Whether you aspire to be a photojournalist, or are from a company seeking to employ a photojournalist, you should know the basic terminology of the industry. You'll commonly hear words like freelance, portfolio and cutline in the industry. Outsiders may not be familiar with these terms. You should also understand copyright, learn to recognize stock photography and know the difference between a photojournalist and a photographer. An understanding of photojournalism jobs key terms can help you find your career path in the industry.
PhotojournalistPhotojournalists use pictures to record and report on news events. Their photography is factual and tells a story.
FreelancerAs a freelance photojournalist, you do not have a full-time job. Instead, you seek out a series of small jobs from different entities. As a freelancer, you have the ability to work when you want to work and turn down jobs you don't wish to perform. However, you also have to be able to continually sell yourself and be willing to go without a steady income for periods of time.
CopyrightThe United States copyright laws protect your original work as a photojournalist. These laws give you or the company you work for exclusive rights to your work. Photographs gain copyright protection at the moment of creation. In most cases, that protection lasts for a photographer's life, plus and additional 70 years.
PortfolioWhen you are looking for a job as a photojournalist, it is helpful to have a portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of your best photographs that you can show to a potential employer or client.
Stock photographyStock photography is a collection of existing photos that are ready for publication. If you got a job shooting stock photography, you would shoot the images, catalogue them and receive payment only when a buyer decides he or she would like to license your images.
CutlineA cutline, also called a caption, is a small amount of text, typically printed below the picture, that describes what is taking place in the picture. A cutline helps the reader put the picture into context and understand why it's important. Typically a newspaper has cutlines, but a magazine has captions.
Carol B. Schwalbe gives an explanation of what a cutline is and how a photojournalist can write a good one.