Photojournalism can be fascinating for aspiring people looking to choose it as a career. Well, we believe that it truly is fascinating. You get paid to travel, witness history take place, and change other people’s perspective through your lenses. Isn’t it a fantastic way to live? However, it isn’t easy getting there. Therefore, before choosing photojournalism as a profession, we would like you to know ten essential things. They are:
1. The perspective is more important than the camera – Being a photojournalist does not require the most expensive camera. It is more about the eyes behind the camera and the perspective through which you look at things. We suggest you start learning with what you have and train the eye.
2. Stand out – Photojournalism is not about being a good photographer anymore. In today’s world, everyone carries a camera in their pockets, and the line between professional and amateur photography is getting blur. Therefore, you need to develop a sense of personal style that will make you stand out.
3. The stories you know the best are the strongest – Many photojournalists tend to chase after stories that everyone else is doing. However, in an oversaturated market, you cannot stand out that way. Instead, work on your perspectives and stories and how those stories can be told in a way that others cannot.
4. Diversity crisis – Often, cultural and hiring practices leave jobs to Western men. Despite of this, there has been a gradual shift from this as efforts are put in to bring new perspectives to light.
5. Business sense is an important skill – You must have a little bit of business sense too when it comes to charging, negotiating and reading contracts.
6. You will have to face rejection – You need to understand that it will not always be sunshine and that rejections are a part of the journey. What is important is that you learn from every rejection.
7. You won’t spend much time photographing – Photojournalism is much more than just clicking pictures. It encompasses researching, getting access, building contacts, payments, editing, marketing etc.
8. Safety is crucial – Safety of your health, as well as your work, is essential. Photojournalism comes with the responsibility of presenting yourself as a professional. You need to protect yourself and your work during conflicts.
9. Know the ethics in photojournalism – The ethics in photojournalism is not the same as photography ethics. There are several cases every now and then that show issues such as staging, photoshop or misrepresentation of pictures. Make sure you know the ethics thoroughly.
10. Photojournalism does not earn you a lot of money – At least during the initial years, you won’t be able to earn a lot, so you need to have another source of income. Moreover, often, you might need to budget and are likely to have a cash crunch.