During late 2007, when former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in her vehicle, a picture taken by a photojournalist was circulated – this picture contained two silhouetted figures of men with a huge blaze of fire in the background, the fire that had engulfed Ms Bhutto. This picture really showed nothing, but what it captured caught the attention of many and the photojournalist who took the picture gained instant popularity. Thus, it would not be wrong to say that a click in time can make someone the talk of the town! That is the power that a picture and the photojournalist have. No wonder photographers like Sadanand Menon and Raghu Rai are literally celebrities. Many aspire to be like them but not all of them end up taking pictures that can generate worldwide acclaim. What a good photojournalist has that others do not, is the ability to act quick and to estimate the newsworthiness of a certain picture or event. Here’s how to become a photojournalist.
How Do I Become A Photojournalist?
Get Good Goods
Be prepared to invest in good quality equipment, such as a high-end Nikon or Canon analogue or digital camera. Since you will be on the run for most part of your day, it is best to go for a digital camera, as it will allow you the freedom from having to constantly load a film from time to time. You should also be equipped with different lenses and flashes or other types of portable lighting devices. As you must be aware that you will be required to work in time-crunched situations, it is best to carry equipment that is easy to carry and portable and requires least maintenance.
Education, Of Course
It is absolutely important to attend a photography or journalism school for this kind of a profession. The experience there will help you develop your eye, improve your style and technique, and also help make contacts in the field, because most colleges are run by people who have either worked in the field or still are working professionals. It's a good background whether you want to work for a community newspaper or travel the world as a freelance photographer.
Mad About The Mag
Another way to make your way into the industry is to get an internship with a magazine or newspaper. Apart from real-life experience and tricks of the trade, you will also be able to get your work published and if it is good, it may even land you a full time job.
Get Me A Portfolio
It is a good practice to develop your portfolio to showcase your expertise with a wide range of subjects. A good portfolio should be all encompassing and include everything from one-shot car crashes to photo features about people's lives. Most newspapers and magazines want to see published work, but a student portfolio may get you an internship or entry-level position. You'll work your way up from there.
Shop The Pictures
It is best to have the knowhow about not just the latest technology in cameras and lenses, but also in scanners, printers, as well as photo editing softwares. You should know how to scan prints or download images from your camera, depending on whether you use a film or digital camera. Also try to get to know the intricacies about image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop, which is quite vast a software in itself. Adobe Photoshop is rather exhaustive and its scope is too wide.
Update! Update! Update!
Most photojournalists are known to be quick in action and are able to guess the pulse of the event that is happening in front of their eyes quickly, which requires them to keep a cool head in the most emotionally charged situations too. Also, they need to be completely updated about the various happenings around the world, like a good journalist. A photojournalist, as the name suggests, is a photographer with the eye of a journalist, who should be able to sniff out news – a photojournalist sniffs out newsworthy events on the scene and captures them on a CCD or on celluloid.