Photojournalism with no college

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Ja Shwicka, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Ja Shwicka

    Ja Shwicka TPF Noob!

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    I'm an inexperienced photographer, but I'm trying to learn more. I'm a big fan of ice hockey, and i've always wanted to take photos for stories and the games. I don't really have the financial means to go to college right now, so I was looking for some opinions on if it would be possible to accomplish this through hard work, and no college. How does one get into the business of photojournalism without going to college? Is it likely? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


    Thanks,
    Josh
     
  2. kostasfmx

    kostasfmx TPF Noob!

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    I am glad you made this question ja shwicka!I am one of the same no college but hopefull.As i know is possible to acombplish anything if you love it much
    I have send photostream to companies and news paper by email and upload my photos to sites but nothing happen so far.I hope your dream come true!!!
     
  3. Pure Captures

    Pure Captures TPF Noob!

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    I would go to local newspapers (or any other media outlet that interests you), talk to an editor, sports editor, publisher, someone along those lines, and tell them you're situation and what you're looking for. Chances are they won't have a job position for you, but they may tell you how to go about selling them great images as a freelancer, or may introduce to an option you didn't even know existed.
    If you can't find someone who will give you the time of day, keep looking, and don't be afraid to go to small community papers, if anything they may be more likely to help you out than a bigger operation. If you look around hard enough you will find someone in the industry in your area who can give you some good direction.

    Matthew Block
    http://www.purecaptures.com
     
  4. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Sure, why not? Check out as many books as you can on different writing styles. Reporting, technical writing, journalism, short stories, etc. so that you have some sensical styles to draw from and mix. Read other authors - emulate, refine, mix, build a portfolio.



    Beat the pavement. Knock on doors, make phone-calls, collect emails, etc.!



    I think it is, yes. Allot of college is the social support that comes from attending with others that are headed in the same direction and the graduate placement facilities that are available. If you're self motivated those services can probably be circumvented with much detriment. Do your book and style research and beat pavement. ;)

    I guess research needs to include industry prominent and historical figures so when the boss asks you if you can put together a Ken Burns style presentation (or whatever) then you'll know what they're talking about and can answer directly. :D
     
  5. henkelphoto

    henkelphoto TPF Noob!

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    With no experience in the field, you probably won't get a full-time position without college. Then again, even with college, right now, you don't stand much of a chance at a full-time job with a newspaper. The entire industry is in a big contraction and the jobs that are available are very skewed towards more in the line of videographer or at least video shooting and editing experience.

    However, nothing is stopping you from working at freelance and if you get really good at it, that can be a shoehorn into a full-time job. I know a guy at the Riverside Press-Enterprise who started out shooting accidents and fires in his spare time as a UPS driver who parleyed that into a full-time shooting job. Another guy I know used to work freelance for AP and ended up as part of a Pulitzer prize-winning photo team--that got him a full-time job with AP. So it can be done.

    Right now, the way the industry is leaning, I'd pick up a good quality video camera and use it as well as a still camera if you check out breaking news. Even if you don't know how to edit, a newspaper can use the video on their website and have their own in-house video editor work it over.

    Jerry
     
  6. Cobb1129

    Cobb1129 TPF Noob!

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    All I know is that when I was a senior in high school on my student newspaper a local paper paid me to write stories about high school sports, and paid another girl on staff to take pictures with some like 5 meg compact camera. We didnt get paid much, but if you could get something like that it would be a start. In my opinion, the world of journalism is about working your way up. Just gotta start somewhere.
     
  7. Snyder

    Snyder TPF Noob!

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    They have photojournalism jobs in the military, not only can you gain job experience and build a portfolio but you can earn your degree for free.
     
  8. brileyphotog

    brileyphotog TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately the MOS they need the most right now is infantry...I wouldn't recommend this route :meh:

    I am a philosophy major so I don't have any sort of "formal" training. How did I become a pro?

    1. I've been taking pictures...lots and lots of pictures since I started in my early teens with a Canon AE-1
    2. I did a lot of reading...you can learn what the photo majors are learning for free at your local library and online.
    3. Get a portfolio...get people to critique it, and never be satisfied with what is in it - then take that portfolio with you while you're pounding the pavement. Keep your gear and your portfolio with you at all times! I got my wedding photography job when I was bartending at a wedding and introduced myself to the photographer.
    4. Annoy people! Photojournalism is super competitive. Even if people remember your name b/c you won't stop sending them emails or submitting freelance work, they are remembering your name and eventually that will open up an opportunity for you.
    BE BOLD AND BE PERSISTENT! It took me over a year of getting shut down but right when you are about to give up is usually when something will fall right into your lap.
     
  9. joethedestroyer

    joethedestroyer TPF Noob!

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    They're nothing wrong with being infantry and snapping pictures when you're not on patrol... Just remember which item you should be shooting with ;)

    I wouldn't be disheartened based on what the other poster said about MOS's in demand. Job fields are always in flux as people are going in and coming out. If it is an option you are serious about, if you approach a recruiter with the absolute that the only way you'd join is if they wrote photojournalism/combat camera/etc into your contract, you'd be surprised what they'd do to get you to sign up. And if they say there is no opening, just tell them to call you if one happens to pop up. I know the Marines might be the most daunting bootcamp from the outside, but we do have a pretty slick internal news service. The Army or Navy might be more willing to put something in writing before you ship though.

    I'm a grunt now, but from someone who has been there and done that, combat camera is what I wish I would have done. Still, either way you get an incredibly unique opportunity for photos. Bear in mind there are weekend programs and classes you can enroll yourself into on base too. The military can make a great stepping stone for your career.
     

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