Career Choices: What Is Photojournalism Photography?
October 11, 2013
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Your camera bag is as worn out as your sneakers, everywhere you go you compose shots in your head and you can't imagine going a day without playing around in Adobe Photoshop. Photography is definitely in your blood, but what type of photo work do you want to do?
If you read the newspaper every day and subscribe to several magazines, you might want to look into photojournalism. This type of photography focuses on capturing images of current events, interesting people and sports. Also called news photographers, photojournalists photograph a variety of topics for both print and online media sources.
From game action to group shots, photojournalists shoot sports images. Knowledge of basic game rules and a sturdy monopod make it easier to follow the sports action. Don't be surprised if a sports editor also asks for a few head-and-shoulders shots of key players to accompany a sports wrap-up article.
If you listen to a police scanner and love chasing the action with your camera, photojournalism is a good fit, too. Photographing spot news, or unplanned newsworthy events as they unfold, requires quick thinking—both technically and physically. You must be at the right place, with a good vantage point, and know how to use your gear in any type of lighting.
Magazine covers, center spread feature stories and newspaper articles above the fold usually use feature photos. These are well-composed shots that are often lit with portable strobes and have an element of portrait posing. Some are photographed fly-on-the-wall style, without any direction from the photographer, to show the subject in a natural environment.
If a story doesn't have a compelling visual element, newspapers and magazines often ask the photographer to create a portrait of the key people featured in the article. From classic head-and-shoulders poses at an in-office studio to creative on-location poses, portraits are popular in business sections.
Could you spend your day filling a compact flash card with these types of photos? Do you like photographing a variety of topics? If the answer to these questions is yes, consider taking photojournalism classes to learn more about working as a news photographer.
Photo source: Morguefile