Assignment One: Two Sides of the Story

Around the subject of documentary photography, this assignment challenges the true meaning of it’s content. With varying genres within the documentary scope such as, photojournalism, citizen journalism, reportage and street photography there is a myriad of opportunity to document anything and everything.  How do we know if we’re seeing a true representation of the facts?

To explore this further, I have produced two sets of photographs, both on the same subject but with two different meanings.  My first challenge was to find a subject that was firstly relevant and secondly achievable within the available resources. I had several ideas but decided that I would document a subject close to my heart, child behaviour.

We live in an age where behavioural problems are on the increase and it’s not uncommon for a child to be labelled with a specific issue e.g. autism, ADHD and aspergers syndrome.  The symptoms of such conditions aren’t always visible or go undiagnosed and children can be seen misbehaving with intent.

The two sides of the story I chose to photograph are of a boy who in one set of photographs appears to be relaxed, friendly and at ease or well behaved you might say.  The other set of photographs represent the other side of the story where the boy is aggressive, agitated or as it often appears to the outside world ‘badly behaved’.

With this brief in mind I planned to shoot the events over a series of three days during half term week to maximise the opportunity for each behaviour set to represent itself.  I kept my camera close by to capture scenes as I saw them unfold, often with the configuration preset in order to act quickly.

No Problems – ‘Well behaved’


With problems – ‘Badly behaved’


To accentuate some of these actions I have incorporated motion blur during shooting as it more accurately represents the drama.

The final two images are the same scene taken from two different angels which gives you two very different stories.


Loving the dog or hurting the dog?

Which set of photographs is the true story?


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