Documentary Photography

Documentary Photography is a style and genre of photography that focuses on social, political and societal issues and everyday life.

It is an essential medium in the reportage of world events big and small. Many photographers dedicate their life’s work to focus on particular issues such as War, Protests and social injustice, highlighting the impact on society.

Our featured photographer Andrew Moore has focused on protests and conflicts in the UK and overseas since the 1980s. His work includes the documentation of the poll tax riots in 1990, as well as the troubles in Northern Ireland.

Poll Tax Riot, Trafalgar Square, 1990
Poll Tax Riots in Trafalgar Square, London, 1990. Photo © Andrew Moore.

Everyday Life

British Culture Archive predominately focuses on British documentary photography and photography that highlights cultural change throughout the 20th Century and beyond. 

Thomas Blower’s images of everyday life in Greater Manchester capture the freedom of childhood before the rapid rise of technology. A selection of Thomas’s images we’re used to document everyday life in 1970s Manchester as part the Use Hearing Protection Exhibition at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum. 

Documentary Photography - Kids Jumping onto mattresses Print Thomas Blower
Kids Jumping onto mattresses. Hattersley, Greater Manchester. Photo © British Culture Archive/Thomas Blower.


Richard Davis documented his surroundings whilst living in the brutalist Hulme Crescents in Manchester during the 1980s. This was a time of great social change and political activity.

Hulme, Manchester, 1990s.
Hulme Manchester, 1990s. Photo © Richard Davis.
Documentary Photography
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