New York Times editor offers tips to aspiring photojournalists

by Liam McCabe

posted Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 1:05 PM EST


Photojournalism is a tough field. Long hours, pricey gear, years of building a worthy portfolio, mediocre pay, and even some dangerous assignments—all for what’s been ranked as the fourth-most stressful job you can get in America. But when people are passionate about the gig, logic doesn’t matter much.

Jim Estrin, who edits the New York Times’ Lens photo blog, recently sat down with Photo District News to offer up some advice to aspiring photojournalists. In the 3-minute clip, Estrin covers some dos and don’ts for young folks trying to break in. One of the big takeaways is that it’s important to build a community: Find a mentor, build friendships with other photographers, and approach editors, even when you think your work could improve.

Some of the stuff you can skip? You don’t need to shoot stories that have won awards, because those stories have already been covered. Also, there’s no need to head to Africa or the Middle East—shoot what you know. Doing that, “[young photographers] are more likely to do great work than going for two weeks or even two months to an exotic place,” Estrin says in the clip.

We won’t give all the tips away here, and the video can't be embedded, so check out the clip at PDN Pulse. Photojournalists out there—any advice you’d like to add?

Head on over to PDN to watch the interview.

(Via PDN Pulse)