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My Life As A Young Photojournalist: From Fast Cars To Being Chased By Wombats

Posted by Social Media on 04/12/2019 5:45:00 PM

Young photojournalist Morgan Hancock took up a job with The Standard, in Warrnambool, just a couple of months after completing his Bachelor of Photography at PSC. At 23 years-old, he is covering everything from breaking news and sports, to portraits and social events. Read about his life working as photographer in the real world, how he got into the industry, and why he thinks the future is bright for photographers, especially with the rise of social media. 

Image by Morgan Hancock

Tell us about your work as a photojournalist?

I'm currently working at The Standard in Warrnambool, it's a daily newspaper with a strong online presence. I'm working there on a permanent basis four days a week. I also work as a freelancer when I get the chance. 

 

What do you cover for the publication?

I cover a wide variety of subjects in my work at the newspaper, this includes breaking news stories mainly involving emergencies, a large number of social events, the occasional music performance, as well as a load of portraits. We also cover a wide range of sports. The main sports we shoot are football, cricket, basketball, speedway racing, lawn bowls and horse racing.
 
Image by Morgan Hancock
 

What is your typical day or schedule like

No two days are ever really the same, we work over seven days a week, so we may work a weekend one week, and work during the week the next. We get assigned to photograph a number of jobs throughout the day, this can often change if something urgent pops up throughout the day that we are required to be at. Throughout the year we have some rather busy time periods. For example, in late January we have a big week that is centred around the major sprintcar race here. March and April will often be busy with football season starting, this means we have to get as many new players as we can in order to build up a library of photos that can be used throughout the year. Around this time of year we are always busy with summer carnivals and shows going on, it never really stops here!
 
 
What is your favourite subject to photograph?
 
I certainly enjoy shooting sports the most, as there is always an aspect of the unknown, and we often get to shoot in great lighting conditions that allow for us to get creative with the photos that we take. 

 

Image by Morgan Hancock

You photograph a lot of motor racing too, how did you connect with this industry?

I've been shooting a wide range of motorsport events for quite a while now, I started out shooting local and state level events without media access, I then worked up to shooting more events with media access which then allowed for a wider variety of shots. I was then able to use these photos in a  folio to help me get some work with other agencies that has since allowed me to shoot international races in Melbourne such as the MotoGP and Formula 1.

 

What advice can you give our students who might be interested in getting the best motor racing shots?

 
I'd say the way I managed to improve was by shooting as much as I can whilst constantly asking fellow photographers for feedback. In terms of motorsport the best advice I could give is to slow the shutter speed right down and try to get creative with the shots you're taking, don't beat yourself up when every panning shot doesn't work, this is a very easy mistake to make. Also don't be afraid to venture to positions that other photographers aren't necessarily shooting from, just because they aren't there doesn't mean a good shot can't be taken. 
 
 

Image by Morgan Hancock

 

What advice can you give our students on how to get work in the industry?

Whilst studying at Photography Studies College, I shot as much as possible at any stage that I could. I mainly shot sport and events whilst also having the chance to try my hand at portraits. Towards the tail end of the course, I spoke to photographers that I looked up to, and they helped me select images that would be best to show in my folio. I was lucky enough to get this job a couple of months after finishing at PSC. The best advice that I could give to any budding photographers would be go out and shoot as many things as you can so that you have a broad skill set, also don't be afraid to reach out to others in the industry. 
 

How do you see the future job market for photographers like yourself?

There are certainly plenty of opportunities for photographers to find work in this current age, the rise of social media means a constant need for imagery. As always, media companies are always on the look out for quality photographers that they can rely on. 
 

Image by Morgan Hancock

What is a recent fun story you had to cover for the paper?

Being in regional Victoria, we often get sent out to places that are off the beaten track which is incredible. I recently attended a job where a journalist was writing a story about a toddler that had formed a friendship with a wombat, whilst trying to photograph the wombat it kept deciding to chase me around a paddock... wombats are actually quite fast for such a small animal. 

 

Do you still exhibit work?

Yes, I've recently had some motorsport images on display at Focal Point Darkroom & Gallery in Geelong.
 

Image by Morgan Hancock

Would you recommend the Bachelor of Photography at PSC?

I majored in photojournalism which was a great chance to receive constant feedback on work that I was producing. I loved my time at uni, as we all had the chance to learn about so many important things aside from how to take a photo, important things like post production, approaching clients and setting up social media accounts and invoicing. Another aspect that I loved, was how willing all of the lecturers were to help all of us students, often even replying to emails after uni hours. 
 
 
 
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