The Big List of Documentaries About Photography

Want to watch a non-fiction film about photography? Here’s a list of documentaries (and some other stuff) concerning photography that I’ve collected over the years.


The Big List of Documentaries About Photography 02


Films By Photogs



  • Bring Your Own Doc: A conversation with director Jeff Malmberg about Marwencol – YouTube
  • Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography 2012 – YouTube
  • Henri Cartier-Bresson Interviewed by Charlie Rose – YouTube
  • Inside Media: The President’s Photographer – YouTube
  • James Nares – STREET – Lecture – Vimeo
  • Joel Meyerowitz 1981 Street Photography Program – YouTube
  • Magnum Photos – Earthlings by Richard Kalvar – YouTube
  • Magnum Photos – Personal Best by Elliott Erwitt – YouTube
  • ‪Mark Feeney: “Four Photographers on Three Wheels: William Eggleston’s Tricycle and Before”‬ – YouTube
  • Peter Fraser 2011 talk on his work and workshop assignment – Vimeo
  • Sarah Moon is a Master of Photography (from Contacts) – YouTube

Feel free to suggest any films we’ve left off the list in the comments below.

About the author: Wirjo Hardjono is a photography enthusiast who enjoys finding and watching films about photography. This article originally appeared here.

Image credit: film-reel by eelke dekker, Be Kind Rewind film reel by seafaringwoman


When We Were Kings

Decades ago, documentary filmmaker Leon Gast attempted to complete a feature about the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” championship bout between boxers Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire.

Sundry complications, though, held up the project until its release in 1996.

It was well worth the delay. From Gast’s perspective of modern history, the six weeks Ali and Foreman were forced to spend waiting in Africa for their fight to take place now looks like an important moment in America’s cultural understanding of African American roots.

In a nutshell, Ali had been stripped of his heavyweight champion title because his opposition to the Vietnam War-era draft had landed him in prison.

Reigning champ Foreman agreed to a Don King-promoted match in Kinshasa, but after all parties got there the fight was put off.

Gast captures the charismatic Ali, in the ensuing days and weeks, going out among the people and getting to know them while the more reclusive Foreman keeps to his own company.

Meanwhile, King brings over black American artists such as James Brown and the Spinners to mix it up with African musicians.

The sense of excitement and connection is thrilling, as is the boxing footage of Foreman and Ali finally taking swings at one another in a titanic duel.

Writers George Plimpton and Norman Mailer, each of whom was covering the fight as journalists, are on hand to recollect the details. Whether you’re a fight fan or not, this is a unique experience and a fascinating insight into America’s sense of identity.

When We Were Kings Trailer:

Louie Schwartzberg: Nature, Beauty, Gratitude

Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director, and producer whose notable career spans more than three decades providing breathtaking imagery for feature films, television shows, documentaries and commercials.

This piece includes his short film on Gratitude and Happiness. Brother David Steindl-Rast’s spoken words, Gary Malkin’s musical compositions and Louie’s cinematography make this a stunningly beautiful piece, reminding us of the precious gift of life, and the beauty all around us.
Continue reading Louie Schwartzberg: Nature, Beauty, Gratitude

An Honest Liar – Trailer

An Honest Liar tells the incredible life story of famed magician-turned-skeptic and enemy of deception, James “The Amazing” Randi. The film brings to life his infamous escapades that publicly exposed psychics, faith healers and con artists with quasi-religious fervor. Today, Randi himself faces the price of a deception that might cause the loss of his partner of 26 years. Along the way, the film will reveal the nature of magic and deception and show how easily our perceptions can be fooled – by magicians, con artists, and even documentaries.

How the Dutch got their cycle paths

How did the Dutch get their cycling infrastructure? This question keeps coming back because it is of course relevant to people who want what the Dutch have.

Road building traditions go back a long way and they are influenced by many factors. But the way Dutch streets and roads are built today is largely the result of deliberate political decisions in the 1970s to turn away from the car centric policies of the prosperous post war era. Changed ideas about mobility, safer and more livable cities and about the environment led to a new type of streets in the Netherlands.

The recent video to introduce the Dutch Cycling Embassy explains this very briefly, but there is a lot more that can be said about it. That is why I made a longer video for a more in depth look into the history of cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands.

Read more here.

Searching For Sugar Man – Trailer

It’s a documentary about an American musician that nobody heard about.

Nobody heard about him in America, but in South Africa, a totally different story. Right there Rodriguez he was more famous then Elvis.

It seems to be a beautiful documentary with a exciting story. I’m really looking forward to watching it.

$13,238.86 left in a NYC taxi

I love that some people are so honest!

Here’s a quote from the guy who forgot this $13,238.86 bag:

a love letter to New York City, totally true story. before you call me an asshole for forgetting my stuff in a cab consider i’d been traveling for 10 days straight always with a producer who was responsible for the gear. this one time i offered to take it. was distracted w my cell phone, the bags were in the trunk and i was dead tired. these things happen in life

Designing the James Bond look

Here we present a short study into James Bond’s personal style, meeting award winning costume designer, Lindy Hemming; and a handful of bespoke tailors who have been instrumental in shaping and crafting this icon of style over 50 years.

The Barbican marks the 50th anniversary of James Bond with a unique exhibition showcasing the inside story of the design and style of the world’s most influential and iconic movie brand: