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Your Photojournalism Survival Kit

Lesson 11 of 12

Best Practices for Working in the Field

Ron Haviv

Your Photojournalism Survival Kit

Ron Haviv

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Lesson Info

11. Best Practices for Working in the Field

Lesson Info

Best Practices for Working in the Field

Taking care of yourself doesn't matter what kind of story you're doing your adrenaline is probably going to be pretty pumped while you're doing it can be really excited you can be really engaged to a really good chance you're gonna be working long hours you have to take a break it times to take a take stock of yourself am I too tired am I thinking clearly am I getting enough food because after a while after a few days if you're not sleeping enough if you're not eating well you're going to start to make poor decisions you're going to start to be very difficult for you to be ableto work a few years ago in the war front and I were traveling together we've been on the road covering this conflict like two months and we were really like at the edge and we finally get to a commander that we knew under siege and this guy was really like at at with end and uh bomb goes off nearby and my friend and I jump out of our skins were like totally freaked out and this guy whose life is on the line is ab...

out to get overrun turned to us and said you guys need to go home so we couldn't realize how like we had we were so frantic and not slept and not eaten and we needed somebody else who was in a much worse situation to tell us so it's really super helpful to kind of be very conscious off of your well being is going to affect all these decisions that you're making pay attention to where the groups are pay attention to what the targets are pay attention to all the different things pay attention to where maybe criminals might go to rob people all these different things you have to really be very conscious of when you're working in the field peters to your environment when you walked to a hotel when you go when you go to your car all these different things again you're going to be a target in some places where um because you have gear like that communication another big thing there's there's a link on the resource is guide that's super helpful about protecting your phone's protecting your computers when there were the olympics in sochi and russia as soon as everybody arrived everybody started seeing that their phones and computers immediately got hacked by russian secret service so it's happening all the time I used to be really careful about it to really pay attention when you're traveling decide it's up to you if you want to decide whether you want to contact the local embassy your embassy to tell them that you're there some people I think it's okay some people don't I personally don't because the american embassies are too large I know who gets the information but if you're a resident or nationality off a smaller country it can sometimes be super helpful sometimes the ambassador will invite you to dinner, talk to you can open doors and give you different information protecting your images you know you want to be able every time when you come back from a day shoot you want to split your your work into two different drives you want immediately duplicate you want to add metadata and you want to then after you do that for the first time you put won't leave one drive in the hotel and you take one drive with you same thing with your gear right? You dont take all your gear out into the field you leave one set of working here back at the hotel and take one set of working here into the field so if your hotel gets robbed, you still have your your work and your gear if you get rob's saint thing and if everybody gets robbed than probably it's time to go at the same time if you have good wifi and you have the energy should be trying to do an edit every night of the least ten images and uploading those images. So no matter what, at least you're going to have some work, so what I didn't do during the invasion of iraq was I waited until like the very end of the trip to start putting things on drives and two duplicating the drive and when I went to duplicate the main drive I've been using because I was in these vehicles and bouncing around so much, the drive was destroyed. I even said to drivesavers they couldn't rescue it. And so the majority of my work from the war was was gone because I wasn't, like, disciplined enough to, like, really set this up. It was a really huge mistake that I made.

Class Description

Capturing a story on film is a complex process. It demands an understanding of the issue at hand as well as the ability to condense, package, and pitch the story to a distributor. Successful photojournalists make a job of nailing down the details before a shoot and being prepared for anything.

In Your Photojournalism Survival Kit, Ron Haviv brings two decades of experience in building a photojournalism career on carefully laid groundwork. 

In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to identify a captivating story and organize a plan for shooting it 
  • How to create a budget and a pitch letter
  • How to plan for any eventuality during the shoot, and cope with setbacks when they strike
Ron Haviv draws on his long career for anecdotes and suggestions for aspiring photographers. He’ll teach you that your assignment starts before you leave your house; planning, packing and preparing for even the best-laid plans to go awry is essential. You’ll learn tricks for assessing your preparedness, safety, and support while on assignment in the field.

Your Photojournalism Survival Kit is crucial for beginners, and for current photojournalists who may need to brush up on their checklists. Learn from Ron Haviv’s early-career mistakes, and lay the foundations of your own successful, impactful enterprise in visual storytelling.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Budget and Invoice Template

Medical Kit Supplies

Resource Guide

Resources Mentioned In Class

Workshop Print Sale

Pitch Letter Template

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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KAren OLlis

Thank you Ron and Creative Live for the thoughtful and expansive course. Even for a pro, the information was often enlightening and definitely inspirational. The best way to learn is from a seasoned professional who knows how to teach in an organized manner. Appreciate the support materials as well. Will be out shooting stories no doubt! All the best, Karen Ollis, Karen Ollis Photo

Connie Kennedy

Ron Haviv presents his generous insights and experience in a wonderfully paced and very clearly delivered manner. Combine him with the Creative Live platform and you have a magical educational experience. I'm so grateful to attend this course. I wish I had heard a presentation like this years back; it would have spared me some mistakes. If you're sitting on the fence buy this course. Tap into his wisdom. Enjoy.


I've been a following Ron Haviv for years. Love his expressions in delivering explanations. It's amazing to see and hear from the photographer behind the photos. Well structured course. Having Kenna's facilitation makes this workshop so worth watching. Thank you creativeLive for this great sensory experience!