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Career as Photographer

A career in Photography is considered under one of the most artistic and creative careers of today. But, apart from an eye for colour, creativity and an artistic bent of mind, one needs to have an in-depth knowledge about the technical aspects of Photography. Individuals who pursue Photography can choose from a wide range of career options such as Commercial Photography, Scientific Photography, Portrait Photography, Forensic Photography, Fashion Photography, Wildlife Photography, Photojournalism, Nature Photography etc. With the development and advances in photographic techniques and tools, the field is now omnipresent – there is nothing in this world that is complete without a photograph. If you wish to club your love for capturing moments with your understanding of mathematics and physics, a career in Photography is the right one for you. With a boom in fashion, advertising and media industry and rapid growth in communications networks, Photography is gaining momentum.

Job Profile

Career as Photographer

No matter how passionate you are about this career and the booming industry, one thing that every aspirant must know is that the field is highly competitive. The work routine on a typical day depends upon the type of Photography that one specializes. While some individuals begin their career on a freelance basis, others work for studios, media companies, magazines, newspapers, ad agencies, publishing houses, etc.

 

No matter the kind of employment, Photography is a demanding field and often involves long hours of work – be it indoor or outdoor. The job is also often stressful as employers of the clients have specific demands.

 

The salary or earning in the field of Photography depends upon the experience one has and one’s portfolio. There is no particular field that ensures high packages or earnings.

 

The average salary or earning of a Photographer in India is Rs 3.5 lakh to 13 lakh, based on the individual’s field, experience and type of clientele. Some roles such as Editing, Photojournalism, Wildlife Photography, Film Production Jobs and Product Photography are high-paying among the rest.

 

Which are the companies that routinely recruit for these roles?
Media companies, ad agencies, magazines, global organizations, film production companies and magazines are some of the most popular recruiters of photographers. Today, cities like Delhi and Mumbai have the largest number of recruiters due to the companies being largely in these cities.

Pros and Cons of Photography

Pros

  • Doing what you love
  • Opportunity to travel based on your profile
  • Getting paid to do something you love
  • With the right amount of skill and hard work, the sky's the limit for earning money
  • Freedom and flexibility on the job
  • There is no end to this profession

 

Cons   

  • Expensive equipment which is a constant, yet essential investment
  • Long hours of work
  • Hectic schedules
  • Freelancers can have periods of no income

Future Growth Prospects and How to get there faster

In order to make a name for themselves in Photography, it can take years for Photographers considering the high competition in the field. However, specialization in a particular type of photography or excelling at the job can make one stand out in the crowd and push them towards creating a name for themselves faster.

How do I get there?

To pursue a career in photography, you will need to undergo technical training in the field. To join these courses, one needs to pass 10+2 from a state or national level examination. Graduates, post-graduates and diploma holders can also apply to these courses. Enrolling for the right Photography course is the first step towards pursuing your passion for Photography and converting it into a career.

 

One must have a thorough knowledge of the basics of the working of a camera before studying  further. Once the candidate  has joined a photography course at one of the good colleges of the country, he/she must do an internship. Photography, like many other professions like surgery, flying and cooking, requires one to hone the skills on the job. An internship helps one apply their knowledge of camera, learn from the world around and learn from experts in the field.The role of an internship is irreplaceable if one wants to pursue a career in photography. The work done during an internship helps create a portfolio to be uploaded on a blog or website for future clients.

How much does it cost?

The diploma, certificate and post-graduate diploma programmes in Photography range from Rs 25 k to Rs 2 lakh depending upon the type of course, the college, and the type of specialization offered. Students must choose the course based on his/her interest.

What are the Top Colleges where one should be studying to become a Photographer?

India is home to one of the best universities and institutes that offer courses in Photography. If you wish to pursue Photography as a career, the following institutes must be in your list to apply:

 

Rank of College

Name of College

City

Fees

1

Delhi College of Photography

New Delhi

Rs 17500 to Rs 1 lakh (based on the course)

2

Light and Life Academy

Ooty

Rs 10,000 to 20,000

3

Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University

 

Hyderabad

Rs 45000

4

Asian Academy of Film and Television

Noida

Rs 54,000

5

Osmania University

Hyderabad

Rs 10,000

6

National Institute of Design(Masters’ course)

Ahmedabad

Rs 7-8 lakh

7

Sir JJ Institute of Applied Arts

Mumbai

Rs 4,500 to 10,000

Books and other Study Material

  • Complete Digital Photography by Ian Farrell
  • Life Guide to Digital Photography by Joe Mcnally
  • The Adobe Photoshop CC Book- Andrew Faulkner and Conrad Chavez
  • The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression by Bruce Barnbaum

What if this career does not work out for me? What are the other options for a person with these credentials?

It can take a while for a new Photographer to find his/her ground in the field of photography. Also, once the individual has gained experience in a field of Photography and feels it is not working for him/her, he/she can always switch to another field within the umbrella of Photography.

Content on this page is by Career Expert
Mrs. Kum Kum Tandon
MA (Psychology), M.Ed, Diploma in Educational Psychology, Vocational Guidance & Counseling (NCERT, Delhi) | View Complete Profile
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