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How do I Become a Photojournalist?

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  • Written By: Tess C. Taylor
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2016
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If you are currently a writer or journalist who also enjoys capturing images of interesting people, places and events, you may want to become a photojournalist. Photojournalists combine a love for writing and reporting the news with the gift of photography. By documenting the world around them in words and images, photojournalists enjoy the best of both worlds in journalism and photography.

In order to become a photojournalist, there is some debate about whether or not an actual college degree in journalism or photography is necessary. Getting some in-depth training in writing and journalism is recommended for the serious journalist to be able to hone their skills before taking on professional level work. Likewise, taking classes in professional photography and learning the right techniques to use a camera and lighting is a vital skill to learn as a photojournalist.

Another concern when deciding to become a photojournalist is if you will have the ability to keep up with the latest in technology in this challenging field. Photojournalism continues to evolve with the advent of the Internet, social media, and digital tools that are used to create stunning images and content. Photojournalism can be an expensive hobby for someone just starting out, but it can also be a lucrative business if you have superb skills.

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Many photojournalists start out by taking their camera everywhere and snapping random photos of interesting objects, people or community events. In doing so, photojournalists are creating images that will later be formed into a well-written story. To become a photojournalist, it’s important to have a very creative mind, a sharp eye and the ability to remember things as they occur for later recall when writing a report or story.

When making the decision to become a photojournalist, it’s important to decide what form of journalism you most want to undertake as a professional. While many photojournalists work for themselves and write for a variety of online and print publications, others choose to work with regional newspapers, journals, magazines or news companies. The type and scope of work you will be doing as a photojournalist can determine what type of training or education you may need.

In addition to having some form of training in photojournalism, many newspapers and television stations require a period of internship before full-time job offers or contracts will be extended. An internship can be paid or unpaid, depending on the type of work is to be performed, but can be a useful learning opportunity for many budding photojournalists. The most effective way to become a photojournalist and get an internship is to become a member of a photojournalism association or get in touch with others in this field.

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