What is a Photojournalist


Usually, people think that a photojournalist is someone who travels to the zone of intrigue and scandals to photograph the most epic moments or as  simply as a photographer. 

In fact, the photojournalist not only covers topics related to the suffering of mankind but also covers many other topics in order to capture the most interesting and exciting for the viewer.

Increasingly today, photojournalists are busy taking pictures of nature and its amazing gifts. Also today, the topic of sports and art is popular in the field of photojournalism. 

In this article, we will take a closer look at who a photojournalist is, what he does, and how to become a professional in this field.

What is Photojournalism?

What is Photojournalism

Photojournalism is storytelling through photographs. The mission of this profession is to find the best shots and make stories out of them. In this profession, even details are important, since poorly selected frames can convey the wrong picture that was needed.

The main tasks of this profession are photographing interesting and exciting moments, choosing the best shots from all that were taken, editing them, and compiling them into one story that can be told to the viewer.

A photojournalist should have such skills as:

  • Making the quality photos

Undoubtedly, the word photojournalist already says that you will need to work with a camera and do it confidently and with high quality. You need to understand photography's basics and how to take good pictures correctly. Since the events photographed can be rare and sensational, a photojournalist needs to be able to capture the brightest shot the first time and capture it clearly and beautifully.

  • Storytelling

Another skill that a photojournalist should have is to be a good storyteller. Although a photojournalist will have to tell stories through photographs, there must be a love for writing stories.

Once unique and eye-catching footage has been captured, it must be positioned to create a compelling story. A photojournalist must be able to capture the attention of the public and interest the audience with their work.

  • Establishing communication

This is the third factor that helps journalists create compelling stories. A person who has chosen this profession for himself should be able to establish a connection with people so that they would door him and be able to tell what they preferred to remain silent about. A photojournalist will have to shoot more dramatic and sometimes bloody pictures. Not every person wants to share his grief, but he also understands that maybe someone will be saved with just an important story. In such a situation, the communication skills of a photojournalist are more important than ever. with the right words, he will be able to create an atmosphere of trust and capture intimate stories.

Relevance of photojournalism

In fact, after a certain amount of time, photojournalism as a profession will begin to disappear, because people invest a lot of money in buying new equipment with good camera capabilities. This will allow you to get high-quality pictures of absolutely anything without the services of a photojournalist. Publishers will also use audience snapshots rather than hiring a professional. However, this does not mean that this profession is no longer needed. There will always be agencies that need real professionals. Therefore, if you like this profession, continue to develop in this direction and you will definitely be able to find a job.

How To Become A Photojournalist?

How To Become A Photojournalist

In order for the pictures to be of the highest quality and interesting, a photojournalist must be able to work with modern technology, take pictures, take interesting shots, adjust the light, and also be able to capture a rare but exciting shot, even if you need to be in a dangerous situation. So, we can say that one of the essential skills of a photojournalist is perseverance. Let's take a closer look at what it takes to become a top photojournalist.

Start with the basics

To become a professional photojournalist, you need to start by learning photography. To do this, familiarize yourself with the settings and capabilities of your camera and equipment in general. You can find a huge number of sources to help you understand more about the art of photography. If you don't already have a camera, you need to read as much information as you can on what equipment you can choose to get started.

Once you've learned how to operate your equipment, start taking as many photos as you can and try to put them together in a story.

Basic science training is the first thing you should do if you want to become a professional in this field.

Improve your skills

Even if you have received the basic skills, work hard on yourself, on your tasks, abilities, and skills. To practice photojournalism, attend events while taking pictures. While filming, experiment with lighting, camera settings, and camera angles.

Explore examples

To become the best photojournalist, study other people's work. To do this, you can read popular newspapers and magazines, and leaf through online publications. Study shadows, lighting, the position of objects in images, and everything else that affects the quality of the picture.

Publish your work

If you have good work, post it. Bring them to the publisher and offer to publish them. You can not take money for your first work. In this case, it is important for you to create your portfolio.
Submit applications for the publication of your work, the more and more often you do this, the more chances you have for success.

Think about your safety

Working as a photojournalist can be quite dangerous, as you have to shoot inside fires, natural disasters, and traffic accidents. Think ahead about your protection. You need to insure yourself, your equipment, your work. As for the latter, you can upload your work to various clouds, from where access will be from different devices if the main equipment with the work is damaged.
Also, don't put yourself in harm's way when it comes to dangerous photography. Your safety matters most.

Meet other professionals

You need to communicate with those who are also experienced in this field or are already experienced professionals. Meet your colleagues. Ask them questions, arrange joint photo stories, and share tips and experiences. All this will help you a lot in your quest to become a professional.

Develop a photographic eye

Being a good photographer doesn't just mean buying a good camera. Good technique will surely help you, but if you don't have a developed photographic eye, you won't be able to become a professional.

Find your theme

To be the best in your field, you need to find your subject in photojournalism. If you decide that nature photography is your field, devote most of your time to this. By focusing on certain topics, you can go further in those directions and even become famous.

Start looking for a job

As soon as you master the art of photography, manage to create a small portfolio of your work, learn how to work with a camera - immediately start looking for work in this area. You can start by looking at ads on this topic. To do this, you can create your resume by attaching your work to it and indicating what you can do.
When looking for offers, try to start by submitting your application for a freelance assignment to the publication. This will be a good start for your future activities.

Learn to run a business

Quite often, photojournalists work as freelancers, that is, for themselves. In order to successfully run your business, work on managing finances, finding customers, and protecting the rights of your work. Even if you were nevertheless hired as an employee, try to soberly assess whether you are paid enough for your work and whether everything suits you in your work. This is important because your work conditions will determine your future success.

Be prepared for your temporary difficulties

There may be problems in any area, but these are only temporary difficulties. You may not be making too much profit from your work early on, or you may be surprised that you can't find a large number of jobs with photojournalist job offers. You should not focus on this, your main task is to continue on and not stop.

Divide your work time into all areas of your activity

As a photojournalist, you will be required to perform a range of tasks. This includes photography, photo editing, working on your website, and portfolio, negotiating with partners, and other equally important tasks. All this takes time, so make a schedule of the day in advance, in which you allocate time for each component of your project.

Keep your content as clean as possible

Many photojournalists grab onto dirty scandals, political squabbles, someone else's personal life, and everything that can quickly become popular and bring money. However, this is not the best path for a professional photojournalist. In the first stages, you will have few orders and a small profit, but over time you can become a highly paid specialist with a good reputation.

Do you need a degree in photojournalism?

In fact, there are universities that offer a photojournalism degree. Whether it is worth getting an education in this industry or not is up to you. As a rule, it will take about 4 years to study as a photojournalist and this can be a big plus when trying to build a career as a photojournalist.

If you are a young aspiring photojournalist, you can go to university to study this profession. As a rule, in this case, you have a large amount of free time that you could spend on learning the basics of photojournalism. Also, it will have a beneficial effect on your connections. At the university, you can find like-minded people who will think in the same direction as you, and perhaps you can share experiences with each other or even start a joint business.

On the other hand, if you are already an experienced photojournalist, you have your own portfolio, a job, a large number of orders, you are quite versed in your business, you may not go to university to get this profession.

A photojournalism degree doesn't matter when building your career. Your talent, experience, and skills are important here. If you think you're strong enough in your field, you don't need to get an education in this area.

Famous photojournalists

To analyze this topic in more detail, we need to consider examples of famous photojournalists. To do this, we have prepared for you a list of famous professionals whose work can inspire you to create your work.

    • Robert Capa

Robert Capa

This journalist is known for his military photo stories. He was so involved in his business that he risked his safety by making dangerous shots. Unfortunately, one of his photo stories cost him his life.

    • Matthew Brady

Matthew Brady

Matthew was popular for the war stories that he filmed. Some of his works were devoted to the First World War. He is devoted to his profession and his favorite work, when shooting soldiers, he had to run around with terribly heavy equipment, trying to capture important and rare footage.

    • Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange

This photojournalist is known for her photographs, which depicted the migrants and the poor of those times. What she was doing at that time was called the business of public knowledge.

    • Henri Cartier Bresson

Henri Cartier Bresson

This man can rightly be called the father of photojournalism. His style may have been walking around towns to capture what he could photograph.


What does photojournalism explain?

Photojournalism is a form of journalism that deals with photography. Its essence lies in taking photographs, which are then collected into one story and told to the audience.

What is the difference between a photographer and a photojournalist?

The difference between a photojournalist and a photographer is that a photojournalist knows how to properly create sensational and exciting stories that will please the viewer. Another hallmark of photojournalism is its adherence to the code of journalism.

What is the difference between a journalist and a photojournalist?

Despite the fact that people of both these professions are busy spreading unique and sensational facts, there are differences between them. Journalists use words to describe an event, while photojournalists take photographs to describe a story.

Who was the first photojournalist?

In history, the title of the first photojournalists is attributed to Carol Satmari and Roger Fenton. These famous personalities filmed the events of the Crimean War on camera.

What are the branches of photojournalism?

In photojournalism, there are various directions that you can choose for yourself, among them:

  • Sport
  • News and important events
  • Art
  • Life of famous personalities
  • Nature and its unique gifts

What are the ground rules for photojournalism?

This field of activity has its own rules, which we advise you to use in order to be the best in your business. These rules include the following items:

  • Rely only on true facts and events;
  • Spread only those facts that can be verified;
  • Do not use illegal and prohibited methods of obtaining information.

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