The qualities required to become a photojournalist, a photo reporter or documentary photographer are manifold.
As a witness of an event, the photojournalist must constantly follow the news and anticipate major events: street demonstrations and social movements (strikes), sports competitions (regional, national or international ones, such as the Olympic Games), political meetings, festive gatherings (Bastille Day, soccer victories), national commemorations, major festivals (music, theater, photography), and landmark events (e.g. the fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral).
They are therefore constantly on the lookout, always ready to move to where the action is. The first thing a photojournalist or photo reporter needs to get is not a camera, but a great pair of shoes! They must also show perseverance and — sometimes — endurance. Their sense of observation and analysis of given situations must be acute. Human contact is equally essential. They must be able to work quickly, under pressure, and manage all kinds of situations. This is particularly true for war photographers specialized in covering armed conflicts and areas of tension.
Constant anticipation, extreme reactivity, permanent availability, adaptability to sometimes difficult circumstances, mobility, curiosity, rigor in meeting deadlines, good general culture, intuition, speed, skills in one or more foreign languages: these are the qualities expected of a photojournalist, a photo reporter or a documentary photographer.