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Hot shots

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 11:19 IST

The lowdown
Photojournalism is about using images to tell a news story. It refers to still images in print journalism, while for broadcast journalism, usually a video tells the story. A photojournalist is also a reporter but s/he migh need to make decisions instantly. S/he is often exposed to significant obstacles (physical danger, weather, crowd). While interviews can happen again, if a great shot is lost, it cannot be recreated. Photo journalists have to be on their toes all the time.

The only way to survive as a photojournalist is to work on stories differently. Photography is rapidly changing, and the photographer must change with it

Sanjit Das, a Panos Pictures photographer based in India covering south and southeast Asia

Clock Work
9am: Leave for work
10am: Reach office
10.15am: Check out the list of assignments
10.30am: Fix up appointments with contacts
11am: Leave for assignments
2pm: Lunch
2.30pm: Follow up on assignments again
6pm: Come back to office
6.30pm: Correct pictures in Photoshop and then file them
7pm: Check out pictures clicked by other photojournalists on the Internet

The payoff
Most photojournalists initially work as interns and might not get paid for work. Trainees can expect a salary of Rs10,000 to Rs15,000 a month, depending on the organisation. Money increases with experience, hard work and skills. Within 10 years, you can earn between Rs50,000 and Rs1 lakh a month. Foreign agencies like AP, AFP and Reuters give rich exposure and pay well, compared to publications. Freelancers who have good experience can make good money

. Physical endurance and a certain level of fitness
. Curiosity about events and quick reflex
. A creative eye, knowlege of current affairs

Getting there
You can learn the basics of photography from a good institute. Later, you can freelance or do an internship with a media house for a year or two. The Internet is emerging as a reliable option, especially for beginners

Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi
. Xavier Institute of Communication, Mumbai

Pros and cons
Academic brilliance is not required. This job is all about spontaneity and creativity
. You get to travel to a lot of places, constantly meet people, explore cultures