Photo-essay  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A photo-essay (or photographic essay) is a set or series of photographs that are intended to tell a story or evoke a series of emotions in the viewer. A photo essay will often show pictures in deep emotional stages. Photo essays range from purely photographic works to photographs with captions or small notes to full text essays with a few or many accompanying photographs. Photo essays can be sequential in nature, intended to be viewed in a particular order, or they may consist of non-ordered photographs which may be viewed all at once or in an order chosen by the viewer. People who have undertaken photo essays include Bruce Davidson, W. Eugene Smith, Walker Evans, James Agee, David Alan Harvey, and Andre Kertesz.

  • An article in a publication, sometimes a full page or a two-page spread. Newspapers and news magazines often have multi-page photo essays about significant events, both good and bad, such as a sports championship or a national disaster.
  • A book or other complete publication.
  • A web page or portion of a web site.
  • A single montage or collage of photographic images, with text or other additions, intended to be viewed both as a whole and as individual photographs. Such a work may also fall in the category of mixed media.
  • An art show which is staged at a particular time and location. Some such shows also fall in the category of installation art.
  • A slide show or similar presentation, possibly with spoken text, which could be delivered on slides, on DVD, or on a web site.
  • In fashion publishing especially, a photo-editorial – an editorial-style article dominated by or entirely consisting of a series of thematic photographs

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Photo-essay" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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