PICTURE THIS!

FPJ BureauUpdated: Sunday, June 02, 2019, 08:30 AM IST
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It is often said that apicture can speak athousand words. Wielding their command over the camera, photojournalists have the ability to make astory come alive. With the right dose of passion and skill, REENA JHAVERI reports on how a career i

n photojournalism can work for you

It is extremely interesting, can border on dangerous, and yet very satisfying. If a notebook is a reporters tool, then the camera is a photojournalists. Odd though it may sound, comic books have inspired many to consider a career in photojournalism. Jimmy Olsen ( Superman creator) and Peter Parker ( Spiderman inventor) hearken back to the days when a camera and a good eye for detail were all that were essential for careers in photojournalism. ( By the by, Peters tendency set up his camera to take pictures of himself as Spiderman go against the deepest ethics of photojournalism. For shame, Spidey, for shame!) ‘In India, often, photojournalists work side by side with a reporter to decide which photographs will accompany a story. You might be assigned to work on a story with your series of photographs adding depth and dimension to the written article,’says R Venugopal, senior photographer with a leading Mumbai daily, who has been in the trade for over twenty five years. But one thing is certain, ‘Besides a keen interest in journalism, to have a successful photojournalism career, you should be willing to go wherever the story goes,’elaborates Venugopal. If you are interested in an exciting career as a photojournalist, be ready to expect the unexpected.

NATURE OF WORK

During incidents such as a fire, earthquake, outbreak of war, famous death or notable celebration, a photojournalist will undoubtedly be on location to capture the scene on film.

Photojournalists must be able to recognise a scene or event as important or unusual, and act quickly to capture it on film.

Photojournalists often specialise in a specific area of journalism such as sports, entertainment, medicine, war, or late- breaking news. The primary differences between these specialties lie in the subject matter, work locations, type of equipment used and the amount of training and precision required for design and composition. Most photojournalists work on a freelance basis and writing may also be part of an assignment.

These days, magazines and newspapers buy picture stories, which include both the pictures and a written narrative to accompany.

EDUCATIONAL PATHS

Most photojournalists have a university degree or college diploma in journalism or a related field, such as photography or communications, though this is not crucial in photojournalism.

Most photographers start at small publications or broadcast stations. Large publications and stations hire few recent graduates; as a standard industry rule, they require all photographers to have at least several years of experience.

Journalists suggest that photographers also work on their writing skills as a tool for success.

It is also helpful to learn the latest computer software programmes.

INTEREST AND SKILLS

Photojournalists must be passionate about their work and take pictures in an attempt to express strong messages. They must have great manual dexterity, be detail- oriented and have a good sense of timing. Since a photographers aim is to capture the perfect picture, they must also have good eyesight and colour vision. Those who work with people must have great communications skills, be patient listeners and have the ability to put people at ease. If a photojournalist cannot make their subjects comfortable, then the picture may not be a true reflection of the person. Also, those working in foreign countries must be culturally sensitive to people who are not comfortable with cameras.

Successful photojournalists enjoy composing and arranging innovative pictures and working with cameras. Since a scene or person can be photographed in a hundred different ways, it is up to the photojournalist t

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