I’m a journalist. My calling is to show the world news events as they happened. It is a sacred calling, and it is heresy to alter or change the subject we photograph in any way. Just as Capa had his sainthood tarnished by staging the falling solider shot, complete excommunication is the fate of anyone altering a news image. We shoot as is, where is, to the point of not even using a flash unless absolutely necessary.
But I’m also a feature photographer. I tell a story with a photo, and since it’s not hard news then I can pose the subject, change the lighting or do whatever it takes to tell the story. It’s not hard news, it’s storytelling.
as a street photographer, I practice the purest form of journalism. The prophet HCB once said “Don’t use a flash out of respect for the natural lighting, even when there isn’t any. If these rules aren’t followed, the photographer becomes unbearably obtrusive.” I follow that. How can you document reality if you intrude upon it.
As a commercial photog, I present the image the client needs (whether he knows it or not). I create the image, using any tools from strobes to circus animals. It may contain art, but it isn’t.
And as an artist, I can combine these things as needed. I cant paint with light, using strobes and reflectors, but it’s more pure when I don’t. I can pose a model, but I’d rather capture them doing what they do. like a wood carver looking for the right size and shape piece of wood to carve, subjects are raw material o form a base for my creations.
And that’s fitting, because a woodworker can build a chicken coop one week, furniture the next, and fine art carving the next — and use some of the same tools in each one to do it.