Photographers can tell all kinds of stories, and these stories emerge in many different ways; most often the preference has been to address some situation in the wider world, given the (apparent) capacity that photography has for dealing with social realities. But there is an equally important source for the stories that photographers tell, and it is to be found in their own lives, their own experience of the world. We call these stories subjective, because insofar as they are ‘about’ anything, they address a particular set of experiences seen from the perspective of the person living them: the photographer becomes their own witness. This subjective tendency is an important tradition in the medium, but hasn’t always received as much critical attention as other approaches, perhaps because of the values of specific institutions, or simply because the dominant frameworks for thinking about the medium have favoured its more ‘objective’ uses. But it is an important tradition nonetheless, and one whose influence has been far-reaching. Its origins are mostly, if not exclusively, to be found in the post-war decades, and it is this particular context that gives us a useful way of thinking about how a subjective tradition in the medium emerged.