What does a photojournalist do?
Photojournalists (also called news photographers) are types of reporters that take photographs of places, people, and community, political, and sports events that are newsworthy. They create photographs that are commercial quality and submit them to newspapers, magazines, journals, or television companies.
The photographs that are taken by photojournalists have to be presented in a timely manner because they help illustrate a recent event or news story. The photographs must accurately represent the event and depict it in the correct way. The images also help tell the story to help it relate to the reader or viewer.
What kind of training does a photojournalists need?
Photojournalists typically need a college degree in photography or other related field. Photojournalists must be familiar with the latest photography equipment such as digital cameras, scanners, special software, and Internet technology. Many photojournalists gain hands-on experience while completing their education by working part-time jobs at school or local newspapers and completing internships. Many photojournalists attend annual conferences and complete continuing education to stay up to date on technological advances in photography and new techniques and equipment.
Photojournalists must build a portfolio to be considered for positions. The portfolio demonstrates the photographer’s expertise with a wide variety of photographic subjects and covers a wide range of scopes. The portfolio typically consists of 20 images that demonstrate a photojournalist’s skills in all parts of photojournalism. It is also important for photojournalists to get their photography published.
What are the prospects for a career as a photojournalist?
Employment of photographers of all types, including photojournalists, is projected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 10% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growth of newspapers, journals, and magazines will drive employment growth of photojournalists.
Job prospects are expected to be good with keen competition because many people are attracted to the field. Photojournalists with extensive education and experience and unique talents or skills will have the best prospects.
How much do photojournalists make?
As of August 2009, photojournalists with 1 to 4 years experience earned between $10.32 and $14.42 an hour. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earned between $11.79 and $16.45 an hour (2).
A career as a photojournalist is an excellent choice for individuals who have a strong interest in documenting newsworthy events and people by taking photographs. Good vision, determination, endurance, eye-hand coordination, imagination, artistic ability, and a “good eye” are essential qualities of photojournalists. Accuracy, detail orientation, patience, and ability to work well with others are also desirable traits. Photojournalists must also understand the news story so their photographs match the story.