Why would you be a photojournalist today?

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“I have always considered being crazy as important to a photographer as being curious.”

— Dirck Halstead

via The Digital Journalist.

There Are 8 Comments On This Article.

  1. Well, if this blog post is a question to be answered then I would be a photojournalist because we live in a time of catch-22.

    We are destroying our planet by being selfish. We put our needs, our ‘human rights’ above all else and in so doing we destroy the plants, animals and natural resources that keep us alive.

    Never before has photojournalism had such a wide ranging subject matter of such worldwide interest. A photojournalist today could choose to cover the environmental issues we face, the human rights violations and personal struggles of people around the world or even the world of industry and technology and in all three cases the stories that are uncovered could be of worldwide appeal.

    Why wouldn’t you be a photojournalist today?

  2. What will keep anyone from being a photojournalist today? Lack of financial reward. But, passion to tell a story is the catalyst that makes the impossible happen. The passion is what has always driven photojournalists. Traditional publication is faltering, but the windows of the web are wide open.

    • @gary s. chapman,

      Yes, but even the passionate have to pay their rent and put food on the table. I think this is what Mr. Halstead is touching on.

      There are plenty of stories to be told, and demand from the world to see them. The trick is finding the outlet for that story that is willing to support the person telling the story.

      The “reset” feeling is how I feel as well. It’s going to take some time for things to sort out, and its going to be messy, and there’s going to be casualties and sad stories, but they will. The trick is to stay afloat – or better yet, be a part of that innovative sorting out.

      Out with the old, in with the new, its a new era.

  3. I can speak from my personal experience and perhaps say being a “Photojournalist 2.0″, in the sense of always shooting digital, using Flickr, Demotix, Blogs, Twitter, etc to promote my work–it is still an exciting time to be documenting anything.

    The competition is fierce but the power to impact a story with a single picture still is a noble goal. For example, in an era where everyone has 15 seconds and not 15 minutes of fame, Youtube Videos & News reports are fleeting…

    A powerful photo will still intently capture a single moment and eternalize it for posterity. It will be seen in newspapers around the world, websites, and draw attention to a moment or cause.

    I agree with Gary about the passion but also believe we are all hunting for the elusive “perfect photo” or “perfect moment”. It probably won´t ever come and once we do get a great shot, we are hungry and even more motivated to shoot more.

    Are hunters crazy? Well, some hunt to survive and others hunt for sport. I think a photojournalist can fall in either category. Whether you chase a chicken or a gigantic brontosaurus, the result might turn out to be the same . . .

  4. I happen to agree with Dirck…but for an entirely different reason. Photographers have to be crazy; what other professionals buy all new equipment every two years for a price exceeding average annual income. THATS crazy.

    • @Chris George, Yes, agreed. Could someone please point me to the office where I can apply for a wealthy background? Or regular ol’ patronage. Either will do…

  5. Logicbomb

    If you don’t need to put food on the table, then photojournalism is a fantastic option today – a tonne of stories to work on – with no one prepared to pay.