What Do Photojournalists Do?

July 8, 2013 General, Photography, Visual Journalism 0 Comments

Photojournalist-What do they doPhotojournalists are reporters for the multimedia age.

They may work for newspapers, journals, magazines or television. They may also freelance or publish their own work online. Photojournalists are responsible for the pictures you encounter in the media every day.

Photojournalist Mark Hancock, believes that it is his job to construct a story using only photographs and a few words. “To tell a story, a sentence needs a subject, a verb and a direct object. News photos need the same construction. Photojournalists tell stories with their images. Also, words are always used in conjunction with photojournalist’s images.”

He refers to the cutline, the short sentence that appears under a photograph. He writes most of his own cutlines because he believes that photojournalists must be able to unite their photographs with these words, to fully illustrate the importance of what the picture is attempting to convey to readers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,* photojournalists may be required to travel locally or internationally – and must be available to travel on short notice. They often work long, irregular hours. Depending on their assignments, their job settings may be uncomfortable or even dangerous.

Important skills for photojournalists to have include:

  • Artistic Skills: Like a photographer, a photojournalist must be able to capture a good photograph. This means that they must be able to evaluate the artistic quality of the shot, including lighting, distance and angles.
  • Business Skills: Especially if they are working as freelancers, photojournalists must know how to plan marketing strategies, negotiate with clients, and maintain professional relationships.
  • Computer Skills: Most photojournalists do their own post-production work. Though photojournalists typically do not retouch or edit images, they must be able to upload and manage their images on a computer. This may allow them to keep news blogs or digital portfolios. The computer is also a great resource for communicating with clients.
  • Detail-Oriented: This is one of the most essential skills, as photojournalists must be organized and ready to go at any time. They must be able to take pictures quickly in a variety of environments.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Photojournalists often photograph people. Knowing how to communicate effectively and gain the trust of these people is imperative to taking intimate portraits.

Entry-level positions in Photojournalism typically require a post-secondary degree in Visual Journalism or a related field, such as Photography.

Do you have what it takes to study photojournalism? Learn more about the field and about other opportunities for students in the Visual Journalism degree program at Brooks Institute.

*  Date Accessed:  July 1, 2013.  These are national projections covering all levels of experience; conditions in your area may be different.


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