Friday, October 17, 2008

Get Involved!

Hey Photographer!

Photojournalism Tip #1: Get Involved!
Pick up your camera and stop by your local or school newspaper, and ask how you can get involved. See if you can become an intern at your local paper because this would give you an opportunity to work with a professional who makes their living taking photographs. Find out how to join the photography staff at your school newspaper because your photographs will very likely get published and you will get the experience of working on assignments and taking photographs that tell a story. You don’t have to have professional equipment or an awesome portfolio to get started and these first steps will give you a chance to see if photojournalism is something you are interested in. Generally local photographers are generous about acting as mentors for people just starting out and school newspapers always need more photographs to work with so don’t hide behind your lens …. Get involved!!!
The way I started was through an internship at my local newspaper. I got my position because I had an Junior High social studies assignment to job shadow someone in my community and I asked at the end of the day if they had interns. My job was to photograph the happenings in my town, and pay special attention to school news. I was a High School intern for The Herald from Freshman to Senior year and had to be creative in taking photos of the drama club, new teachers and spaghetti fundraising suppers- I learned a lot and you will too.

Six years later a few of my assignments are a bit more exciting. I thought I would share a photograph I took this past week for The Chronicle. I traveled with one of the writers to Greensville, NC to go to a speech by Sarah Palin, Republican Vice Presidential Candidate. I had a lot of fun taking these photographs and using my lens to document the circus of Palin supporters, this assignment reminded me how much I love photojournalism! And learning how to work an angle at all those school assemblies helped.

Get Involved!