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Discussions on photo essays in the magazine ″Soviet photo″ (from 1957 to 1991)

Научные исследования: 


For citation: Krasheninnikova M.A. (2016) Diskussii o fotoreportazhe na stranitsakh zhurnala «Sovetskoe foto» (1957−1991 gg.) [Discussions on photo essays in the magazine ″Soviet photo″ (from 1957 to 1991)]. Mediaskop 2. Available at:


© Maria A. Krasheninnikova

Doctoral student at the Department of Photojournalism and Media Technologies, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia),



This article provides content analysis of the photo essays’ materials in the professional and authoritative magazine ″Soviet photo″ from 1957 to 1991.

One of the most important questions discussed on the pages of the magazine after the resumption of the editorial board is the definition of the concept “photo essay”. Another significant topic is defining photo essay as a method of photojournalism.

One more direction of discussion dealt with the issue of the author’s presence and author’s organization of the material. During the years of Perestroika the topic of the reporter’s safety was raised for the first time. The authors of ″The Soviet Photo″ also highlighted the following genre issues: the use of staged photos in photo essays, standardized thinking of photojournalists and numerous photographic clichés.

The requirement of showy depiction of reality often led photojournalists to one of the main problems of the soviet photojournalism – deliberate staging of photos.

The authors of ″The Soviet Photo″ noted such distinctive features as documentary presentation of images, their quality and pithiness. During the study period, the conception of the photo essay genre changed and evolved from visual design of newspaper texts into independent type of journalistic material informative and dynamic enough to compete with text materials.

Keywords: photojournalism, photo essay, ″Soviet Photo″ magazine, the USSR.



Materialy zhurnala «Sovetskoe foto» za period s 1957−1991 [The materials of ″The Soviet Photo″ magazine in the period from 1957 to 1991].