AN EXCITING JOB
All journalists will tell you, a good photo adds an extra touch of sensitivity to a paper, especially in sports, where the snapshot is very eloquent. More than a simple illustration, the photo is an element of information in its own right. The icing on the cake for the news editor, who is always satisfied that his / her article is enriched by a relevant visual.
THE MISSIONS OF THE PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER
On the lookout for "hot news", the press photographer has a very similar information role to that of a journalist-editor. He is a photojournalist since his mission is to illustrate the events covered by his colleague (sports events, elections, news items, social movements, political meetings, festivals...).
REQUIRED QUALITIES AND SKILLS
Beyond the indispensable technical skills he / she may have acquired in a photography school such as ETPA in Toulouse, the press photographer must have intuition, good feeling, curiosity and tenacity, he must be able to anticipate events, and to keep up with current events in the broadest sense of the word.
His feeling and sensitivity in conducting his missions are the keys to high-quality images. Flexibility, a sense of contact and a good capacity for observation are significant assets for a job that requires constant availability. By definition, news... doesn't wait. And this is all the more true when it comes to photography.
The photographer will therefore be asked not only to deliver good photos but also to be very reactive, most notably when he collaborates with national or regional daily newspapers, which deadlines are mandatory, especially for events held at night.
Sometimes, the press photographer will be asked to participate in the photo selection during the layout within the press organization for which he / she works. Finally, with the rise of digital technology, a decent press photographer must master all digital tools (transmission, storage software, image retouching, etc...).
CAREER AND DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES
The press photographer may work as an employee in a publication (newspaper, weekly newspaper, specialized magazine) or as a freelance photographer. In this case, he regularly works on commission for various media or press agencies to which he submits his pictures. A more difficult path in terms of opportunities.
The competition is tough. The wage is neither fixed nor paid on a monthly basis. Thus, it can be interesting to specialize in one field, without totally closing the door to the others.
10,000: this is the number of professional photographers (all categories) in France. Therefore, the opportunities are rare and precious. In order to be able to practice and make a living out of your profession, you will have to work hard.
But who knows? Maybe one day, with all your qualities, you will get the scoop you've always dreamed of... in the footsteps of Robert Capa.