If you've always dreamed of a career behind the camera but crave excitement, then photojournalism may be the career for you. A photojournalist captures newsworthy moments on film for newspapers, websites and more.
The field is distinct from both photography and journalism but incorporates aspects of both. A photojournalist needs an in-depth knowledge of photographic techniques as well as the ability to work within a variety of environments. Utilizing more than just photography fundamentals, they understand timeliness and objectivity, two important aspects of great news photography.
Intuition and Skills
Though writers have time to convey a story's essence in an article, a photojournalist often gets only one opportunity to shoot a picture that perfectly encapsulates the moment.
Intuition and skill enable photojournalists to know what makes a story or moment newsworthy. Still, it is necessary to develop techniques to create stunning images that draw the viewer in.
The field of photojournalism includes a variety of talented people. Some have long dreamed of becoming a news photographer; others have stumbled into it by having a nose for news and eye for images. Even with the intuition and talent needed, several key ingredients are only learned in photography schools.
Origins of Photojournalism
Photojournalism evolved naturally as technology advanced and cameras could be used on the move. Candid photos complemented news reports. Soon, photography took shape as a source of news itself.
Often called the Father of Photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson first demonstrated how still images tell a story when he photographed the coronation of King George VI of England in 1937.
Realizing the true story was with the people, he took his camera out in the streets and captured news straight from the source. Cartier-Bresson had spent years developing his abilities with film and photography. It paid off in his iconic images.
Future of Photojournalism
New photojournalists will enter a competitive field but also one that is expanding to fill increasing demand. With cameras everywhere, the advent of citizen journalists offers a constant source of images. However, photojournalists bring their talent and style to media in a way that adds value to stories.
What distinguishes the photojournalist from the masses is education and training. This enables a talented and intuitive person to accumulate a meaningful body of work that is equally timely and artistic.
Start Toward Your Future as a Photojournalist
Academy of Art University's School of Photography guides students to rewarding careers in photography. Learning from award-winning professionals, emerging photographers can specialize in Documentary, Advertising, Fashion or Fine Art Photography. Classes are available online or in San Francisco.
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