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How To Become A Photojournalist?

Update on 2024-04-15

How To Become A Photojournalist?

What is Photojournalism?

Photojournalism is a special form of journalism that requires a story to be told through the use of words. The traditional journalism field requires paper and pen to tell your story, whereas, photojournalism requires a camera to tell your story in a visual representation.

In short, photojournalism proves the age-old statement “a picture is worth a thousand words”. News agencies and magazines pay thousands of dollars to photojournalists who have the ability or talent to capture dramatic, thought-provoking images.

Photos are a great way to touch people and communities with powerful images instead of words. Photos are a necessary part of news media, internet reporting, and also magazines. They are informative and relevant to society and present current trends through interactive pictures.

Photos have a powerful trait to touch humans more than any other form of communication. Due to their visual characteristic, photos can put the point across better than any other word.

In recent years, photojournalism has become a huge part of the media industry although its role has changed a little bit. In its history, photojournalism presented global problems on a whole new and different level.

Photojournalists traveled all over the globe to give a voice to the untold and unheard. The pictures gave a way to become aware of the struggles of people that were perhaps a country or continent away.

Photojournalism at its core has the sole motto of educating people about the stories that photojournalists. Now in today’s world, with the advancement of technology and improvement in photography, photojournalism became a suitable and quicker medium to share the top events of the day.

How to Become a Photojournalist: Academic Requirements

In India, if a student wishes to become a photojournalist, he or she must possess an academic degree and an extensive portfolio.

Many universities in India offer a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Mass Communication and Journalism with a special emphasis on Photojournalism. There are also separate courses for photojournalism offered at the certificate or diploma level.

Eligibility for Bachelor in Photojournalism

The minimum eligibility for Bachelor's degree in Journalism or Mass Media is 10+2 in any stream from a recognized board.

Eligibility for Masters in Photojournalism

The minimum eligibility for a postgraduate course is a bachelor's degree in journalism. There are no other requirements for minimum marks.

Some institutes also provide one-year certificate courses in photojournalism for which the eligibility is the same as Bachelor’s- 10+2 pass from a recognized board.

The course in Photojournalism covers all the aspects of reporting, drawing, camera operation, lighting, digital image, video capturing, computer-based image processing, etc.

Basic Attributes to Become a Photojournalist

Personal Attributes: Some of the most important aspects of becoming a photojournalist is to have a photography or editorial skills. Aspirants must have a keen eye for aesthetic details and a thorough knowledge of cameras.

Clicking photos should be one of the best qualities of the candidates, he or she should have a wide-ranging portfolio showcasing the student's best clicks. The photos must also show the talent of the candidate’s attentiveness to color, shape, light, shadow, visuals, etc. 

Students receive technical knowledge regarding story presentation and other related topics so that they get an overall experience and base knowledge in photojournalism to become photojournalists. 

Photojournalists have a responsibility to ensure that they present images that are objective but now people have the ability to manipulate images and this is where the question of ethics comes in.

Photojournalism requires the ability to capture and frame great images under pressure, optimizing the exposure and lighting settings, etc. Pursuing a course in photojournalism equips the students with the necessary knowledge.

Tips to Become a Photojournalist

Students must develop their eye for beauty

A good photojournalist is good because of his own abilities rather than a good camera. An eye for a beautiful scene or an image that can be captured needs a good eye for detail, etc.

Dangerous Jobs: Photojournalism can also be a dangerous job, clicking pictures in a war zone, at a protest, a no-man's-land, etc. Photojournalists must protect themselves and their equipment since this job can be dangerous. 

Embrace Rejection: Sometimes clicking a picture may have a different value for you as compared to your partner, colleague, etc. Hence some images that have a certain value for you might not be the same for someone else.

Resistance: There may be certain resistance in the beginning to present your point of view, your “story”. However, once you gain experience, you will be met with a better audience and business response. The quickest way to get noticed in this field of work is to establish your own personal style. You will also get paid at the end of the assignment.

See the work of masters: Getting into the photojournalism profession is always a great way to start by checking up on the life of a master in the era.

The philosophy behind photography: For pictures that touch a nerve, students need to learn how to capture energy and passion in the pictures. A socially aware personality is required to get creative results.

Investments: If you really think photojournalism is your field of choice, then investing in proper and high-end equipment will be required at later stages of learning.  

Career Options In Photojournalism

There are a wide variety of career options in Photojournalism. The universities which provide courses in mass media and journalism are listed below, followed by the various career options they can undertake.

Name of the University Average Fee
Light and Life Academy, Ooty Rs. 6.30 lac/-
Indian Institute of Photography, Noida Rs. 7.35 lac/-
National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad Rs. 2.62 lac/-
Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida Rs. 6.50 lac/-

The various career options in photojournalism includes fashion photographers, photographers, film designers, etc. People can also choose a diverse career field such as in the field of graphic designing, etc. 

Industrial photography, Commercial photography, wildlife photography, travel photography, magazine editors, newspaper editor, etc.

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