Pictures: NCTJ-trained photographer Gwen Woods, who passed the NCE for photographers in 2009.
Photography and video shooting are two of the most admired skills in journalism and some of the most in-demand.
Editors are always looking for stunning pictures and creative videos to draw readers into the website or print publication.
Being a good photographer is not just a case of pressing a button on a camera with automatic focus. You need first class people skills as well as first class technical skills and you need commitment, perseverance, patience and flexibility.
Great skill goes into the framing of a picture, choosing the right exposure, using the correct lenses and making the best of all light sources.
Being able to spot the right picture is another much needed quality – a good photographer will be sent to an event as routine as a fundraising coffee morning and will always come back with an interesting picture.
Once the photographs and video are taken the photographer must then choose the right images and edit their footage to capture the essence of the event to present to the picture editor.
The fast moving nature of news and sport photography also means a photographer has to get it right first time. You don’t get a second chance at capturing the drama of a brilliant goal or the airport arrival of a head of state.
All this means that instead of a mechanical operation, photography is rightly considered an art-form which requires the expert training and guidance found on an NCTJ photography and photojournalism course.
If you are successful in obtaining a place on an NCTJ photography course you will study toward the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism for press-photographers or photojournalists.
Photojournalism is a journalism-based course with photography as its foundation. Tutors will help you develop natural news sense in tune with the ability to use a camera and take a great picture.