Photo Journalist Career

Job Description: Photograph people, landscapes, merchandise, or other subjects, using digital or film cameras and equipment. May develop negatives or use computer software to produce finished images and prints. Includes scientific photographers, aerial photographers, and photojournalists.

*A job as a Photo Journalist falls under the broader career category of Photographers. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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Photo Journalist Career

What Photo Journalists do:

  • Determine desired images and picture composition, selecting and adjusting subjects, equipment, and lighting to achieve desired effects.
  • Create artificial light, using flashes and reflectors.
  • Test equipment prior to use to ensure that it is in good working order.
  • Perform maintenance tasks necessary to keep equipment working properly.
  • Use traditional or digital cameras, along with a variety of equipment such as tripods, filters, and flash attachments.
  • Take pictures of individuals, families, and small groups, either in studio or on location.
  • Review sets of photographs to select the best work.
  • Manipulate and enhance scanned or digital images to create desired effects, using computers and specialized software.
  • Select and assemble equipment and required background properties, according to subjects, materials, and conditions.
  • Perform general office duties such as scheduling appointments, keeping books, and ordering supplies.
  • Adjust apertures, shutter speeds, and camera focus based on a combination of factors such as lighting, field depth, subject motion, film type, and film speed.
  • Determine project goals, locations, and equipment needs by studying assignments and consulting with clients or advertising staff.
  • Estimate or measure light levels, distances, and numbers of exposures needed, using measuring devices and formulas.
  • Mount, frame, laminate, or lacquer finished photographs.
  • Enhance, retouch, and resize photographs and negatives, using airbrushing and other techniques.
  • Set up, mount, or install photographic equipment and cameras.
  • Scan photographs into computers for editing, storage, and electronic transmission.
  • Load and unload film.
  • Direct activities of workers who are setting up photographic equipment.
  • Produce computer-readable, digital images from film, using flatbed scanners and photofinishing laboratories.
  • Set up photographic exhibitions for the purpose of displaying and selling work.
  • Develop and print exposed film, using chemicals, touchup tools, and developing and printing equipment, or send film to photofinishing laboratories for processing.
  • Employ a variety of specialized photographic materials and techniques, including infrared and ultraviolet films, macro photography, photogrammetry and sensitometry.
  • Develop visual aids and charts for use in lectures or to present evidence in court.
  • License the use of photographs through stock photo agencies.
  • Photograph legal evidence at crime scenes, in hospitals, or in forensic laboratories.
  • Engage in research to develop new photographic procedures and materials.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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