Documenting the digital: five essential lessons we can learn from Jérôme Gence

From digital nomads to online divas, the award-winning photographer's fascinating photo stories shine a light on our obsession with tech. Here he shares his five tips for aspiring photojournalists.
A group of casually dressed young people lie around and in a pool, some on inflatable pink flamingoes. Almost all of them are looking at phones or laptops.

An image from documentary photographer Jérôme Gence's Telework series. These remote workers can share tips and professional opportunities while enjoying the comforts of life in a Balinese villa. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens at 24mm, 1/80 sec, f/4 and ISO320. © Jérôme Gence

Collecting and analysing data for international brands might seem an unlikely background for a documentary photographer, but Canon Ambassador Jérôme Gence has found surprising parallels between his two very different careers.

"Unconsciously, I learned storytelling from working with figures," he explains. "Once you collect the data you have to tell the story. Your client has a very short time to listen to the results of the analysis, so you have to get straight to the point."

Jérôme is fascinated by the impact technology is having on all our lives, and his photography shines a light on how the internet, and new ways of digital communication, have changed the way we work and relate to each other. His documentary projects, mainly based in Asia, have focused on subjects including selfie culture, livestreaming, the obsession with virtual singers and the lives of digital nomads.

Jérôme's skills in producing original, tech-related stories on how we live today have helped him stand out in the competitive world of photojournalism. His work has been published in high-profile magazines including Le Figaro, Stern, Spiegel, Le Monde and on the National Geographic website. His latest series on remote workers, Telework, was selected for the 2021 Visa pour l'Image festival of photojournalism.

Jérôme has learned some valuable lessons on his professional journey and here he offers five tips for aspiring documentary photographers, based on his experiences.
Hear more of the conversation in this episode of Canon's Shutter Stories podcast: