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7 top tips for shooting news photography

The Alamy Live News feed is busy. We’ve got loads of photographers out there shooting news for us every day and lots of news outlets use images from our feed, daily. Front page news, back page sport and inside entertainment…it’s all there. Providing news imagery to clients is different than standard stock. We ping images out to the news desks directly which means it’s all about being proactive rather than reactive.

If you’re a seasoned photo-journalist or someone just starting on the journey to being a news photographer, here are 7 tips to help you produce the most newsworthy material.

US President Barack Obama raises his glass of German beer in Kruen, Germany, 07 June 2015 as he joined with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) before they attend the G7 summit in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Heads of state and government of the sev
© dpa picture alliance / Alamy

The best camera is the one you have with you

Cliche to say? Yes. Does it actually ring true? Absolutely. Images submitted to us via the news route do not go through the same quality control checks as standard stock. Although we expect images to be of the highest quality possible, we won’t be turning away that image of David Cameron in a compromising position with Taylor Swift in the VIP area of a nightclub just because it’s slightly out of focus. It means that whatever camera you have on you, you can shoot for news. As long as your camera can produce an uncompressed size of 5MB (so we’re talking a 2.7mp camera here) you’re good to go. Failing that, if you’ve got an iPhone you can always upload to the news route via Stockimo.

Weather is always in the news

Whether (sorry) you like it or not, weather is ALWAYS of interest to the newspapers. They want images showing how cold it is, how hot it is, how dry it is, how flooded it is and how foggy it is where you are. We supply images like this to most of the national newspapers as well as regionals. What’s better is if you can get images showing weather themes with people in them. This adds the human interest element and makes the image more attractive to the news desks.

Old news is……old news

This is live news and speed is key. The quicker you can shoot / caption / upload the image the more likely we’ll be able to sell it. News moves quickly and fresh is best!

Makati, Philippines. 28th Apr, 2015. A young girl lights a candle in front of the police line outside the Indonesian embassy. Protesters and office workers joined the vigil and protest in front of the Indonesian embassy in Makati City, Philippines, as the


If you’re planning on taking images of an event, then have headlines and basic captions written and ready before you go. This will cut down on the keywording time after shooting. Also get an idea of the viewpoint / position you want before the action kicks off.

Apps are your friends 

Aside from using Stockimo to actually upload news images, there are a whole bunch of apps out there that can tell you where the sun / moon light will be at any given time, what the tides are doing and what to expect with the weather. These can be extremely valuable to news photographers – make use of the information available at your fingertips and reap the rewards!

Look at newspaper sites to see the sort of images that are regularly getting used

Seems obvious but it’s quite surprising how many photographers ask “what do the newspapers want?” – it’s all there for you to see, daily, and you should take notes of the style and content used which will help inform you what to shoot.

For photo inspiration you can check out our regularly updated news lightbox and you can also follow us on twitter @alamynews were we regularly tweet picture needs and pointers on what we need.

You should also check out our news submission guidelines too where you’ll find lots more information.

Got any other questions? Feel free to drop our news team an email via news@alamy.com.

James Allsworth

A photographer, digital media degree holder and part of the Alamy Content team for 18 years. James has a strong interest in all things visual and is our Head of Content.

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