There aren’t too many photography movies I’ve seen that photographers would find worthwhile or truly useful.  Sure there are some movies that have photographers as the star, but usually the whole photography part is glossed over.

This is my list of must have movies about photographers or photography that one could actually learn something from and be fired up to head out and shoot some picture after watching. What are they?

In no particular order they are:

National Geographic’s: The Photographers

natgeo 5 Must Watch Movies for Photographers

A great documentary on National Geographic photographers. The movie interviews and follows several veteran photographers through a day in their lives having the “best job in the world”.  From deep sea diving to the orient express to the jungles of South America, any photographer would enjoy watching these talented professionals at work around the world.

War Photographer

warphotographer 5 Must Watch Movies for Photographers

This is a powerful Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary film which follows photojournalist James Nachtwey as he documents the harsh world of Kosovo, Rawanda, Indonesia, and the West Bank. The uniqueness of this movie is that the video-camera placed on Nachtwey’s actual SLR camera itself, which gives the movie an incredible unmatched point of view. If you want to know what it’s like to be a photojournalist in a war zone, then this movie delivers.

Annie Liebovitz: Life Through A Lens

annieliebovitz 5 Must Watch Movies for Photographers

Life Through A Lens shows us how this legendary portrait photographer does what she does. Through a series of interviews and ‘day in the life’ sessions, we get to see how Liebovitz started in the business and how she got to where she is.

Under Fire

underfire 5 Must Watch Movies for Photographers

The only regular movie to get into this list, Under Fire stars Nick Nolte as photojournalist in Nicaragua, and was critically acclaimed for its realistic portrayal of journalists in the region. Gene Hackman also co-stars.

At Close Range

closerange 5 Must Watch Movies for Photographers

Another brilliant documentary by National Geographic. This one follows Joel Sartore through his many assignments for the magazine, and really shows you the numerous details  these photographers go thorugh to make the photos they do.

That’s my list. I’ve watched each of those movies numerous times :) If you think there are others I’ve missed, let me know.


If you have others that are your favorite and/or you think they are worthy of consideration for the Top 5 let me know.