Photography was never a passion with me. I completed my Engineering and setup my own Automobile shop. It was in the course of running the business I encountered problems, faced issues I strongly felt about and developed a want to do something about the unfair world we live in. It was around this time I fell in love with Journalism. The magic of the written word, influencing the way people think, the beauty of language woven into the fabric of understanding for the greatest mind and yet appealing to the simplest reader. I read voraciously starting with the Newspaper in the morning, a magazine on the way to work and sometimes watched a documentary in the night. I dreamt of becoming a Journalist, a person who cares for people and an ideal world. To become a fearless crusader of the truth, a person who chases a story as big as the universe or as small as the neighborhood with the same passion and enthusiasm. A person who lives life on his own terms walking fearlessly through a different experience every day.
Why Photojournalism Course?
The written word has power. No doubt about that. However for me this medium of journalism is limited and reaches out only to non-apathetic people who have the time to read and can understand the language. It was somewhere around here I discovered the power of a photograph. An image for me is a visual story telling medium that destroys all barriers, cuts through language, has no age and does not depend on the viewer's intelligence. Shot well a photograph can communicate an entire story just in the time taken by the eye to scan the image. Photojournalism is the complex combination of the skill required as a photographer and a journalist, to tell visual stories, stories of action frozen in time, visually documenting history and preserving the moment forever. Photojournalism is all about action. It means looking for defining moments capturing action, capturing emotion, looking for elements all contributing to tell a story.
What does it take to be a Photojournalist?
Mental, physical and emotional fitness are the key ingredients along with the desire to tell human related stories are the key requirements to be a good photojournalist. Being a photojournalist pushes your limits as a person to get access to a story, permission to shoot in a prohibited zone, the ability to see with more than your eyes, to relate to people and gain your trust. To be able to shoot correctly exposed images while at the same time telling a story. To be technologically advanced to keep up with changes in the industry and have speed in working. I always equate being a photojournalist as being in the forces, tough, ready for action and having that need for adventure.
How does someone become a photojournalist?
In today's digital age, modern cameras have made the 'photo' part of photojournalism easy leaving more emphasis on the 'journalism' part. A formal education in Journalism is very essential according to me to understand the essence of Journalism. There is also a growing demand for journalists capable in expressing themselves over cross platforms so having more than one skill as a journalist has become important. I do agree with the fact that a person cannot be taught to be a journalist, however experiences from qualified journalists have motivated and inspired me to push my boundaries further. I was also lucky to have studied and done my internship in Mumbai. There is no better place than Mumbai with is diverse cultures, its wide open economic balance, its population along with it being the financial and entertainment capital of the country that makes it the ideal place to experience journalism.
By Pritam Desai