The holidays are certainly the time and the place to celebrate, devour delicious food and rejoice with families. It is also the perfect time to curl up on a cold winter day with a good book, or spend the day in bed watching movies. 

It’s a list of movies for photographers, connected to the profession or loosely related to it. That being said, photographers will find inspiration in any piece of cinematography, so here’s what we think you might just enjoy. 

1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

The first movie on our list is captivating in the depiction of the fantasies and dreams of the main character, Walter Mitty. Walter is a negative assets manager at Life Magazine. He leads a simple life and one day sets out on a mission to find an important negative #25, to complete the work of his partner and to save the new issue of the magazine. An adventurous spirit is awakened as Walter sets out on a journey he has literally dreamt about.  


2. Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters (2012)

If you’ve had the chance to see Gregory Crewdson’s works, you already know he is a legend of our time. His works are powerful, captivating and thought provoking. This movie is about the artist’s creative process, and how he brings to life the mesmerising photographs based off of his dreams. This is a documentary style film that has been shot over a decade and gives a glimpse of the very talented and gifted creative individual.


3. Hand Held (2010)

In 1989, Romania was struggling right after the fall of the communist regime. Mike Carrol, a documentary photographer, travels to Romania in the heat of the conflict and captures some of the most horrifying and shocking scenes of the surprising scene of 20th century Romania. Mike tells heart wrenching stories and opens up the eyes of the western world to the condition of the helpless in Romania.


4. The Bang Bang Club (2010)

The Bang Bang Club is an emotional film exploring a heavy topic. The movie follows the journeys of four photographers that set out to document the Apartheid in South Africa. The characters went to extreme measures to capture what was happening in a torn country to bring the stories back with them. The movie is based on the book The Bang Bang Club: Snapshots From a Hidden War.


5. Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006)

Partially based on a true story, this film explores a fragment in the life of a famous photographer, Diane Arbus. Starring Nicole Kidman, the eccentric photographer that is also a shy housewife, the movie is about mystery, exploration and a unique talent. The main character pursues taking pictures of people that don’t fit into societal realms and borders.


6. William Eggleston: In The Real World (2005)

William Eggleston is known as one of the greats in American photography. He is a man of a few words but with an impressive acquired title of “The Father of Color Photography”. Some artists just don’t like talking about their work which is what makes this movie so valuable and interesting. We get insights into William’s personality, his work and his contribution to the world of photography. He is a true icon and an inspiration for artists across the world.


7. One Hour Photo (2002)

Featuring Robin Williams (Sy) as the main character, the thriller-like movie is about a one-hour photo clerk who becomes obsessed with a family. Sy runs a photo processing department in a store and is very proud of the work that he does. We’re introduced to his favourite customers, a happy family with a young boy. The family isn’t aware of Sy’s fascination with their family, a fascination that extends well beyond all reasonable boundaries.


8. City of God (2002)

City of God deserves a special spot on our list as it was regarded as a ‘masterpiece of contemporary Brazilian cinema’. The film explores the themes of poverty, crime, violence and drugs. Set in the slums in Rio de janeiro, the story follows the lives of two young boys, one of them a talented photographer. The movie not only stands out in terms of relevant themes, but also shocks in terms of the performances and the gritty depiction of events. All these things make it an impressive piece of cinematography.


9. War Photographer (2001)

War Photographer is a story about a photojournalist, James Nachtwey. He is an extremely passionate professional that is in the pursuit of covering global conflicts. Through bravery and perseverance, James is able to capture moments others would not dare. He uncovers the raw reality and the brutality behind a country torn apart by war. His lenses capture death and violence while the artist creates beautiful art in the process to deliver a loud message that doesn’t require words.


10. Blow-up (1966)

The plot of this legendary movie follows the events in Thomas’s life. Thomas is a fashion photographer based in London as one day he makes a startling discovery. While developing his film, he notices he captured a murder taking place in the background of one of his photographs. The movie raises a question about the essence of photography; do we see what we want to see? In what ways is truth illuminated by photography? This movie is a classic for those interested in photography.


For more inspiration, see our previous covers on inspiring photography projects from Behance last year and the top photography projects on Behance from 2018. What are your favourite movies about photography? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.

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