Photojournalism is the process of storytelling, using photography as your main medium. While a journalist use their pen and paper to tell stories, a photojournalist will use their photos for visual representation of the story.
Good photojournalists are always moving. All of us are familiar with the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Well, this is the theory behind photojournalism. It dates back to 1806 when the funeral of Horatio Nelson was printed in The New York Times but it was first considered in 1842 when the Illustrated London Weekly was first printed.
Photojournalism was on its high during the 1930’s through the 1950’s, the word meant capturing the people, their condition and situations in a shot and presenting in front of an audience who aren’t aware of the other side of the world. But, over time photojournalism has grown out to be more than just showing the pain and grief. It is now more spread and more powerful than ever before.
Nowadays, any and every photo that is printed in a newspaper, magazine or a website could be considered as a representation of some form of Photojournalism. Be it a crime scene, an actor leaving a party, the wedding of some famous person or even the picture of a new healthcare product being used in real time.
Tips for Photojournalistic Photography
1. Get in close – Usually, because of the chaos around the scene; the photos are not good enough. You need to get in as close as possible with the subject to get a strong image.
2. Get identification – Everyone has a photo, but, yours will be better with the same shot if you have the information about Who? What? Why? Which? How? Get the information.
3. Burn pixels – Try to get as many shots from as many angles as you can, because you can’t get the perfect shot in one go. It takes time and it takes effort.
4. Go beyond the cliché – Don’t go for the obvious. Don’t take the handshake or an award shot. Look for more action on the stadium floor or the before and after reactions at an award ceremony. Go beyond. Go different.
5. Add light – Play with the exposure settings. Get a portable flash and attach a piece of white cardboard to it to make the light bounce for a good shot. Don’t use flash unnecessarily; your photo will look artificial.
6. Have guts – Don’t wait for the perfect shot to create itself, go around, talk to people and try to get some new ideas and click them in their natural pose.
Photojournalists of the Past
Few Noted Photojournalists:
1. Robert Capa : He, in his time, photographed many wars and ha the motto “If your pictures aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough”. Unfortunately, this motto leads him to his death as he was fatally injured during the Indo-China war.
2. Zoriah Miller: He is an American photojournalist and war photographer. He has worked for international aid organizations such as the Red Cross. Miller was named Photojournalist Of The Year by the Morepraxis Organization in 2006 primarily for his work documenting the conflict in Gaza. In January 2010, Miller won the Photo Philanthropy Activist Award for his work on famine in Africa.
3. Antonio Zazueta Olmos: He is a Mexican photojournalist, editorial and portrait photographer, based in London. Between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2012, Olmos photographed the sites of all 210 known murders within London's M25 orbital motorway, his The Landscape of Murder project.
4. Steve McCurry: He is an American photographer who has worked in photojournalism and editorial. He is best known for his 1984 photograph "Afghan Girl", which originally appeared in National Geographic magazine. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Magazine Photographer of the Year, awarded by the National Press Photographers Association; the Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal to name a few.
5. James Nachtwey: He is an American photojournalist and war photographer. He has been awarded the Overseas Press Club's Robert Capa Gold Medal five times and two World Press Photo awards. In 2003, Nachtwey was injured in a grenade attack on his convoy while working in Baghdad, from which he made a full recovery. He also covered the infamous 9/11 attacks on World Trade Center.
Photojournalists have educated millions of people on various social injustices that happen around the world. If you are interested in becoming a photojournalist then you might want to check out www.worldphotographersclub.com