The rapid development of photographic equipment has led to the fact that now almost everyone has the opportunity to shoot and share their pictures. But, trying to understand the materials of a photo site, you will see that not all the pictures posted there are expressive enough to create a vivid impression of the event on the viewer. The photographer must be able to do just that. Looking at a photograph, a person should feel as if he himself had visited the place. This can and should be learned.
Perhaps the best place to start is with a local newspaper. Local publications are constantly experiencing a shortage of photos, so you will have the opportunity to try your hand. Consult with the editor and prepress specialist, ask for a task. Ask about plot requirements and quality. At the event, take several photos of each episode. This is especially important if you are heading to a sporting event. A sports photojournalist sometimes has to take several hundred shots in a row so that you can choose one for the newspaper.
Do I need to get a diploma? This question often arises among beginners. If there is an opportunity - it is better to get a diploma, it will not be superfluous. Photojournalism is taught at some major universities. The faculty of journalism may have a department of newspaper technology, where you can get the specialty you need. Such a department is, for example, at the Faculty of Journalism of Moscow State University.
For beginning photojournalists, master classes, courses and seminars are held. There are a lot of them, but you need to choose with caution. Such classes are usually not cheap, and at the same time, there is a high probability of stumbling, if not on a scammer, but on a person who knows little. But such master classes are conducted, for example, by photojournalists of reputable publications. Take the time to browse through large glossy magazines, reputable newspapers, and well-established online portals. See whose pictures they post. If a master class is conducted by one of these masters, feel free to sign up and do not spare money. Training with a true master of his craft will certainly pay off.
Think about which genre of photojournalism you would like to do. This can be news, reportage or documentary photojournalism. If you prefer the latest news - learn to independently search for events that you can interestingly tell others. A photo story is several shots from the same event, and what is happening should be disclosed from different angles. Documentary photojournalism is similar to reporting, but covers a longer period of time.
On social networks you will find professional communities of photojournalists who work in different genres of this art. Enter the one that you like best, see what pictures the participants upload, what the discussers pay attention to. Post some of your shots. If they are criticized, do not be offended, but try to understand which comments you agree with and which you don’t accept. Learn to be critical of your work. By the way, in the communities you can make useful contacts with people who will help you get a job in an online publication.
Master several image processing and prepress programs. Many news outlets appreciate the originals of the pictures, but the printing house has certain requirements, so processing skills will not be superfluous.
Where to begin?
The profession of a photojournalist requires the simultaneous operation of three organs: the heart, hands and eyes. Hands are an integral working tool that must manage to photograph everything that the eyes see. The heart helps in the photo to reflect the reality passed through the inner perception of the author. The main task of the photographer is the ability to take off the mask from people and show their sincerity, because many play with the camera.
First you need to study how a photojournalist’s day goes, read autobiographies and watch documentaries about photojournalism. Think about what is your desire to become a photojournalist related to? It is necessary to decide what you want to show this to the world that no one else has seen?
If you are not ready to part with your family and familiar life, then pay attention to the peculiarities of your country. Perhaps something important goes out of sight for every person. If you decide to reveal your potential abroad, think about whether you have the right amount of money to fulfill your dreams. In addition, you should understand that, despite all the difficulties of this work, you have many competitors with the availability of high-quality equipment and bright ideas.
How to become a professional?
The first thing that catches the attention of a person who picks up a newspaper or magazine is a first-class shot. Photojournalists are special observers who seek beauty in the most ordinary things. Professionals never stand still, they constantly study, improve, communicate with colleagues, take examples from prominent photojournalists, acquire their own authorial style and pay attention to any little things. An experienced photojournalist should give an objective and independent assessment of the events taking place around. Professionalism may depend on the experience, talent and character of the person. A photojournalist needs to always interact with people, so studying psychology will benefit. It is also important to have good physical fitness in order to easily handle the camera.
Not everyone can become a professional publicist, but this must be sought. All the obstacles and difficulties on the path to mastery can be overcome if you have a clear position and confidence that you want to succeed in the photojournalism industry. A true photojournalist will never call himself a master or professional. On the contrary, he is infinitely engaged in self-knowledge and self-improvement, seeking to discover new abilities in himself.