Marisa Wojcik works for the Leader Telegram newspaper in Eau Claire, WI as a photojournalist.
Wojcik is native to the City of Eau Claire and attended the University of Minnesota for her undergraduate degree in professional journalism and a double major in sociology. There had not been a photojournalism degree at the time.
It was Wojcik’s outside experience that allowed her to get the job.
“I think that class will get you a bit of the way but doing other things like working at a local newspaper or local publication or anything extracurricular is really going to set you apart from someone else,” Wojcik said.
One of the things that Wojcik likes the most about her job as a photojournalist is having the ability to connect with people everyday.
“You have to meet new people everyday, get them comfortable with you taking their photograph,” Wojcik said.
The nice thing about Wojcik’s job is that she gets to go to different events all over the city and photograph what happened.
The event that Wojcik covered that day was the power wheelchair soccer tournament held at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire McPhee Sports Center.
One of the best things an aspiring photojournalist can do is get their name out there to the public.
Wojcik quoted a blog post from a photographer from the Pioneer Press using the “If a tree falls in the forest” analogy and applies it to photographers.
“If a photojournalist takes a photo and no one ever sees it than it is not doing its job,” quoted Wojcik. “The photo is not serving its purpose if no one else can enjoy it and talk about it and discuss it”.
One of the things that Wojcik stressed was out of class experience in order to find a photojournalist job.
“I would say just do as much as you can in class and outside of class,” Wojcik said. “Even if you aren’t able to work for a publication than start a blog anything where you can start having your work be seen by people, is going to help you. “
A major problem for incoming photojournalist is that in order to get a job you need experience, but in order to get that experience you need a job.
In order to get out of the Catch 22, Wojcik suggests finding internship.
“You got to pay your due for a while and you have to be an unpaid intern at multiple different places or whatever, that is kind of how you build up a skill set that you can’t necessarily get just in a class room,” Wojcik said.
But no matter what Wojcik suggests that we do what we love.
“Follow your own instincts,” Wojcik said.