Best Thing About the Job
What I love the most is that I meet new people. I also get to travel a lot, which allows me to explore different issues and circumstances, many good and many bad. It gives me more of an appreciation for life.
The perks for me are travel and meeting great people. I have forged lifelong friendships with my colleagues and other people after meeting them at an event or when I was covering some stories.
Financial growth is not that great in this profession. I feel the biggest kind of growth is personal. To be good at your craft you have to always push yourself during assignments and try to find a special moment that captures the mood or the essence of what you want to convey.
Some freelance photojournalists get paid per picture; some give them away for free to gain exposure, which hurts others in the industry. Other photographers, who work for agencies or freelance can make a decent living. However, I feel like being a photojournalist is not about making money. The passion and drive to report or document should be the main reason for getting into the industry. Anyone who is interested in making money should work in a different field.
The challenge that I face is in becoming not only a better photographer, but a better journalist. Deadlines are also a challenge. When covering a story or an event, doing it to the best of one’s ability is not the only concern, getting the photographs out in a time is also extremely important.
A Typical Day at Work
I really don’t have a typical day. I usually try to focus on the stories I have planned to shoot and work on the logistics of organising travel and shoots. There is a lot of research that is involved, so reading and scouring the internet is very important as it helps in touching base with the right contacts and sources. Then there are the logistics, such as getting visas, permissions, accreditations and making sure equipment is serviced and working.
Skill Sets and Qualities
Integrity, persistence, a good dose of curiosity and a sense of humour are key. Integrity is the most important quality one needs to have to be a good photojournalist. As our photographs get published in different media all over the world, we have a social responsibility to our audience to make sure that what we present is correct and true. Persistence is also very important. It is a competitive industry and there are many ups and downs. It will be the hardest working photojournalists who will excel in their careers.
I studied history at university back in Australia. I feel it has helped me a lot as it has given me an insight into different cultures. By evaluating a country’s history, one gets a greater understanding and appreciation for its people. I feel like that has helped me in terms of understanding the people I photograph.
One Thing You Would Change About the Job
I would like to retain copyright over my images. But that is a trade off for working for an agency since my cameras and equipment are provided for, salary paid and travel expenses met. All of these are great, but I believe authorship of one’s own material is important.
Volume 2 Issue 2