Documentary Photographer

John Abbey Photography UncutMany of the images on these pages span 25 years. Some were scanned from my old transparencies. I am not a “professional” photographer, but a keen unpaid documentary photographer. I’m not particularly comfortable with the term amateur, but I guess if correctly defined, that is what I am.

My aim is to focus on themes to create visual stories that reflect the world we live in. My paid work takes me across the world so I’m fortunate that I can see and photograph widely different cultures and peoples. Having said that, wherever you are in the world; Berlin, Brixton or Bogota, the principle of good photography remain the same. You have to engage with your subject; you have to get close, and in a split second you have to understand everything that is happening around you and your subject, to capture the essence of the moment, and you have to keep doing that to create the story, the theme, the thread.

Robert Capa once said “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”. I think this hits the nail on the head. But he wasn’t just referring to sticking your lens in someone’s face. Far from it, he was talking about you as a person being able to transport yourself into the subject’s world, to understand as much as you can about the circumstances of the moment when pressing the shutter.

I hope you enjoy what you see. Please feel free to contact me or join me on twitter.

John Abbey