« on: December 02, 2014, 08:17:44 PM »
Look at the situation in several aspects.
Most photos of "poverty photos" are of the elderly. The elderly convey a sense of longevity, with their wisdom built into their features of wrinkles. The young, on the other hand, convey a sense of longing, longing for a part of life they may only hope for, striving to make a better life, however/whatever that they can do to get there. Look at their eyes. Hope and worse yet, somewhat with despair.
Another aspect is that we look at differences, of lifestyles, races, dresses/costumes, statures, and now, even religions with colored vision. We look at those and think they are different. With some photos of war torn countries, one can see the locals looking at the victors parading with hate or joy depending on how the locals perceive the victors to be.
Yet, one more aspect is the photos of dignitaries and celebrities. Sure, they're just as photogenic and interesting. Just as eye catching. Last night, at an Indian restaurant having dinner at a village near Christchurch, I saw photos of the owner with the Dali Lama and another with Prince Charles. Those are also photogenic, especially to the owner of those photos.
Photographing an aspect of life is not that it is photogenic, it is also reporting a fact of life not all of us see regularly, and so it reports on documentary, social interest, or, a means of showing us something we may learn from. Whatever it may be, I don't think it should take the message that poverty is bad. In Bhutan, the country is not rich by any means, but it looks to life with a different standard, that of "Index of Happiness". I shot photos there, and at a glance, you see poverty, too. yet, it's citizen gets free education all the way through high school, and if it warrants, the government provides for international college education.
So, I'd like to drop the word of "photogenic" for pictures I shoot of situations like these. I'll just say this style of photography is documentary.