'Photojournalists need to prove themselves'

'Photojournalists need to prove themselves'

 To begin with, a word of caution –– there are no easy steps to becoming a great photographer. This is one profession where you have to prove yourself, not just to your audience, but also to yourself every time you click an image. And finally, you are only as good as your last picture!

These words of advice came from Prashant Panjiar, one of India’s best known photographers, to budding camera persons here on Sunday.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘Photojournalism in Print Media’ at the Bangalore Press Club, Panjiar said: “Gone are the days when a news photographer needed to look at just clicking 10-20 snaps a day at routine assignments. You need to have multiple projects. As a photojournalist, taking a photo connotes that you arrive at a scene,  quickly click a few pictures, and then rush away to have the pictures published. Your newspaper sells, you earn money. This is a downright exploitative act.”

According to him, the act of making a photograph is a process. It involves the photographer, the person/situation you are photographing and the viewer of that photo. Each of these has an important stake in the photograph being made.

After starting out as an industrial photographer in Pune, Panjiar worked for several magazines, where he brought a rare editorial streak to photography.

A frequent, India contributor to the Time magazine, Prashant now runs his own syndication firm, ‘Livewire Images’ and is based in New Delhi. You can reach him at www.livewireimages.com.