Photojournalism is the telling of stories through images. This form of journalism is highly revered with many photojournalists travelling to war-torn countries to document key events, suffering and injustices. It is also a job that tries to capture the mood and meaning behind moments of life.
This type of photography requires the person to integrate themselves enough to be near the action, but be far enough removed to not affect what is going on.
Becoming a well-respected photojournalist takes a lot of time, travel and a flair for knowing the moments that are to be documented. Here’s a list of some of the greats to inspire your journey into photojournalism:
Robert Capa – Jewish combat photographer and photojournalist until his death in 1954. He covered five different wars: the Spanish Civil War, the Second Sino-Japanese War, World War II, the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the First Indochina War. He died by standing on a landmine, camera in hand.
Lee Miller – starting out as a model, Lee became a war reporter for Vogue magazine during the second World War covering the London Blitz and several concentration camps. She was an established fashion and fine art photographer up until her death in 1977.
James Nachtwey – An American photojournalist and a war reporter. The introduction to James’ website is a quote from him about his work: “I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.”
Development in the digital age
Now, journalists are expected to have a wide skill set including writing skills, photography knowledge and a grasp of social media and how information is shared across digital platforms. Way back when, photojournalists had one job – to capture an image that sums up the situation they are covering.
Many photojournalists today will also be expected to write the accompanying copy as well as how best to use their imagery to tell a story across social media. It is much more than being a photographer.
If you’re serious about learning the craft of photojournalism, it’s worth looking into the degree course you can do. There’s many options including:
- Staffordshire University
- London Metropolitan University
- University of South Wales
- University of Gloucestershire
Modules include an overview of photojournalism and how this works with social media, collaborative practice, subject and sequence, and the properties and context of the photograph.
At Parrot Print we have great advice on getting your first paid photography gig as well as an introduction to product photography if you are considering this as a career. You can also promote your own work in your home, or as gifts for friends and family, by turning photos to canvas.
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