Great photojournalists are sticklers about their gear.
They check it thoroughly before and after every shoot. They supplement the standard-issue package with specialty items, from dimmers to clothespins to GoPros. They experiment and improvise, always on the hunt for new accessories that will save time or give them an edge on the competition.
Jonathan Malat of KARE-TV in Minneapolis, a two-time winner of the NPPA TV Photojournalist of the Year award, has his own collection of gadgets and gizmos that make the job go well. But only two of them are on his absolutely-must-have list. And he really means it.
If he couldn’t have those two items, he says, he simply couldn’t work.
So what are they?
Here’s a hint: one is for audio and one is for video.
How do you get to be good at photojournalism? You know how to get to Carnegie Hall, right? Practice, practice, practice. “You’ve got to know your camera,” Malat says. “Be so confident in your gear that you go to the next level and worry about the story, you don’t ever worry about the mechanics.” Practice every day with VO/SOTs and V/Os, Malat advises, until the technical part of the job becomes second nature.
Here’s a story Malat shot that won first place in the 2011 NPPA national competition.