I you have been following the blog long enough you already know how much I love documentary photography. It's the one genre that gets my creative juices flowing the most. It's all about telling a story. Every image has to display a moment. Make the viewer aware of something. It has to provoke a question. The hard part about it is earning the trust of the subject.
When ever I'm working on a documentary project I tend to do a lot of studying and research of my own (if possible). It's always good to know as much as possible about who or what ever it is you are documenting. This will also help with feeling comfortable when out in the field. My technique is to start a conversation with who ever I want to photograph. It doesn't always have to be a long one, although that would always be better. I tend to always start by sharing facts about my photography. That always opens the door for, "can I take a picture of you?"
Taking the time to learn about the subject is important when working a documentary project. As a photographer, it's your moral obligation to not only capture, but share the story of the individual(s) in the photo. Well, at least that's my opinion. What do you think?