A photojournalist bored with daily newspaper work, Dianne Hagaman set out to do a project that would be freer and more complete. She began by photographing alcoholics on the Seattle streets, then moved to the missions where they seek food and shelter and to the churches whose members volunteer to work in the missions. Hagaman's understanding of her subjects grew more complicated as she started to reconsider the nature of religion in America more generally - including the role of the media, hierarchy, sexism, and evangelism. She found that she had to change the way she photographed and, more important, her conception of what constituted a "good photo." Hagaman begins by describing the practices of contemporary photojournalism. Then, through these fifty-nine photographs, she tells how she painfully unlearned the professional skills that had served her as a journalist but prevented a full visual analysis of social reality. This engaging photographic essay combines an intimate knowledge of photography with a critical view of the organizational basis for its practice. Hagaman's progressive liberation from professional constraints will have meaning for anyone who analyzes society: social scientists, journalists, writers, and, most of all, photographers.
About Dianne Hagaman
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Published April 30, 1996
by Univ Pr of Kentucky.
Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography.