Getting into photojournalism is competitive – but so is any job worth having. You won’t become a photojournalist just through taking nice pictures – you need to be able to tell a story through a photo. And once your photos convey emotion, then you’ve nailed it.

Unfortunately just being good at something doesn’t guarantee you’ll get paid for it. But this guide is a good starting point to help you become a photojournalist.

Spread the word and get your work seen 

Start a blog, create an Instagram account or build your own website – you need to get your photos seen by anyone and everyone so share them across all your social media channels too.

You should also keep all of your work in a portfolio to take along to interviews.

Submit your photos for publication

Photos make stories, so whether it’s a flood, fire or village fair, take photos then call local papers and see if they are interested in buying them.

While at school you can take photos for the school newsletter and year book.

To become a photojournalist you need to be persistent

This is relevant for anyone who wants to become a journalist. Just because an editor didn’t reply to you the first time, it doesn’t mean you didn’t make an impression.

The same goes for your blog – you can’t just post once every six months, you need to post engaging content regularly.

Take your camera everywhere you go and aim to take at least 50 photos a week and you should be posting on social media several times a day.

The story behind your photo: write captions

Often the distinguishing feature between an amateur photojournalist and a professional is the ability to write good captions.

To become a photojournalist you need to learn to collect the story around your photos – the who, the what, the where and the when.  And accuracy is vital.

So make sure you keep a notepad with you at all times.

Invest in the right equipment

You’ll struggle to be a contender in this competitive industry without good equipment.

Ask around to see what equipment other photojournalists are using and make an investment, it’ll be worth it.

Wherever your journalism career path will take you, the place to start is an NCTJ-accredited journalism degree.

At The School of Journalism, we don’t just want you to become a journalist. Journalists today must be comfortable not just in words but in pictures too.

Our BA (Hons) journalism degree will teach you how to become a photojournalist, how to present and how to edit footage.

What are your tips for getting your photos out there? Let us know in the comments.

Featured image courtesy of Sage Ross via Flickr, with thanks.