Press photographers use a variety of photographic equipment to take photographs for use on television or within magazines, journals and other publications.
The role can develop into photojournalism. You’ll need to demonstrate flair for investigating and telling a story, using both images and words to convey the message. Photojournalists often work for magazines rather than newspapers, and can work on a project over a long period of time.
- work closely with other people concerned with the story, such as journalists and picture editors, and agree the photographic requirements for a story;
- handle admin arrangements such as timing, press cards, transport and access to restricted areas, venues and events;
- photograph events or personalities, and note details for photographic captions;
- add relevant keywords to image files for picture libraries so that the images can be recognized in search engines;
- ensure all pictures are appropriate, processed, catalogued and ready in time to meet deadlines;
- prepare and send digital photographs for newspaper publication to deadline;
- maintain up-to-date knowledge about current news stories and any specialist areas;
- source freelance photographers for a job or existing photographs if pushed to meet a deadline;
- arrange lighting and other requirements for magazine studio shoots;
- check the weather forecast and light values of places beforehand;
- maintain photographic and electronic communications equipment.
For freelance press photographers, extra activities include:
- researching and anticipating relevant events;
- negotiating the sale of specific shots;
- handling all business activities and establishing and maintaining contacts.
A pre-entry qualification is not essential for a career in press photography but can be advantageous, as it offers formal training and demonstrates your motivation for the work.
Although this area of work is open to all graduates and holders of a diploma, the following subjects may increase your chances:
- graphic design/illustration;
- media studies;
- photography/photo imaging.
- An eye for good composition
- A strong network of contacts
- Strong IT skills, particularly familiarity with software such as Adobe Photoshop