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 Post subject: Photojournalism
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:44 am 
I'm interested in photojournalism as a career. My dream would be traveling to different nations photographing things such as the Darfur Conflict rather than shooting for a local newspaper. I was wondering how hard it is to break into this field and what kind of majors I should look at, besides a photojournalism major. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:20 am 
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Hi RHID, welcome to Cameralabs!

I'm a great believer in natural enthusiasm for a subject rather than formal qualifications. Rather than study something, why not just go out and do it?

If I was an Editor of a paper and wanted someone to photograph a situation, I'd look for someone with experience and known skill in that - not a qualification from a college.

So sure, learn the technical side of photography and feel free to study the work of successful artists, but if you want to get into photojournalism the thing I'd recommend is to just start doing it for real. But start at a smaller scale - try some reportage photography for your local publications - even a free paper - approach them and ask if you can take photos of events for free.

You will eventually meet people who are photographing bigger events, or the people who are commissioning those shoots. And during this time you'll be improving your skills, finding a style, building a portfolio of work and gaining valuable experience - they might even be paying you! Ultimately, find your style, don't be taught it.

That's just my own opinion though!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 6:58 pm 
I was thinking a college degree in photography or something like that would help teach me the basics and advanced parts of photography since I don't have much experience, plus it would look good on paper and give me an advantage when applying for a job.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:36 pm 
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Hi RHID, I'm also a great believer in researching job adverts for their requirements before spending 3 years studying something which may not be relevant or required.

So read the media sections of newspapers for job adverts, or better still, approach the photo agencies who's credits you see next to their photos in newspapers and ask them what qualifications they look for in a photographer. I'm betting few if any would look for a college degree. They're looking instead for a portfolio and real-life experience, so again my tip for you would be to go out and start doing it for real.

Also look out for exhibitions and talks by well-known photographers and talk to them about how they got into it. Or simply read interviews with them.

If you want to learn about photography, both the techncial and creative side, then sure, a course is ideal, but in my experience there's few courses which will equip you with the qualifications required to get the kind of job you're after. And you can learn about photography by reading some books, joining a club, and meeting fellow photographers.

So obviously feel free to take any course you like - and I bet it would be great fun and teach you a lot - but don't assume it will necessarily be the right qualification to get you the kind of job you're talking about. Better to find out what qualifications and experience are required or expected by the kind of people and companies that commission this work first.

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:53 pm 
Nice tips, I'll definitely check them out. Thanks for the help.


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