMSTArgs

  • Thomas

    I believe any photo shared in the right perspective can have a reasonable impact on a community. If someone took a photo of something from one area and gave it a headline in another area and said a few words to imply something they could easily push their feelings onto others.

  • Nikolaus Nelson

    Photography can be used to change peoples views, if you showed someone a starving photo of a kid the person they showed wouldn’t probably waste any food. so why wouldn’t other topics being portrait in the media affect other things.

  • Meghan

    By sharing an image on social media, we make a difference, informing others of the injustices in our society. As originally said by Fred R. Barnard,” A picture is worth ten thousand words.” Telling people how things are may not change how they feel, because all they are seeing are words on a page. Words are safe. They are a barrier to hide behind, because even when they tell the truth, since we don’t see it, we don’t have to believe it. Images show us the harmful things in society we would sometimes prefer to ignore, and help stir up necessary changes in our communities to help people around the world. #DoNowPhoto #vvmsgov

  • John Santrizos

    Of course sharing images on social media can get a message across! First off, It is not something that can be imagined, or manipulated in your mind, and second, images on social media spread like wildfire these days. A very professional, well thought out, photo can be very influential on your beliefs. #DoNowPhoto

  • Yash

    Sharing images on social media can definitely get one’s message across. First of all, it makes people think about the message more, which typically leads to them understanding and a try at fixing it. Second of all, pictures tell people more about a problem than words because it’s more descriptive and insightful. Lastly, it makes people actually see the message, which allows them learn more about the problem and how to solve it.

  • Estelle Jungels

    I believe that sharing images on social media can have a effect on the topic. It makes people think about the issue, and how to fix it. People always say a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture can be more effective to show the problem than words can. Overall sharing pictures on social media can definitely help make a difference on many different topics.

    • Ben LI

      I also agree with you, picture that are capture in the right way have a really powerful image because picture are worth a thousand word. I agree sharing on social will spread the message so people would care a lot more about the issue.

    • starsfromabove

      I agree with your statement because social media can project a large variety of topics that are controversial to this society and it can lead them to make a change in the problem being addressed in the photo. Therefore, social media can lend a helping hand in the production of change in this society.

  • kate karlen

    I think that sharing pictures on the internet can have a impact on the topic. This can bring up the issue or topic in our daily lives when we see it and it can leave us thinking more in depth about the topic and what can we do to make the problem go away or at least make it a little better.

  • Mari Simon

    I think that sharing a photo on social media or somewhere else on the internet would greatly impact how many people hear and learn about the topic. Things spread quickly through social media and it accessible to people all over the world. I believe that a picture is usually a better way to understand the topic or how severe it is rather than reading an article. People would have more of a connection with the topic if they could physically see what is going on.

  • Ian Seiler

    I believe that putting a photo online can really influence someones view of the issue. there are so many good examples of this. The kid that was hit with napalm in Vietnam, and the photo of lake Orville that two people have used so far. The point is a picture is worth a thousand words, and a picture can be disbelieved or ignored but its still remembered, a picture is burned in you memory forever. #donowphoto

Author

Kristin Farr

Kristin Farr is KQED's Arts Education Manager. She is the creator and producer of the Emmy Award-winning video series, Art School, which brings audiences into artists' studios to learn about contemporary art, and engages learners with ideas for new ways to get creative. She is also an artist and a contributing editor for Juxtapoz Magazine.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor