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Do you have any advice for an aspiring photojournalist that wishes to work for National Geo. or Time magazine one day?

Hi. I'm currently a junior in High School and look forward to pursuing my dreams of traveling the world and becoming a visual journalist. What schools should I look at and how hard is entry to the field? Also, what classes in high school should I take? This is my schedule (there is no science class).
Geography- CPE
Phycology- AP
Communications- CPE
English 4 AP
Algebra II CPE
French 5 AP
Anthropology- CPE

as for standardized testing that's up in the air right now.
Thanks a lot ~!

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    • Jan 27 2012: true but i'm not that special.... a lot of geniuses didn't even graduate high school...
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        • Jan 27 2012: thanks for that optimism! i needed it xP :)
  • Jan 26 2012: Hello Cheyenne.

    What you will want to bring with you is a unique viewpoint. Looking at images created by other photographers will help you to develop a seeing eye. Being passionate about the subject matter of an image will bring it to life. Look at the technical aspects of an image and try to work out how an image was created. Try to create a visceral connection between the observer and the image. We will all respond to images better if we know who the subject is or where the image was captured. It is much harder to gain the interest of the observer where they have no connection to the image.

    Documentary photography is very rewarding. Start gently, perhaps by documenting your own immediate environment and see if you can make it interesting for people who know nothing about where you live. Try to define the essential elements of living where you do... the people, the customs, the architecture, the seasons and so on. In all of your images, you should give the observer nothing to look at but what you regard as the subject matter. Remove unnecessary distractions from your images. Learn to make the camera an extension of your mind, so that you don't have to struggle with the technical process of capturing an image.

    Explore the work of other photographers:

    http://sueflood.com/gallery/penguins (Sue Flood)
    http://amivitale.photoshelter.com/gallery-list (Ami Vitale)
    http://tinyurl.com/7ozwhnr (Dorothea Lange)
    http://tinyurl.com/85a72rp (W Eugene Smith)
    http://tinyurl.com/7bwct5k (Don McCullin)
    http://tinyurl.com/7ys3nf7 (Robert Doisneau)

    Good Luck!
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    Jan 26 2012: You've reminded me of a thoughtful documentary done by DeWitt Jones (NG photojournalist) called, Everyday Creativity. It's dated - like, 1990s I think, but it might be worth a look, Cheyenne. NG has also done features on their staff and how they staff, which they've published in their mags over the years. Your enthusiasm is contagious. All the best to you.
    • Jan 26 2012: o wow that's reaLly interesting! I never knew they made those. I will defintiley take a look at that :)
  • Jan 25 2012: Hi Chenenne
    Lighting is important, take pictures as much as you can in the first and last hour of daylight. Also consider doing macro phothoraphy, when I did this it opened up a whole new world of things to photograph. Best of luck and I hope to see your photographs in National Geographic one day. Most importantly, don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it, you can.
    • Jan 26 2012: thank you so much for the encouragement! I really needed that sometimes my dreams so far fetched and unrealistic... but I'll do whatever it takes to make them come true.
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    Jan 23 2012: The combination of photography and journalism creates a wonderful opportunity for people who are talented and educated. Sometimes photographs are special because of their artistic quality. Sometimes nature places a fantastic scene before us and some are lucky enough to have a camera available. In that case the picture is special just because of its uniqueness. Some photos are based on the qualities of light or the golden ratio or simply the contrast between color and black in a silhouette. The professional photographer often focuses on one of these interests such as Ansel Adams who produced famous nature photos.
    The journalist is writing a narrative, a story about something. They must be able to discover the thread of truth within the chaos of events, and bring this to his readers in a clear and authoritative way.
    The photo journalist must first be a finder of truth, and determine the images that will make this truth visible to his viewers. Whether it is the wonderful colors of the tulip fields and the business of international flower selling, or the terrible bloody murder of the last of the gorillas in Africa, the Photo journalist must determine the story, then determine how to tell the story through images. It is neither the pretty pictures nor the shocking pictures that the photo journalists seeks. He seeks the pictures that tell the story in the same clear and authoritative way as the print journalist. The photo journalist is not a paparazzi who follows the rich and famous and intrudes into their life, and even produces artificiality into his pictures of them.
    First, see the truth. Then, though the lens, carry the beautiful or tragic images into our future.
    What pictures would you use to portray the physiology, ecology and evolutionary biology of seaweeds and their associated communities? What would be important to me, or to your publisher?
    • Jan 26 2012: thank you so much for that insight. it really let me see more into the career and photography itself. I will definitely keep these words of wisdom with me as I continue to photograph and find the truth in this world.
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    Jan 22 2012: your sucess demands that you get advice from photojournalists. your on the right track by posting on TED. but you can also find people in your community. it wont be hard to find people who could POSSIBLY offer substantial advice, people who have similar jobs and who may interact with journalists occasionally. the trick i've learned to getting what im looking for has been to go to a company and ask to speak to the manager. you'll learn more from a photojournalist in a week than you'll learn in a full year of schooling. life lessons are the most valuable information reguarding any profession. find one and ask which classes you should take ;)
  • Jan 22 2012: Hello Cheyenne,
    I am unable to offer much advice, but many years ago, when I worked as a photo journalist at a small town newspaper, I had an opportunity to attend a state photojournalist convention. The guest speaker was photo editor at National Geographic. He stated many job applications were received from good photographers. However, he was certain he wanted photographers who could "see"! He passionately explained there are many who know cameras and technical skills, but they can't see a situation or condition that would make good pictures. Good photographers who want to document will see a need to record and see possibilities for images---considering angle, lighting, people availability and many, many other factors. Being able to see in advance brings a person closer to finding opportunities for images! Sometimes the best pictures are taken with the simplest of equipment. In other words, a vast technical knowledge is not absolutely necessary. Sometimes good pictures are a quick, spontaneous accident! Have fun!

    Wildlife often requires specialized equipment. Patience is one of the requirements while seeing the image in one's mind.

    Hope this helps you. Wishing you well in your proposed career!
    MK
    • Jan 22 2012: woah thanks a lot ! that's really interesting. I really don'twhat it is like working for a local paper but I guess everyonehas to start small. I think it is all about luck and great pictures are accidents most of the times. thanks again for all your support~