Few photographic genres are plagued by as many misunderstandings as documentary photography. We photographers have come to classify every shot that isn’t prearranged into this genre. It’s most often confused with reportage. And meanwhile the two are easy to tell apart! Reportage is usually a short-term record of some event. While documentary work is always long-term. Its results never arrive immediately, and building up a gripping series can even take years.
In photography it can be hard to judge if one genre is harder than another. Ultimately all the landscape photographers will call landscape photography the hardest, portrait photographers will say