Most press photographers work for one of the provincial daily or evening papers, one of the weeklies, or an agency, or they may be self-employed.
National newspapers only recruit experienced photographers who have acquired a substantial track record and experience in covering a specific area.
In national and large regional papers you may be a member of a large team of photographers, covering major breaking stories of international interest and working under the pressure of deadlines to get the best pictures in the paper. At this level, it will be assumed that you can use a camera proficiently, but it will be important to show that you can handle people, meet deadlines and be in the right place at the right time to get the pictures.
In local papers, the news might seem less dramatic than in the national press, but it will be of equal importance to those involved and to local readers. You will cover everything from golden wedding celebrations to annual flower and produce shows.
Magazines sometimes employ photographers with particular specialist areas, such as food or gardens. The emphasis here is more likely to be on creative skills and producing a suitable layout. Some magazines only employ freelance photographers.
A vast number of press photographers are self-employed, working either entirely on their own or in a small business with other photographers. Clearly, photographic skills are vital, but the ability to run the business is equally essential. If you work as a freelance, it is important to maintain contact with editors in the various papers and magazines, to suggest ideas for stories or even to set up your own story through pictures and sell it to the publication.
The Association of Photographers (AOP) website provides useful draft invoices and licences to protect your work.
Recruitment agencies rarely handle vacancies. For lists of agencies, see the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) .
Appropriately targeted speculative applications can be effective.
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