Photo Journalism is a lucrative career option in India; since it has been an integral part of mainstream journalism. For the ones who are interested in photography have a very good opportunity of converting their passion into a profession as the field has widened its scope nowadays. But photojournalism is not only about taking good pictures but clicking pictures which are newsworthy and can tell a story on their own. Nowadays photojournalists are no less than the journalists who gather; write and report the stories.Many among you all want to become a photojournalist but wonder from where to start and what all to do. So here is a guide to how one can establish their career in this field.
RESEARCH ABOUT THE FIELD-:
Firstly, explore and learn about the field of photojournalism and decide whether this is what you want to take up as your career. And if yes then learn what the field involves and take a look at the work of the successful photojournalists as it will give you much more understanding of the field and work which can be required in the field. Few famous photojournalists to look into are Lynsey Addario, Tim Hetherington and Corey Arnold.
It is very important to understand the basics as well as the other technical aspects of photography to excel in the field. You can join any course related to photography firstly to learn new skills and secondly to strengthen your resume and improve employability. But it is not necessary to take any course or degree to become a photojournalist if you click outstanding photos with your own learning and practice then you can go ahead without any academic degree.
Gaining experience is very important in this field as experience do gives you a lot of confidence and helps you in polishing your skills. It’s not important to work on the professional camera you can take anything that captures pictures even its okay to start practicing with a Smartphone. Practice every day. Walk around attend different events and functions where you can practice and experience photographing people and stories. Most importantly learn how to scrutinize and criticize images from the camera while working. Take out some time analyzing your own work find out its negatives and positives. And work on converting negatives to positives.
Get out in the real world, meet new people, talk to them observe and analyze them, feel the surroundings and nature, take walks around the cities with local transport and try to experience the life of the different people around. This will help you in gaining perspective as well as ideas for the stories as photojournalism is not always about the perfect photo but about the story that the picture captures in itself.
GET THE EQUIPMENTS-:
Once you have gone through the learning process and have gained a little bit of experience in the field and are sure that you want to pursue this field as the career you will eventually need to buy all the necessary equipment. The type of equipment you will need when working professionally are a quality digital camera, tripod, a computer, and photo editing software, lights etc.
BUILD A PORTFOLIO-:
It is very important for a photojournalist to maintain one’s professional portfolio which shows all shades of his talent as well as portrays his experience and knowledge in the field. It can contain anything which you think your client/boss would like to see and will impress him. Create two kinds of portfolio digital that can be accessed online and a print portfolio that can be carried with you.
LOOK FOR INTERNSHIP AND BUILD CONNECTIONS-:
Like any other field, photojournalism is all about knowing people and stepping into the industry. Thus it is very important to make lasting connections which can benefit you in long run. The best way to gain contacts is to do internships it will help you in gaining experience as well as will help you to build up your resume. Look up for the internship on different websites on the internet and apply for as many as possible
SHOWCASE YOUR WORK-:
Join different Social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter. Displaying your work there it is really important to showcase your talent to the world as it will help you attain popularity and other than that will help you in getting work as it will extend your reach and connection among the people. Always protect your work with the watermark and copyrighting so that it does not become a piece of fine art and can be used by anyone. Follow famous photojournalists in hope to them to follow you back as it will add relevance to your pages. Consistently upload your work to social media sites to maintain the traffic.
WORK AS A FREELANCER-:
Work as a freelancer for different companies for a specified amount, sign contracts with the local cafes or event managers etc work as an independent photographer and learn how to market yourself and make connections; build a strong network which can help you attract more work. Create a website of your own it is better if you buy your own domain name and update it with about yourself, your work and how to connect with you. This will help you in making it easy for the ones who want to contact and will add credibility and authenticity to your work as well as it aims to connect you with the right audience as well as professionals.
Photojournalism is all about telling stories through lenses so focus on stories and happenings around you. Train yourself to notice and capture the stories, situations, people, society, taboos etc and bring up the hidden and unexposed truth in front of the world because it’s not always about clicking the pretty and cool stuff it is about finding newsworthy stories.
APPLY WITH A MAGAZINE OR NEWSPAPER COMPANY-:
After making a solid resume and gaining experience in the field you can aim to work at a magazine or newspaper with a secure job. If not getting a job in well established or big newspaper and magazines like National Geographic or Times etc start with the small local magazines and newspaper and then let your work speak for you. It may take a lot of time and applications to secure a job and to achieve certain position but don’t give up. Trust yourself and keep on working and polishing your skills.
So start working towards your goal and be patient good things take time to happen.