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SnapShots vs Documentary Photography





Let’s be honest, a snapshot pic is better than no pic at all. I agree with that!


So, why is it so important to have a professional come and document your lives? It may seem similar to what you can take on your phone but snapshots and documentary images differ in a very big way.


Let’s glance at the meanings in relation to photography.


Snapshot: an informal photograph taken quickly, typically with a small handheld camera.


Documentary: factual report on a particular subject

Photography: the art or practise of taking and processing images.

Look at aaaaaaall the images on our phones for example. I, even as a photographer, love my phone images. The quality of phone cameras these days is pretty damn great, I will acknowledge. But (there's always a but.....) what is missing from these images mostly is the trained eye. Yes, we can all get lucky and take a great snapshot here and there but they are few and far between. A snapshot is just that, it barely has any thought behind it! But a photographic image has a deliberate formulation to achieve the desired result. A documentary photographer has the skill set to create an image of the story that’s happening behind the lens.

Not only do they have the ability to compose atheistically pleasing images, they know how to work with available light and also control their camera manually to capture the best light, for any given situation.

When you take a snapshot on your phone, are you thinking of composition and what story the composition is telling? Is the background considered? Lighting, exposure, white balance, focal plane, aperture, rule of thirds and leading lines?

These are just a few things running through a photographers head when clicking that shutter.


Documentary family photography is a visual narration of your family's true events.

Documentary photographers are artistic storytellers of the present day.


Once the image is taken, the artistic process does not stop. It is then thoughtfully developed to match the scene and vibe of the day.


When you've lived in the same four walls for a period (especially through covid!!) capturing beauty in the uneventful monotony may seem impossible. A fresh pair of eyes along with expertise will remedy that conundrum.

Giving the challenge to a professional, I promise, it will evoke expired emotions when you look back at these masterfully composed images in years to come.





* All images posted from Feb 2022 on Cybelle Jones Photography sites and social pages will no longer show identifiable faces of children.