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Documentary Photography

Presents print resources, websites, article databases, and citation information on documentary photography about global cultures. An emphasis tab on global food issues is included.


This guide presents resources for finding print and electronic images presenting documentary photography, also known as photojournalism. Included is information on how to cite images and books in MLA styleSpecific emphasis on finding an image on global cultural issues that engages/compels you because of: visual clues - information, facts, statistics (logos); emotion (pathos); and credibility (ethos).

"UPI photojournalists David Hume Kennerly (L) and Willie Vicoy in Saigon ca1975" by manhhai is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

What is photojournalism?

"Photojournalism is . . . defined as an empathic visual encounter with powerful realism. A picture that is capable of accentuating the textured fabric of the human condition; a captured instance that frames a precise candid moment which tells the story with compassion, dignity and grace." ~ Tomitheos Linardos, photojournalist

  Copyright issues

When searching for multimedia (audio clips, video clips, pictures) on the internet, you should always assume that any media you come across is copyrighted, unless stated otherwise next to the picture or clip or on the web site.  Finding any media on the Internet does not automatically grant you rights to use it for any purpose other than viewing or listening to the media on the web. 

Before downloading or using any media, check for any copyright and usage restrictions.  Most web sites provide information and guidelines for the downloading or use of media contained on the site.  If a picture or clip is labeled as being in the public domain, then it is available for public use.  Many websites also allow use of media for non-commercial or educational purposes only.  It is your responsibility to follow the guidelines for the use of media from individual web sites. Some of the sites ask that you provide credit to the web site in addition to a link back to the original location.

For more information on copyright and fair use, see the library's Copyright Issues guide.

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