What Does A Photojournalist Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz


Photojournalists take pictures of events to provide viewers with a realistic depiction of the situation. They attempt to capture events in a way that evokes some type of emotion in the viewer.

Bachelor's degree
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Photojournalists are Journalists who use photography to share information instead of using written words. In some cases, they may work with a Journalist or Reporter, providing the photographs to accompany the news story.

Photojournalism is more than just photography. It involves producing images while following journalistic standards, such as not manipulating the images to change the narrative of the story. Working as a Photojournalist could take you to interesting locations as Photojournalists frequently travel to cover stories.

What they do

Photojournalists take pictures of events to provide viewers with a realistic depiction of the situation. They attempt to capture events in a way that evokes some type of emotion in the viewer.

Take Photographs of Events or Locations

The main job of a Photojournalist is to take photographs of events, locations, or people. As with Journalists, Photojournalists are often assigned to cover specific news stories.

Photojournalists may take photos at an important event or even a war zone. They may also travel to the sites of natural disasters to document the devastation.

Travel to Different Locations to Cover Events

Experienced Photojournalists spend a lot of time on the road covering different events. When working for a news organization, your employer is likely to cover travel expenses. Depending on the assignment, you may need to travel across the state or country. Some Photojournalists travel overseas to cover international news.

Use and Maintain Various Photography Equipment

Photojournalists are typically responsible for acquiring their own photography gear. You may use multiple cameras, lenses, and filters.

Traveling with a variety of equipment allows Photojournalists to deal with difficult environments. It is not uncommon to experience poor weather, crowds of people, and other obstacles.

Develop Film and Clean up Digital Images

While more professional Photographers are using digital cameras than ever before, many Photojournalists still use film. Photojournalists typically know how to develop film in darkrooms.

When working with digital images, Photojournalists may clean up the image and remove unintended artifacts caused by dirt or debris in the lens. Photojournalists may also convert film negatives into digital images before submitting them to their employers.

What is the job like


You Get to Visit New Places

Photojournalists frequently need to travel to new places to cover news events and stories.

Your Photos May Become Recognizable

Taking an iconic photo of an important event may help you gain recognition for your work.

You May Help Keep People Informed

Photojournalists help give viewers a realistic view of situations, which can be difficult to achieve with just words.

You May Work in Multiple Industries

Photojournalists often freelance as Photographers in other industries, such as advertising or fashion.


You May Spend a Lot of Time Traveling

Frequent travel may become tiring.

You May Not Always Find Work

There is limited demand for Photojournalists, making it difficult for those entering this field to find consistent work.

Where they work

Magazine Publishers
Local Newspapers
National News Organizations

Most Photojournalists are Freelance Photographers. They often sell their photographs to news organizations such as broadcast news companies, magazines, and local newspapers. These same organizations may also employ full-time Photojournalists.

When working as a Staff Photojournalist, you are likely to be assigned to cover specific events and may be paired with a Reporter or Journalist. Photojournalists may also work for several companies at a time.

How to become one

Step 1: Take Photography Classes

Most high schools offer Photography classes, which provides aspiring Photojournalists with essential skills for this career.

Step 2: Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

Many Photojournalists hold Bachelor’s degrees in Photojournalism. However, Photography and Journalism are also common majors.

Step 3: Find an Internship Opportunity

Photojournalists often gain work experience through internships at newspapers or magazine publications. You may help experienced Photojournalists by performing simple tasks such as developing the film.

Step 4: Maintain a Portfolio

Start developing a portfolio in high school and continue to update it throughout your college years and internship. Use the photographs in your portfolio to showcase your skill when applying for Photojournalism jobs.

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Artist

People with this personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.

You can read more about these career personality types here.

Photojournalists are often artistic individuals, relying on their creativity and intuition to capture the emotion of an event. Communication skills are also essential, especially when working with a Journalist to cover a news story.

Successful Photojournalists tend to be self-motivated individuals as they need to actively seek new assignments to advance their careers.

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