Photography is an amazing invention of all time. For one it helps you keep memories evergreen, for two they ignite something in you. Journalism on the other part is a critical profession with a socio-political relevance. Journalism brings the truth to the people more accessibly than it normally would. I like to define it as an intimidating piece of storytelling and representation, simply put it is the raw slice of life. The concept became popular in the first quarter of the 20th century and strongly referred to the topicality and spontaneity of photography. As a matter of socio-political relevance, journalism extended from plain print media and incorporated illustrated images. That way you literally see truths and emotions that words cannot efficiently express. Photojournalism is synonymous to pictorial storytelling; often shows you the reality of life at its core without playing on words. For instance, without photojournalism, movies will have little or no materials to show you the side of war you only hear about. Through these spontaneous real life images, emotions and thoughts are provoked into action. More than the reality shows you know, photojournalism presents life to you just the way it is, without any false embellishments, interposing between raw reality and the people.
1. You Are Absolutely Daring
That’s right! You are incredibly daring and for the most part do not fear half the things your peers find frightening. You know what they say about threading where angels fear to? This time if everyone else hides away? You’ll do it anyway. Africa and her series of fights, wars and terrorist attacks all over the place is enough to confine people to their comfort space or more popularly ensure they make their steps within the side walks so they don’t get hurt. But if we look at it in a more accommodating way, we will find that the violence rate worldwide is alarming, it is not limited to the African populace. So if you find that what scares others somehow tickles your curiosity then watch it, you might just have the trait to be in the league of Heidi Levine, the winner of the 2015 Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award. Heidi is a war photographer who has shown less concern in the huge possibility of loosing her life doing a job she feels she owes to the society; not afraid to die, ready for risks and practically has no room for excuses. That’s the die-hard spirit if you ask me.
2. You Are A Go-Getter
“Getting the work done” is your mantra, through the rain and shine, you will get it done. And as long as you are interested in it you just go for it; that’s ambition and it sure has its perks because without that enterprising drive, you might just have a bad finish to a good start. Photojournalism is a career path that demands the determination to get to the crux of the mission. There is a goal and you are self- compelled to achieve it; such is the spirit that can go the intricate miles of the risky but necessary demands of journalism.
3. You Are Not Superficial
No rose-colored glasses, it is what it is and that’s how you express it. You are critically blunt and that’s a plus because you see beyond the surface; beyond the glamour of life. In a time when everybody is a ‘celebrity’ of some sort, it is easy to forget what life is all about and so, tragically live in oblivion of the reality and hurt in the world as well. Photojournalism spares no superficiality, If you don’t trust what you hear and see in the audio-visual media, perhaps it is time to talk to the photo- storyteller next door.
4. You Are Philosophical
On a very good day you would rather go for a detailed but concise story, no long talks,but if you have to, it would be worth it. Beyond the ethics of your profession, you have guiding principles and ideology that informs your art. By implication your pictures have an uncommon undertone- gets the public to think; and out of the box at that.
5. You Are Quick
Since the career demands the fast recording of events and movements, capturing characters unawares, it is only logical that you share the same nature with the job. If you are usually spontaneous, swift and catch on quick? then you might just have a bright shot in photojournalism. As a matter of fact your speed in the job indicates you are smart, sharp and diligent- triple combo; a super plus for someone whose job is to inexcusably capture life’s fleeting moments.
6. You Are A Sucker For Truth
Truth and objectivity! Those are the watch words in ideal journalism, the pictorial representation is the best part, truth beyond words, born out of facts. Like we believe, you can’t give what you don’t have. You clearly are for the truth, however it appears, whoever it hurts and your core goal is using the photo-medium to get the truth out to the rest of the world. If fabrications were okay for your type, then you could have made the choice to be limited within the photography studio editing pictures to utter subjectivity; but that just isn’t you.
7. You Have A Unique Sense Of Aesthetics
Most definitely you are for functionality over manipulated beauty, either way, you still have your version of aesthetics. In any case, both add to the wholesomeness of your art.
8. You Love Life/People
How can you not love life and the people in it? To be able to do this shows you clearly appreciate life. Despite the hurdles and hardships there is still something that makes you want to get up in the morning for your free-lance captures of the day. You value time, the moments lived(and captured), the world itself, how much more the people who live in it. Perhaps you love life so much and do not even know it, left to you, you would capture every single moment in time. The people form the vital part of your career, since they are both the subject and recipients of your art. If you don’t love people, then your tours are going to be downright frustrating. I bet award-winning Maria Atkinson will confirm that.
9. You are versatile
This will particularly refer to the versatility of interest. As you love life and the people in it, it is not surprising that you understand the very many facets of life there are- nature, culture and others. Photojournalists tell stories of all kinds, thus, there is need to be able to adjust into any field of interest as the situation demands. However there are some independent photojournalist who have defined their arts and interests; but have it at heart that someday you might want to try out something different, got to keep an open mind.
10. You Are Confident
No one said Journalism is a walk in the park, of course it will be tedious sometimes. Most importantly, you must have a confident personality as you will constantly be meeting people, patrolling and sourcing for information for your art piece. Some environments are not photojournalism friendly but it depends on your skill and confidence to make it work.
11. You Are Passionate
Luke Somers is an American photojournalist who was kidnapped and killed in Yemen by the Al-Qaeda group. What else will make this journalist persistent in covering the story in Yemen if not passion; passion to spread the truth of the living conditions of the people. I guess if it is your call, you’ll naturally have the passion for it.
12. You Love Photography
With globalization everyone is a quasi-photojournalist but in your case you have all the ethics and skills to make an exceptional creation. You just don’t take pictures but you tell stories through the lens of the camera. The love for photography definitely needs to be there, else, your photo-storytelling quest is currently passive in you.
13. You Are An Outdoor Enthusiast
If you are an ardent observer and outdoor lover like Justin Samson, then you might as well be in the league of photojournalists like he is. Life is best experienced outdoors, with people and nature. Outdoor personalities have a range of activities to keep their imagination updated- bungee jumping, hiking, hunting, fishing, zip-lining, sightseeing amongst others. The more experiences you have, the broader your perceptions about life and people (which definitely rubs off on your photo-creation).
14. You Are Selfless
It will actually cost you nothing to enjoy the visits of models, happy people and celebrities in your studio; lounge away your time and then comfortably lift someone else’s work; depending on other artists’ interpretation of a story, but you rather not, that will be a disservice to the society. As an agent for propelling truth, you just know you have to muster up strength and courage to go out and get your story. As a versatile outdoor personality, you bridge the gap of distance for people in different locations. Through your pictures, someone one somewhere might be ignited to foster change by doing something better.
15. You Are Inspirational
You are a mediator, communicator and inspirational; with a touch of skill development and training, you are good to explode in the photojournalism industry which is gradually but strongly growing in Africa.