25 Photojournalist Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a photojournalist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

From capturing the intimate moments of a wedding to documenting a city’s changing landscape, photojournalists use their camera to tell stories. As a photojournalist, you may be asked to capture a wide range of emotions and events, from happy to tragic.

If you’re looking for a career in photojournalism, you’ll need to be prepared to answer questions about your photography skills and experience, as well as your ability to capture a story. In this guide, you’ll find several sample questions and answers that will help you prepare for your next job interview.

Common Photojournalist Interview Questions

1. Are you comfortable working in high-pressure situations?

Photojournalists often work in high-pressure situations, such as covering a breaking news story or capturing images of an event that’s happening right now. Employers ask this question to make sure you’re comfortable with the fast pace and pressure of working in these types of environments. In your answer, explain how you handle stressful situations. Share examples of times when you’ve worked under similar conditions in the past.

Example: “Absolutely. I have been a photojournalist for the past five years and during that time I have worked in many high-pressure situations. I am used to working under tight deadlines and can handle any situation with professionalism and poise. I understand the importance of capturing moments quickly and accurately, so I strive to remain calm and focused even when the pressure is on. I also take pride in my ability to think on my feet and come up with creative solutions to unexpected problems. My experience has taught me how to stay organized and efficient while still producing quality work.”

2. What are some of the most important skills for a photojournalist?

Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills necessary for the job. They want someone who is passionate, dedicated and hardworking. When answering this question, think about what skills helped you succeed in your previous roles. Consider including some of those skills along with any other photojournalism-specific skills that you may have.

Example: “As a photojournalist, I believe the most important skills are an eye for detail and composition, technical proficiency with cameras and editing software, and the ability to tell stories through images.

Having an eye for detail and composition is essential in order to capture the right moments and angles that will make a powerful impact on viewers. It’s also important to be able to use different types of camera equipment and understand how to use them effectively. Finally, it’s crucial to have the ability to tell stories through photographs. This requires being able to capture emotion and atmosphere in each image, as well as having an understanding of the subject matter and its context.

I possess all these skills and more. With my experience in both digital and film photography, I am confident that I can bring a unique perspective to any project. My portfolio showcases my creative vision and demonstrates my commitment to capturing meaningful stories. I look forward to discussing further how I can contribute to your team.”

3. How do you stay calm and focused when covering a story that might be emotionally charged?

Photojournalists often cover stories that are emotionally charged, such as natural disasters or crime scenes. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to stay calm and focused when working in these situations. In your answer, show the interviewer that you can remain professional while still being empathetic.

Example: “When covering a story that might be emotionally charged, I stay calm and focused by reminding myself of the importance of my job. As a photojournalist, it is my responsibility to capture accurate images that tell the story in an unbiased way. This helps me remain objective and not get caught up in the emotions of the situation.

I also take time to prepare for each assignment by researching the topic and familiarizing myself with the people involved. Knowing as much as possible about the subject matter allows me to anticipate potential issues and plan accordingly. Finally, I make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day so that I can clear my head and refocus on the task at hand.”

4. What is your experience with using multimedia elements in your work?

Photojournalists often need to be able to use multimedia elements in their work, such as video and audio. This question helps employers understand your experience with multimedia and how you might fit into their organization. In your answer, explain what multimedia elements you’ve used before and why they were important to the story you were covering.

Example: “I have extensive experience with using multimedia elements in my work as a Photojournalist. I have used various forms of media to tell stories, including photography, video, audio, and text. I am comfortable working with all types of equipment, from DSLRs to smartphones, and can easily adapt to new technologies.

I also understand the importance of storytelling through visuals and use this knowledge to create compelling images that capture the essence of a story. My goal is always to create an engaging narrative that resonates with viewers. I strive to make sure each element works together to bring the story alive for the viewer.

In addition, I have experience creating multimedia packages for online publications, which includes selecting appropriate images, videos, and audio clips to accompany articles. I take great care to ensure that the content is cohesive and visually appealing.”

5. Provide an example of a time when you had to use your negotiation skills to gain access to a story.

Photojournalists often need to negotiate with people in order to get the best shots. Employers ask this question to see if you have experience doing so and how well you can do it. Use your answer to show that you are confident when speaking with others. Explain what you did, why you did it and what the outcome was.

Example: “I recently had the opportunity to use my negotiation skills while working on a photojournalism project. I was assigned to document an event in a rural area that was not easily accessible. The local community was wary of outsiders and were hesitant to let me take pictures or even enter their village.

To gain access, I used my negotiation skills to build trust with the locals. I explained my purpose for being there and showed them examples of my work. I also offered to provide copies of the photos I took at no cost. After several conversations, they eventually agreed to allow me to take photos and cover the event.”

6. If you saw something happening that you thought was newsworthy, would you take the risk and photograph or film it?

Photojournalists often have to make quick decisions about whether or not they should take a photo of something newsworthy. This question helps employers understand how you would react in that situation and if you are willing to put yourself at risk for the sake of getting a good story. In your answer, explain what factors you would consider before taking action.

Example: “Absolutely. As a Photojournalist, I understand the importance of capturing newsworthy events and telling stories through my images. I believe it is our responsibility to document history as it unfolds and to bring attention to issues that may otherwise go unnoticed. If I saw something happening that I thought was newsworthy, I would take the risk and photograph or film it. I am comfortable working in challenging environments and have experience covering sensitive topics. I also recognize the need for safety and security when documenting these situations, so I always make sure to assess the risks before taking any action.”

7. What would you do if you were sent to cover a story and you weren’t allowed to take your camera into the location?

Photojournalists often need to take their cameras into dangerous situations, so employers want to make sure you have the skills and experience to handle these types of assignments. In your answer, explain how you would adapt to this situation and still get the story.

Example: “If I were sent to cover a story and not allowed to take my camera into the location, I would use other methods of capturing the story. First, I would research the area and its people as much as possible before arriving on-site. This would give me an idea of what kind of images or stories I should be looking for. Second, I would talk to locals in order to gain insight into the situation. Finally, I would take notes and record audio interviews with those involved in the story so that I could capture their perspectives accurately.”

8. How well do you work under pressure?

Photojournalists often work under tight deadlines and pressure to get the best shots. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle these situations well. In your answer, share a time when you worked under pressure. Explain how you managed it and what skills helped you succeed.

Example: “I have a great deal of experience working under pressure as a Photojournalist. I thrive in fast-paced environments and am able to remain calm and focused when the stakes are high. I’m also comfortable taking quick decisions and adapting my approach on the fly, which is essential for capturing the perfect shot in any situation.

In addition, I’m very organized and can prioritize tasks effectively. This helps me stay on top of deadlines and ensure that all projects are completed on time and to the highest standard. Finally, I’m an excellent communicator and work well with others, which allows me to collaborate effectively with colleagues and clients alike.”

9. Do you have experience using long-range lenses?

Employers may ask this question to see if you have experience using the equipment they provide. They want someone who can use their tools and get the job done without needing much training. Use your answer to highlight any previous experience with long-range lenses, or explain how you would learn to use them if you don’t have prior experience.

Example: “Yes, I have extensive experience using long-range lenses. During my time as a Photojournalist, I have used them to capture stunning images from far away locations and in difficult lighting conditions. My ability to use these lenses has enabled me to capture unique perspectives that would otherwise be impossible with regular lenses. I am also familiar with the different techniques required for capturing images at various distances. This includes understanding how to adjust shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and other settings to get the best results. Furthermore, I am confident in my ability to quickly switch between lenses depending on the situation.”

10. When is it appropriate to use a flash?

Employers ask this question to make sure you understand the basics of photography. They want to know that you can use a flash appropriately and when it’s not appropriate to do so. Use your answer to show that you have experience using a flash in different situations.

Example: “Using a flash is an important tool for any photojournalist. It can be used to add drama and depth to photos, as well as provide additional light in low-light situations. When it comes to when it’s appropriate to use a flash, I believe there are many factors that should be taken into consideration.

When shooting indoors or outdoors at night, using a flash can help capture the scene more accurately. In addition, if you’re trying to capture movement or action shots, a flash can freeze the motion and give your images a sense of energy. Finally, if you’re looking to create a dramatic effect, such as silhouettes or backlighting, then a flash can be very useful.”

11. We want to increase our social media presence. How would you use social media to promote the stories you photograph?

Employers want to know that you can use social media to promote your work and the publication for which you’re working. Use examples from previous experience where you’ve used social media to increase traffic to a website or other platform.

Example: “I understand the importance of using social media to promote stories I photograph. As a photojournalist, I believe it is important to share my work with as many people as possible and social media provides an excellent platform for doing so.

When sharing stories on social media, I would use captivating images that draw attention to the story. Along with the image, I would include a brief description of the story and why it matters. This will help viewers connect with the story and encourage them to read more about it.

I also think it’s important to engage with followers by responding to comments and questions they have about the story. This helps build relationships with readers and encourages further engagement. Finally, I would use hashtags to make sure the story reaches the right audience and can be easily found in searches.”

12. Describe your post-processing workflow.

Photojournalists often need to edit their photos before they can submit them for publication. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills necessary to complete your work efficiently. In your answer, explain what steps you take when editing a photo and how long it usually takes you to do so.

Example: “My post-processing workflow is an important part of my photojournalism process. I always strive to capture the best images possible in camera, but I also recognize that some adjustments are necessary for a successful final product.

I begin by importing all of my photos into Adobe Lightroom and organizing them into collections based on their subject matter. This allows me to quickly find any image I need when it’s time to edit. Then, I make basic adjustments such as color correction, exposure, contrast, etc. Finally, I export the images to Photoshop where I can perform more detailed edits like cropping, retouching, and sharpening.”

13. What makes a great photo story?

Photojournalists need to be able to tell a story with their photos. Employers ask this question to see if you understand what makes a good photo story and how to create one. Before your interview, read some of the publications or websites that they produce content for. Look at some of their recent stories and think about what made them effective. Use these examples to explain why you believe in this style of storytelling.

Example: “A great photo story is one that captures the essence of a moment in time. It should be able to tell a story without words, and evoke emotion from the viewer. To achieve this, I believe there are three key elements: composition, lighting, and timing.

Composition is essential for creating an impactful image. By carefully framing the subject, it can help draw attention to the most important aspects of the scene. Lighting also plays a major role in making a powerful photograph. Knowing how to use natural light or artificial light to create atmosphere and mood will bring the story to life. Finally, timing is everything when it comes to capturing the perfect shot. Being able to anticipate moments before they happen and being ready to capture them is what makes a great photojournalist.”

14. Which camera brands and models do you have the most experience using?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of experience with photography equipment. It can also show them which brands and models you prefer to use, which can be important if they have a specific brand or model in mind for you to use at their company. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention any brands and models that you are familiar with but haven’t had much experience using.

Example: “I have extensive experience using a variety of camera brands and models. I am most familiar with Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fujifilm cameras. Specifically, I have used the Canon 5D Mark IV, the Nikon D750, the Sony Alpha A7R III, and the Fujifilm X-T3.

I understand the features and capabilities of each model and can use them to capture stunning images in any environment. I’m also well-versed in post-processing techniques for editing photos taken with these cameras. I’m confident that my knowledge and experience will be an asset to your team.”

15. What do you think is the most important aspect of lighting a scene?

This question can help interviewers understand your lighting techniques and how you use light to create a scene. Use examples from past experiences where you used different types of lighting to highlight important aspects of a story or event.

Example: “Lighting is an essential part of any photograph, and as a photojournalist it’s important to understand how to use light effectively. In my opinion, the most important aspect of lighting a scene is creating balance. This means finding the right combination of highlights and shadows that will bring out the details in the image without making it look too harsh or flat. It also involves understanding the direction of the light source and using it to create depth and texture in the shot. Finally, I believe it’s important to consider the color temperature of the light and adjust accordingly to ensure the colors in the image are accurate.”

16. How often do you backup your work and how do you do it?

Photojournalists often work with sensitive information, so it’s important that they know how to protect their work. This question helps employers determine if you have experience backing up your work and what methods you use. In your answer, explain the process you use for backing up your work and why you choose this method.

Example: “I take backing up my work very seriously. I have a system in place that allows me to backup all of my photos and videos on a regular basis. Every day, I upload my images and videos to an external hard drive or cloud storage service. This ensures that if something were to happen to the original files, I would still have access to them. In addition, I also keep copies of my work on multiple devices such as my laptop, tablet, and smartphone. This way, no matter where I am, I can easily access my files. Finally, I make sure to always save my work in multiple formats so that it is accessible for different platforms.”

17. There is a lot of competition for news stories. How would you set yourself apart from other photojournalists?

Photojournalists often have to compete for the best stories. Employers ask this question to see if you can set yourself apart from other candidates and show them how your skills make you a valuable asset to their team. In your answer, explain what makes you unique as a photojournalist. You can highlight any specific skills or experiences that make you stand out from others in the field.

Example: “I believe that my experience and skills as a photojournalist set me apart from other applicants. I have been working in the field for over five years, covering stories both locally and internationally. During this time, I’ve developed an eye for capturing compelling images that tell a story. My photos are not only aesthetically pleasing but also convey emotion and meaning.

Furthermore, I’m always up to date on current events and trends in the news industry. I make sure to stay informed so that I can be prepared for any assignment. I’m also very organized and efficient when it comes to completing assignments. I understand deadlines and strive to meet them without compromising quality.”

18. What do you think makes a good photograph?

This question can help interviewers understand your photography style and how you approach a shoot. Your answer should show that you have an artistic eye, but also that you know what makes a photo newsworthy.

Example: “A good photograph is one that captures a moment in time and tells a story. It should be visually appealing, with strong composition, lighting, and color. As a photojournalist, I believe it’s important to capture the emotion of the subject or scene, as well as any relevant details that help tell the story. A great photograph will also draw attention to the issue at hand, whether it’s social injustice, poverty, or environmental destruction.

I have been working as a photojournalist for many years now and have developed an eye for capturing powerful images. I am constantly looking for ways to improve my technique and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in photography. My goal is always to create meaningful photographs that evoke emotion and inspire action.”

19. How do you research and prepare for a story before you go on assignment?

Photojournalists need to be prepared for their assignments. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the research skills needed for the job. Use your answer to show that you are organized and thorough when it comes to researching a story. Explain how you use multiple sources to gather information about your topic.

Example: “When I’m preparing for a story, research is key. First and foremost, I make sure to thoroughly read any background information that’s available on the subject matter. This helps me understand the context of the story so I can better prepare for it.

I also like to talk to people who are familiar with the topic or have been involved in similar stories before. This gives me an idea of what to expect when I’m out in the field. It also allows me to get different perspectives on the issue at hand.

Lastly, I use online resources such as news articles, blogs, and social media posts to gain further insight into the story. This helps me identify potential sources and locations where I should focus my efforts while shooting. By doing this, I ensure that I’m well-prepared and ready to capture the best possible images for the story.”

20. How do you handle difficult people when shooting in the field?

Photojournalists often work in the field, which can sometimes involve interacting with difficult people. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience dealing with challenging situations and how you handled them. In your answer, share a specific situation where you had to interact with someone who was being uncooperative or rude. Explain what steps you took to handle the situation effectively.

Example: “When I’m shooting in the field, I always strive to be professional and courteous. I understand that people may not always be comfortable with having their photo taken, so I take extra care to make sure they feel respected and at ease. If a situation arises where someone is being difficult or uncooperative, I try my best to stay calm and explain why I need to take their photograph. I also make sure to listen to any concerns they may have and address them accordingly. In some cases, I will offer alternative solutions if possible. Ultimately, I want to ensure that everyone involved feels comfortable and respected throughout the process.”

21. What techniques do you use to keep yourself safe while on an assignment?

Employers ask this question to make sure you have the necessary skills and training to keep yourself safe while on assignment. Use your answer to highlight any certifications or training you’ve had in safety procedures.

Example: “Safety is a top priority for me when I’m on an assignment. Before heading out, I always research the area and take note of any potential risks or safety concerns. Once I’m there, I make sure to stay aware of my surroundings at all times and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity. I also try to travel with a companion whenever possible, as it’s safer than going alone.

I also use technology to help keep myself safe. For example, I have a GPS tracking app installed on my phone so that if anything happens, someone can easily locate me. I also carry a satellite phone in case I need to call for help while in remote areas. Finally, I always wear protective clothing such as a helmet and high visibility vest to ensure that I’m visible to others.”

22. Describe your experience with writing captions and photo essays.

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your writing skills and how you organize information. Use your answer to highlight any specific experience you have with these tasks, such as the types of captions you write or the photo essays you’ve created.

Example: “I have extensive experience writing captions and photo essays. I’ve been a professional Photojournalist for over 10 years, during which time I’ve written hundreds of captions and dozens of photo essays. My captions are always concise yet informative, providing the necessary context to accompany each image. I also strive to make sure my captions accurately reflect the story behind the photograph.

When it comes to creating photo essays, I take great care in crafting a narrative that is both visually engaging and emotionally compelling. I understand how to use images to tell stories and capture moments, and I’m able to create an effective flow between photos while ensuring they all work together to form a cohesive whole. I also pay close attention to detail when selecting and editing images, as well as choosing appropriate titles and captions.”

23. Are there any ethical considerations that you take into account when photographing a news event?

Photojournalists must be aware of the ethical considerations that come with their job. Ethical considerations include respecting privacy, not interfering with a news event and ensuring accuracy in reporting. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention specific situations you’ve encountered where you had to make an ethical decision while on assignment.

Example: “I always respect the privacy of individuals when I’m photographing a news event. If I see someone who doesn’t want to be photographed, I’ll either move out of their line of sight or wait until they’re no longer in the frame before taking another photo. Another important consideration is making sure my photos are accurate representations of what’s happening at a news event. In my experience, I’ve found that sometimes photographers will take several shots of the same scene from different angles so they have options for which image to use.”

Example: “Absolutely. As a Photojournalist, it is my responsibility to capture events accurately and ethically. I always consider the impact of my images on the subjects in them as well as their families and communities.

I make sure that any photos I take are respectful and do not exploit or sensationalize the situation. I also ensure that I am aware of any laws or regulations related to photography in the area where I’m working. Finally, I strive to be transparent about how I use my photographs and never manipulate an image for the sake of creating a more dramatic story.”

24. How has digital photography changed the way you work as a photojournalist?

Photojournalists need to be able to adapt to changes in the industry. Employers ask this question to make sure you can keep up with technological advances and use them to your advantage. In your answer, explain how digital photography has changed your work as a photojournalist. Explain what you like about these changes and what challenges they’ve presented for you.

Example: “Digital photography has had a tremendous impact on the way I work as a photojournalist. With digital cameras, I can take more photos in less time and with greater accuracy than ever before. This allows me to capture moments that would otherwise be missed or difficult to get. It also gives me the ability to quickly edit my images in post-production, allowing me to create unique compositions and tell stories through my photographs. Digital photography has allowed me to become more creative and efficient in my work. I am able to capture more of the story and share it with the world faster than ever before.”

25. Do you have any experience using drones or other aerial photography equipment?

Employers may ask this question to see if you have experience using drones or other aerial photography equipment. If you do, they might want to know how often you used it and what kind of results you got from the photos you took. If you don’t have any experience with these types of equipment, you can talk about your interest in learning more about them.

Example: “Yes, I do have experience using drones and other aerial photography equipment. In my current role as a Photojournalist, I have used drones to capture stunning images of landscapes, cityscapes, and events from unique angles. I am also familiar with the regulations surrounding drone use in different locations, so I can ensure that all images are taken legally and safely.

I understand the importance of capturing high-quality images for news stories, and I’m confident that my skills and knowledge will be an asset to your team. My background in photojournalism has given me the ability to think quickly and creatively when it comes to taking photos, and I’m always looking for new ways to tell stories through pictures. With my experience in both traditional and aerial photography, I believe I would be a great addition to your team.”


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