Is being a photographer a useful career?

Press photographer

He accompanies politicians on business trips or attends major sporting events - and always with his camera: press photographer Daniel Naupold (27) captures events in pictures.

His career began with a single picture: When Daniel Naupold witnessed the catastrophe at the Love Parade in 2010, he took a photo and sent it to dpa, the German press agency. The image of a woman dragged unconscious up the stairs went around the world. He then immediately applied for an internship, and with great success. “After two weeks in the company, I was already suggested for a traineeship,” he recalls. During this two-year editorial training he was taught how to work as a journalist.

Photographers in the press can have very different educational backgrounds. Some enter the profession through training as a photographer. Others have studied relevant, for example photography or design with a corresponding focus. Still others are career changers. Like Daniel Naupold. He had previously completed a bachelor's degree in German and philosophy at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. “At that time I came into contact with writing and learned to work in a structured manner. That is very useful to me today. "

Taking pictures under time pressure

News agencies supply daily newspapers, online editorial offices and television stations with texts and photos, among other things. Your representatives are on site at all appointments of public importance. Daniel Naupold, for example, has already accompanied Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on trips to Israel and France. The photographer took the first pictures in the government machine and sent them to the editorial office via laptop - even before departure.

Working quickly is a basic requirement in press photography. “We always have to think about our online customers as well. The pictures often have to be there an hour after the appointment at the latest, ”he explains. The photo selection and post-processing are also done under time pressure. Quickly optimize the brightness, perhaps the contrast and a little bit of the sharpness - more changes are not allowed in journalism anyway, very different from, for example, in advertising and fashion photography. "The message of the picture must not be changed."

Planning is the be-all and end-all

Press photographers have to plan every appointment well. “I always think about what could happen beforehand: which door does the minister come out of and where is he looking? Many situations arise so quickly that you have to be prepared. ”The photographer is usually not alone with the appointments. A writing editor is often also on site. The editor and photographer then exchange ideas about the content of the article, after all, the photos have to match the text. General education and the willingness to quickly familiarize yourself with new topics are basic requirements for this profession. If Daniel Naupold does not have an outside appointment, he works in the agency and does the typical editorial tasks: "I plan the appointments, write the captions for the photos of colleagues and take customer inquiries." <<