How Do I Choose the Best Photojournalism Courses?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
When choosing photojournalism courses, a student should consider what type of journalism they are interested in.
When choosing photojournalism courses, a student should consider what type of journalism they are interested in.

Some important factors to consider in the selection of photojournalism courses include the kind of journalism a student is most interested in, what kind of work he or she wants to do and how much he or she can invest in training. Educational options for photojournalists can include graduate and undergraduate programs, training seminars and self-directed study through texts and online classes. Students of photojournalism might have different needs depending on their career goals; some, for example, might need to work through school to support themselves, and others can dedicate several years to photojournalism training before starting a career.

Many photojournalists choose to double major in photography and journalism.
Many photojournalists choose to double major in photography and journalism.

Students who have an interest in photojournalism might want to start by looking at job openings for various media outlets to get an idea of the job requirements. A portfolio is necessary for employment directly with a media outlet or agency that supplies images for syndication. Some companies also prefer applicants who have degrees, because this can indicate a higher level of proficiency and training. For people who intend to freelance, a degree might not be as important, because they can establish their credentials through their work, although they might have trouble building up a client list at first.

Photojournalists may focus on taking pictures at sporting events.
Photojournalists may focus on taking pictures at sporting events.

Photojournalism courses can include entry-level classes in how to use a camera, different kinds of camera techniques and working with subjects. Some might also focus on specific topics, such as travel, food or portrait photography. Although photojournalists are often highly flexible, they do tend to settle into a specific niche, and it can help to take photojournalism courses to develop skills in that area. Someone who loves to travel, for instance, might want to pursue a career as a travel photographer.

For students who are enrolled in a formal degree program, it is important to meet graduation requirements. The program might have core photojournalism courses that all students must take, along with a series of electives from which to choose. Students who are unsure about whether they will be able to graduate can meet with a counselor to go over their transcripts and discuss any weak points. For students in more informal training, such as weekend workshops or online classes, this might be less important. Cost could be an important factor for people who have limited funding, and a counselor might help a student get the best education for his or her money.

In addition to basic photography and journalism classes, students might want to consider photojournalism courses that cover other matters. Photojournalists increasingly produce multimedia presentations such as slideshows, short videos and related materials. Training in this field can be helpful, even for photographers who are already working. It also can help to take classes on interview techniques to develop professional skills and to consider taking language classes to make it easier to interact with subjects.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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    • When choosing photojournalism courses, a student should consider what type of journalism they are interested in.
      By: Rafael Ben-Ari
      When choosing photojournalism courses, a student should consider what type of journalism they are interested in.
    • Many photojournalists choose to double major in photography and journalism.
      By: gstockstudio
      Many photojournalists choose to double major in photography and journalism.
    • Photojournalists may focus on taking pictures at sporting events.
      By: fovivafoto
      Photojournalists may focus on taking pictures at sporting events.