Photo imaging industry area
My chosen area of focus is photojournalism.
Photojournalism is a form of photography with a focus on using images to tell a news story. It is the role of a photojournalist to document a scene accurately, fairly and objectively. Photojournalism isn’t always about a perfectly framed composition or a pretty subject. It’s about showing the world what happened. Great social change can come from bearing witness to such moments.
Photojournalists can be found working all over the world and deal with a broad range of assignments. Some of these may include magazines, newspapers, conflict/war zones, political and social/documentary type assignments. The intended audience for a photojournalist is the general public and those who are especially interested in important political and social issues that affect our world.
Careers in photojournalism vary and can also lead you into different areas of photography. Photojournalists can work for television, magazines, freelance, agencies, newspapers and a wide variety of media types.
Some relatable job roles are;
Newspaper photographer, Freelance photojournalist, Picture Editor, Layout Editor, Magazine Photographer, Documentary Film maker, Video Editor, Journalist, Web Designer and Graphic Artist.
I would like to focus on Newspaper and/or magazine work with a social/documentary slant. I could also see this branching into the photo editing field, but would like to develop my skill and eye before hand.
Industry professional organisation
Some professional organisations which are relatable to photojournalism are;
NPPA (National Press Photographers Association) is a professional body who specifically support photojournalists. The NPPA offer reasonable membership rates to students, a chance to network with other photojournalists, job opportunities, training and a critiquing service.
AIPP (Australian Industry of Professional Photographers is a professional body of accredited photographers. Being a part of this body means being kept up to date with industry news, networking opportunities, job opportunities, product offers, training opportunities, mentoring and to be part of a united representative body.
When working as a photojournalist there are some legal requirements as well as laws and regulations to be mindful of.
Photographing in public: It is generally allowable to photograph people, sites and buildings in public without asking permission, although there are some limitations. Becoming familiar with these laws would be a necessity as a photojournalists as the majourity of images would be of a spontaneous “as it happens” nature and in a public setting in most cases.
Model Release Form: When photographing people for commercial or promotional use, a model release form would be required to insure you have permission to use their image.
Private properties / Government/Crown Land: When shooting in places such as private property, council/government buildings or national parks, written permission by the way of an application may be required.
Copyright: Gives the creator of an image the right to protect, reproduce, sell and publish their work. Photographs are protected by copyright as soon as they’re produced. Copyright can be transferred by the owner at any stage. As a photographer it is important to remind clients of the copyright laws pertaining to your images they may be purchasing from you.
Issues of concern to the industry
By far the biggest impact to photojournalism is the rise of social / internet media and the so called “citizen journalist”. News editors are becoming reliant on the public to snap quick and easy newsworthy images, and most importantly for free.
The use of hand held smart phones to capture and upload events within minutes of them occurring is subsequently making everyone a photographer. It is becoming increasingly difficult for photojournalists to make a living due to well equipped amateurs and iPhone wielding citizens.
While some in the industry see this as the death of photojournalism many photographers, publications and news editors are adapting to the current trends. Most recently reporters for Time magazine used iPhones and uploaded images to Instagram to report the events of Hurricane Sandy.
My prominent practitioner is Lynsey Addario. Lynsey is an award winning photojournalist who primarily shoots for the New York Times, Time Magazine and National Geographic.
She is a skilled conflict photographer and has reported in numerous countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Lynsey is a leader in her field as she offers a female perspective in a field which is predominately male dominated. She is renown for her focus on the situations of women, where war, poverty and violence are a part of daily life. As a female she is welcomed into conservatives cultures, often where men are not allowed.
Lynsey is quite long established in her industry. Although she still utilises many tools to promote and build her profile. She has her own website which profiles all her assignments, a bio and press/published work. She is a member of the renown photo agency VII. Who are a collective of photographers who specialise in conflict photojournalism. Their website features an in depth look into her work, her biography and how to contact her.
Entry pathway plan
My entry path way plan into photojournalism would first involve developing a portfolio of work. This may involve attending newsworthy events in my local community and doing volunteer photography work.
I would then actively seek out some work experience. Traditional Cadetships at publications are still offered. I would start out with offering my time to a local newspaper. I could also seek out some experience with an established photojournalist and offer to assist them.
I would also seek to join some professional organisations. Such as the NPPA (National Press Photographers Association), who offer reasonable membership rates to students, a chance to network with other photojournalists and who advertise job opportunities.
Once I began to develop a body of work I would create a website to display my work. I would also utilise social media such as facebook, twitter and instagram. These social networks would allow me to not only get my own work seen but also network with other photojournalists.
Addario, L, 2011, Lynsey Addario: ‘It’s What I Do’, New York Times, viewed 10th September 2013, http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/30/lynsey-addario-its-what-i-do/?_r=0
Arts Law Centre of Australia, 2013, Street photographer’s rights, viewed 10th September 2013, http://www.artslaw.com.au/info-sheets/info-sheet/street-photographers-rights/
Australian Institute of Professional Photography, AIPP, Victoria, viewed 5th September 2013, http://www.aipp.com.au
Bercovici, J 2012, Why Time Magazine Used Instagram To Cover Hurricane Sandy, viewed 10th September 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2012/11/01/why-time-magazine-used-instagram-to-cover-hurricane-sandy/
Brenke, R 2013, Photography Legal Overview: Forms, Contracts & Rights, viewed 10th September 2013, http://photographyspark.com/photography-business-legal-overview/
Education Portal 2013, Photojournalist: Job Outlook for the Photojournalism Career Field, viewed September 1st 2013, http://education-portal.com/articles/Photojournalist_Job_Outlook_for_the_Photojournalism_Career_Field.html
Gerra, M 2013, The Death of Photojournalism, viewed 1st September 2013, http://thediagonal.com/2013/06/07/the-death-of-photojournalism/
Lynsey Addario (personal website), viewed 10th September 2013, http://www.lynseyaddario.com/
Nemeth, A 2007, NSW Photo Rights: Australian street photography legal issues, viewed 10th September 2013, http://photorights.4020.net
Theedar, S 1999, Privacy in photographic images, viewed 10th September 2013, http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/PLPR/1999