Duties and responsibilities
Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that employs images in order to tell a news story. The typical responsibilities and duties of a photojournalist include:
- Setting up camera equipment to get the best shots
- Choosing the best type of film, selecting the appropriate filters and altering the lighting to achieve the desired effect
- Editing photographs and improving the overall quality using computer software programs, such as Adobe Photoshop
- Maintaining a detailed digital portfolio to demonstrate their work and skill
To become a photojournalists, you should aim to achieve a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism, where you will learn about the history and theory behind photojournalism and begin developing skills in photography, journalism, and storytelling.
Once a bachelor’s degree is achieved, aspiring photojournalists should aim to achieve an internship with a newspaper or magazine publication, as this will give them the opportunity to learn about the industry and gain valuable experience.
Before seeking employment, photojournalists should compile a portfolio of their best work, which can be evaluated by employers. Once employed, older work in this portfolio should be replaced with newer, more professional photos.
Skills and relevant work experience
Photojournalists must be able to act quickly and position themselves at the most opportune places and they must also be able to work under high pressure. As well as this, photojournalists must have skills such as:
- Interpersonal skills to communicate with clients and journalists to ensure they produce the desired result
- Attention to detail as photojournalists must focus on every small detail, such as lighting or positioning, to create compelling images fit for the news
- Computer skills are essential as photojournalists are responsible for their own postproduction work and therefore must be able to use photo-editing software
- Organizational skills as a photojournalist might spend anywhere from a day to a week shooting images in various locations, for various stories, and it is important that they maintain organization of their images and corresponding stories
Most photojournalists are self-employed, meaning they are in charge of their own schedule. However, photojournalists often have to travel and work long hours, meaning that most of them work over 40 hours a week.
According to Indeed, the average salary of a photojournalist in the United States is $46,671 per year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of self-employed photographers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2018 to 2028, meaning that there are opportunities of photojournalists who are self-employed and try to sell their work to media outlets.
For the 2% of photographers hired by newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers and the 3% of photographers hired by the broadcasting injury, they can become responsible for the training and management of lower-level photographers.