Topic photojournalism and competition again. But this is about more than just the beauty and also the ugly truth of digital cameras allowing everyone to become a paparazzi. Although the masses undermine the work of “professionals,” aren’t we made aware of many more stories and issues today than back in the days when only a journalist was a journalist? Today, there’s competition everywhere. And you can still survive and differentiate yourself in such a tough environment?
The BBC published a noteworthy analysis titled The Business of Photojournalism. Times are hard, the economy is sluggish and photographers are far from immune to the situation, the author starts with. Add to that the vast number of people chasing commissions means it’s a tough time for those looking for financial backing.
Yet there are options out there. Newspapers, magazines and websites are still commissioning work of course, but that’s not the only way to be able to shoot the story you want to cover.
They ask journalist and photographer Miranda Gavin to take a look at the market and explore some of the ways photojournalists are funding their work.
Take the time to read the whole thing. There is only reason to despair if you just wait for things falling into your lap. You have to be initiative and creative, have to push yourself and persist. And ever thought about awards, scholarships and grants?
You can’t always win awards, but already setting the goal and the attempt to do so is a starter. Grants, on the other hand, can give you freedom, and with freedom comes creativity. What else can a photographer ask for?
But one must really really want it. The reward might be one of the best jobs in the world to make a living without anyone telling you what they expect. It’s just about you and your freedom to create.
So yes, there is a future. In a nutshell, Gavin’s conclusion whether there’s a future for photojournalists despite all doomsday scenarios:
The world of photojournalism has experienced seismic shifts in the way it is produced and experienced. With the digital age, there are a greater range of funding opportunities available due to changes in communications technologies. But in the end not much has changed. Initiative, creativity, drive and persistence are still key.