Becoming a wire service photographer in 1987 had numerous job requirements that still apply today. However, one backbreaking prerequisite no longer pertains in 2012.
At that time, the wires were represented by The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, Reuters and United Press International. Staff photographer jobs were highly sought after and difficult to obtain.
You had to be a well-rounded photographer, proficient in news and sports. You had to be a decisive journalist, able to think on your feet and make coverage choices on the move. You needed to be a good editor, narrowing your photo shoot down to the best frames to transmit on deadline to newspapers around the world. Top wire service photographers were able to handle extreme competition and difficult deadlines.