So I’m reminded every day that being a photojournalist isn’t actually all that bad. When I tell people my chosen profession, they give me a kind of pitying look. As if to say, “Well journalism is dying, and you’re specializing in the area that has the least job opportunities.”
It’s okay to make that misconception, I know I have. It’s hard not to when such a revered publication like the Chicago Sun-Times lays off its entire photo department.
Yeah, it’s daunting. But then I get assigned multimedia projects in a regular reporting class outside of my photo emphasis. I’ve heard people say it’s a relief to have a photo person as a partner because well, multimedia is our future, and many of us are making it our present.
I may not have a lot of experience with video and video editing, but I know how to capture the necessary and defining moments. Still photography is obviously my forte, but video uses the same basic principles when you set up a shot. I’m still looking for similar moments to capture and I know when to cut something out and when it needs to be included.
So even though this project may take up a bit of my already claimed for time, it’s closer to what I would normally be doing on my own. I love looking for visual stories, and when people say journalism is dying what they should be saying is print is dying. Multimedia pieces get all kinds of traffic online. People are always attached to a smartphone, tablet or computer and they would much rather look at images and hear a story than have to read it.
This bodes well for people cut from the visual cloth. I may have to freelance and live job to job, but there is a necessity for visual journalists, as we’re reminded daily as we skim through articles. It’s nice to be needed.