Career in Photojournalism

7 minute read
Career in Photojournalism

Storytelling constitutes a vital part of Journalism, be it through the written and spoken word or impactful visuals. On the other hand, photography does not only documents the happy moments but can be used as a powerful tool to tell unspoken stories that often get ignored. Blending these two crucial forms of storytelling, Photojournalism concerns itself with depicting those untold and overlooked narratives that are prevalent in the present times. A photojournalist is a one-man team travelling through the conflicted regions across the world and bringing out striking images that portray those people, communities or issues that are somehow cut off from the world. Through this blog, we will delve deeper into what a career in Photojournalism is all about, universities offering courses in this domain as well as the scope it entails.

Different Types of Journalism

What is Photojournalism?

As a specialised field of study, Photojournalism is concerned with the application of photography skills and aesthetics to the domain of news reporting and journalism. As a photojournalist, you get to work with broadcast channels, newspapers and magazines and bring them stories from the far-fetched parts across the globe. Essentially, this job combines the role of a photographer with a reporter as you get to document life as it is along with contemporary issues that the world is going through. 

Career in Photography

Types of Photojournalism

Photojournalism refers to the use of photography to explain a moment, problem, event, or story. It is a way of telling stories, presenting a story intuitively through photos. Photojournalism is one of the most important forms of printed news and has become an indispensable part of journalism. Below are 8 different types of Photojournalism:

  • Spot News Photojournalism – The spot news photos convey an urgency, unplanned, and often uncomfortable or unwelcome atmosphere.
  • General News Photojournalism – Journalistic organizations schedule the general news photojournalism process is termed general or planned news.
  • Feature Photojournalism – This feature is a broad category, including images that have at least some news value and images that are easily classified into one or more other non-news categories.
  • Sports Action Photojournalism – Sports action pictures are keen to capture the action that takes place. Photographing sports action is dangerous.
  • Sports Features Photojournalism – Sports feature images are the same as features, except that they always contain sports. Photographers usually take these photos immediately before, during, or after the sporting event, but they can also be taken at other times.
  • Portrait/Personality Photojournalism – The portrait/personality category does not include all faces, but provides insight into the mind and soul. The photographer asks the reader to walk in the shoes of the character being depicted.
  • Pictorial Photojournalism – The outstanding images in the image category demonstrate the artistry of photojournalism. The image usually depends on the light and shape and how they interact.
  • Illustration Photojournalism – Illustrated photojournalism refers to creating a combination of “new” images or manipulated images.

How to Start Your Career in Photojournalism? 

Do you feel Photojournalism is dead? No, but it takes a lot more hard work to make it a career today. Before you start, it is important to figure out what type of photography you want to do. So you must decide when to take action. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes to find out. Let’s go through some important tips: 

Step 1: Create a website to get your work noticed

Step 2: Showcase only your best photos on your website

Step 3: Learn other skills to help you stand out when applying for a photojournalism job

Step 4: Once you have build a great looking portfolio website, it takes time to take action and get yourself noticed. You can do that by: 

  • Creating your own Photojournalism stories
  • Connect with other people and photojournalists
  • Use criticism to your advantage
  • Pitch your work everywhere. Find websites, magazines or companies that might like your work and send it to them. 

Subjects Covered

Though most of the photography courses avail students with the opportunity to specialise in the arena of photojournalism, there are many basic diplomas and certificates that will only give you a general overview of this field. Meanwhile, let’s first take a look at the varied subjects that constitute the study of Photojournalism: 

  • Introduction to Photojournalism and Documentary Photography
  • Art Photography vs. Photojournalism
  • Histories and Theories of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography 
  • Documentary Storytelling
  • Media Theory and Media Law
  • Dissertation
  • Photojournalism in the News
  • Contemporary Professional Practice
  • Understanding Exposure – Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO
  • Aesthetic Effects of Manipulating Exposure Components
Interested in Making a Career in the Glamour World?
Check Out Fashion Photography!

Skills Required to Become a Photojournalist

Since Photojournalism as a career domain demands persistence and perseverance, the aspirants need to possess certain skills in order to pursue this field. Take a look at the following list of key skills and abilities that you must imbibe to capture visuals that are powerful and thought-provoking.

  • Attention to Detail
  • Speed
  • Image and Video Editing
  • Technical Skills: Advanced knowledge of composition, aesthetic photography, etc.
  • Communication Skills
  • Research Skills
  • Networking
  • Flexibility
  • Organisational Skills

Courses in Photojournalism

There are various educational institutions around the world that provide a wide range of specialised courses focusing on the study of Photojournalism. Take a look at the following list of photography and media courses having this specialisation:

  • Diploma/BA/MA in Journalism (Photojournalism)
  • Bachelor of Journalism (Photojournalism)
  • BA (Hons) in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography
  • BFA in Photojournalism
  • MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography
  • MA in New Media Photojournalism
  • Bachelor of Arts in Journalism: Concentration in Photojournalism
  • B.S.V.C. in Visual Communication – Photojournalism Major
Master in Journalism

Top Universities Offering Courses in Photojournalism

An array of numerous universities and colleges around the world offer a multitude of courses in the field of Journalism and Photography. Once you have decided on a program to study, go through the below-mentioned list which elucidates some of the major institutions providing courses in this domain: 

Top 10 Colleges for Photojournalism in India

Earlier, you had to learn the subtleties of photography at work, or as a helper for famous photographers. But now you can easily acquire the necessary skills in good institutes. Some of the best colleges offering Photojournalism is mentioned below: 

  • Delhi College of Photography
  • Creative Hut Institute of Photography
  • Light and Life Academy
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University
  • University of Delhi
  • Institute of Mass Communication
  • International Institute of Mass Media
  • AJ Kidwai Mass Communication Research 
  • Asian Academy of Film and Television 
  • YMCA Centre of Mass Media

Job Prospects 

There are diverse job opportunities for students after completing a degree in Photojournalism. As a photojournalist, you can work independently as a freelancer or associate yourself with broadcast companies, public relations firms, advertising agencies,  news agencies, TV channels, newspapers and magazines. Further, you can also work with film production houses to work on documentary filmmaking. Given below is a list of popular jobs which students with a degree in Photojournalism can pursue:

Job ProfilesSalary Trends (in USD)
Photographer33,000 – 1,10,000 (INR 24 lakhs – 80 lakhs)
Journalist40,000 – 1,12,000 (INR 29 lakhs – 84 lakhs)
Film and Video Editor34,000 – 1,52,000 (INR 25 lakhs – 1.11 cr)
Reporter43,000 – 1,10,000 (31 lakhs – 80 lakhs)
Broadcast News Analyst50,000 – 1,07,000 (INR 36 lakhs – 78 lakhs)
Video Producer49,000 – 83,000 (INR 36 lakhs – 60 lakhs)
Multimedia Specialist33,000 – 61,000 (INR 24 lakhs – 44 lakhs)
VFX Artist65,000 – 1,15,000 (47 lakhs – 85 lakhs)

Advantages of a Career in Photojournalism

The job of a photojournalist can be tricky, especially when it comes to building relationships. However, it has many advantages. If any or all of the following appeal to you, you should probably considering becoming one of them: 

  • A photojournalist can travel the world. 
  • A photojournalism career is beneficial, depending on how much experience you gain.
  • When a historic event occurs, a photojournalist can actually be present.
  • This job is dynamic and exciting-you can do something new every day
  • Photojournalists have access to celebrities and famous people that most others do not.

List of 5 Famous Indian Photojournalists

The job of a photojournalist is not easy. Because of the constant flow of newsworthy events, their work is often overlooked because one article replaces another, and some of the most fascinating visual narratives in the archive are lost. Here we have collated a list of breathtaking photographers of all time: 

Arati Kumar Rao 

Credits: India Rivers Forum 

Adnan Abidi 

Credits: India Photo Fest

Raghu Rai 

Credits: Artery India

Sunil Janah

Credits: Kamla Show

Pablo Bartholomew

Credits: China Daily USA

Thus, opting for a career in Photojournalism means that you will be pursuing a rigorous yet fulfilling and rewarding job! If you are aspiring to study a degree in Journalism or Media-related fields, take the help of our Leverage Edu’s AI tool to browse through a plethora of programs and universities in your chosen domain and find a suitable combination that aligns with your interests and aspirations.

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