Article Highlight: Career as a War Photojournalist

In your lifetime, you've likely seen an emotional picture depicting the horrors and devastation of war. You've witnessed the plight of the soldiers and studied the path of the refugees through the lens of a war… Keep reading »

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Photojournalist taking pictures

With amateur videos everywhere on the net, you might think that photojournalism is dead. But this important career, which captures a moment in human history, is alive and well. Learn the facts about photojournalism and what this career entails. You'll also get the deets on the different types of photojournalists.

Importance of Photojournalism

Photojournalism is more than just taking pretty pictures. It has a long and fascinating history with several key people adding to the field. Photojournalists are responsible for recording important events typically for a newspaper or media outlet. Not only do they capture images of ball games but pivotal moments in current world conflicts. Many times, they will be required to travel and gain credentials to enter events. Photojournalists also follow a code of ethics.

Types of Photojournalism

Photojournalism isn't a one-size-fits-all kind of job. It has several specialties that require their own knowledge and skills. For instance, a war photojournalist might capture conflicts and battles in video and photographs that can even impact the outcome of wars. Fashion photojournalists might have specialized knowledge of fashion and capture models on runways or new clothing collections. Master photographers with a journalistic flare might also work on a freelance basis. This means that they could pick up the jobs that work for their skill set and location. So, you could be paid to shoot celebrities, weather or even sporting events all in the same week.

Getting Educated

Some people walk into a career in photojournalism accidentally, but most take a course or two. Getting started in the field can happen in high school by taking a high school photojournalism program for your local paper. Photojournalism colleges also provide you an opportunity to strengthen your visual photo telling prowess. Within your photojournalism teaching, you'll learn the fundamentals of composition, shots and camera basics. You'll also get tips and tricks for getting those perfect shots like capturing that Olympic runner crossing the finish line.

Finding Work

While you might work for a major news outlet and be sent on reports, more often than not, you'll be a freelance photojournalist that picks up assignments for minor and major media outlets. You might also find jobs through publication giants like National Geographic or USA Today. Finding assignments is going to depend on building your portfolio and your reputation in the field. The more well-known that you are, the more jobs can open up.

More Than Just Photos

If you're just starting out in photojournalism, there is a lot to learn. Getting those spectacular shots is more than just dumb luck most of the time. It takes preparation, equipment, training and passion. Now read up on becoming a photojournalist.