“The camera sees more than the eye, so why not make use of it?” – Edward Weston.
Ever wondered that Photography could earn you a handsome amount? Well yes! Photography is more of a profession than a career these days. Though in the late 70’s, photography was treated as a not-so-good job, but now it’s turned out to be one of the leading and sought after professions in India. There are several careers in Photography that you can look up to if you’re deciding to settle down in the profession.
Photography in India?
Photography is all about finding something interesting in an ordinary place. The way you see a particular thing, and what effect does it leave. You will find that it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.
There isn’t any doubt that photography is an exceptional medium of self-expression and surely requires major technical expertise. So if you have a hobby of clicking photographs, I will urge you to go for it. Anyone of you who is passionate about what photography offers can successfully make a living by venturing into the field as a profession and taking it further as a career option.
What does Photography comprise of?
Photography involves a lot of things in its realm. It is the capturing of images with a camera. These pictures can be of just about anything, including people, places, animals, objects, or even events. It’s rightly said that photography helps people see.
Growth In Photography Profession In India
The prospects of Indian Photography seem to be notably promising. It has countless branches to choose from along with the various courses and degrees for honing the skills.
Photography can be treated both as a profession and an art form. If you’re pursuing photography as a career in India, you have to go an extra mile for that quality, interest in the visuals, light, shape and shadow, colour attentiveness, commemorating how colours look on certain days, depth of a picture, etc.
If you’re seeing yourself as a professional photographer after five or ten years or finding a strong foothold for the same, it is no cakewalk! This is the only reason why, regrettably, many talented photographers remain amateurs.
There isn’t any doubt that the climb to be a professional photographer is very hard and extensive. The financial returns are also not very satisfactory in the beginning. But those people with a never-say-die attitude and that determination coupled with the real love of the field hold on, and further go on to become names like Raghu Rai, Dabboo Ratnani, Dayanita Singh, Sooni Taraporevala, and many others.
To become a professional photographer one has to do much more than just take pictures. Professional photographers are the ones who are often able to elicit certain feelings. Once you become one, you can see that by simply looking at professional photographs. It can bring on a feeling of happiness, dismay, fear, awe, nostalgia, or even hunger for that matter!
Career Prospects in Photography in India
Photographers work in many different areas depending on what they’re passionate about. You will have to choose a specific area to specialize in. You may either work for a company or choose to be a freelancer. You can either find assignments by advertising or through networking or contact people, friends, and acquaintances for photo shoots.
Following are the different types of photography professions in India:
- Portrait Photography in India – Portrait photographers take pictures of people or groups of people. They have to travel to various events, schools, meeting or even weddings. People who are good at capturing some real time expression and people’s mood usually take up Portrait photography.
- Commercial Photography in India – This branch has a lot of growth for an individual or a fresher. Such a type of photography involves capturing merchandise, building, its exteriors and interiors, arts crafts, landscape, machinery, and fashions. These pictures are then used in advertising and selling for various medias like books, advertisements, publicity, and catalogues.
- Photojournalism in India – These photographers work for different newspapers and news magazines. They take photographs of newsworthy events, things, and situations and get good commission from the media. This branch should have a combination of the ability to record drama along with photographic talent.
- Advertising Photography in India – This branch is somewhat similar to the Commercial Photography and Photojournalism. It deals with having a creative vision and fulfilling the client’s demand for conveying their desired message.
- Fashion Photography in India – It is one of the most profitable and high paying professions in the recent times. Fashion photography includes developing portfolios for models, designers, fashion journals, fashion houses, and even various newspapers. You will be required to have a fine eye for detail and knowledge of fashion. You have to be aware of all the trending styles, moods as well as the fashion trends. It is fun and very lucrative at the same time.
- Food Photography in India – Such photographers work for hotels, restaurants, exporters, dairy, food brands, and ice-cream companies. You will have to click the exclusive shots of the food displayed either at your own studio or with an attached kitchen, hotels, etc.
- Wildlife Photography – If you have a love for adventure and a keen eye for capturing interesting details of nature, wildlife, birds, and their habitats, this is just the right profession for you. Wildlife photographers capture every movement of the animals, natural habitats as well as the surroundings. You may have to wait for hours to catch the animals in the right mood and pose. This also includes rigorous travelling in sanctuaries, forests, reserves, and what not. Though challenging, this task is extremely remunerative.
- Scientific Photography – Such a branch includes creating photographic illustrations, documentation, covering the entire scientific areas of engineering, aerodynamics, medicine, biology, and chemistry. These photographs can be published in medical journals and books. Also, if you have a strong heart, you can go for Criminal/Forensic Photography.
- Aerial Photography in India – Aerial photographers capture places, buildings, landscapes, and terrains. Wait! That’s not the only thing. Aerial photography is usually done from a plane, helicopter, balloon or other airborne devices. These places cannot be reached with ease and are required particularly during natural disasters, war, and other similar situations. These are then used for news, business, industrial, scientific, and military purposes. It involves some huge and serious danger.
- Travel Photography in India – Last but not the least. Travel Photography is a profession everybody will crave for. It’s the clicking of the places, people, nature, cultures, customs, history as well as landscapes that you will visit. It is one of the most sought after photography options in India.
Apart from these, there are innumerable other options that you can go for. Some of them being, Landscape Photography, Action or sports Photography, Event Photography, Architecture Photography, Astrophotography, Concert Photography, Macro and Micro Photography, Candid Photography, Baby Photography, Documentary Photography, Night-long exposure photography, Underwater Photography, Fine Art Photography, Street Photography, and War photography. Trust me, these are just a few of the career prospects in Photography.
Read: 10 Most Underrated Professions In India
Eligibility/Educational Requirements for Pursuing Photography in India
A Big NO! Photography is something which requires that one look on a thing that will urge you to capture it. You can start off a career in Photography in your mid-30s or even at 60s for that matter.
Of course, it requires some technical expertise and the knowledge of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Lightroom, and it sure will be helpful in one way or the other. But first, you need to search for that instinct and go for it once you’re ready.
However, the basic eligibility required to opt for a career in Photography is a 10+2 exam with or without the diploma/certificate courses in photography. You can even go for online sessions of photography or even take certain photography classes at local colleges and universities.
How can you get a job in Photography in India?
You can always be a freelance photographer if you want to start as a fresher. Make a portfolio. A portfolio will comprise all the samples of your best work. You may even have a natural talent for capturing great pictures.
- Look for the classes provided by your local community center or colleges.
- Locate the photography groups that meet to share photos and tips in your city.
- Start submitting your photographs to contests and magazines.
- Get a list of photography markets and start submitting to the ones that accept your type of photos.
- Find internships for yourselves under some famous or already established photographers.
Don’t expect bigger results right away! Start small and eventually you will make your own way into a nice living.
Read: Highest Paid Jobs In India
Salary Prospects of Photography in India
The salary of photographers can vary by industry and location. As a fresher, you can earn a minimum of Rs. 2,000 to 3,000 hourly. Some working as assistants under senior photographers are paid around Rs. 3,500 – 6,000. Some of them may even earn less than Rs. 50,000 a year, while others make close to Rs. 2,00,000-3,00,000 annually. To be honest, photographers, nowadays, have packages of nearly Rs. 30,000 per month.
Colleges to Pursue Photography in India
There are a lot of colleges and universities in India where you can learn the basics as well as advance technicalities related to photography. Best among them are:
- Delhi School of Photography, New Delhi
- Sir JJ School of Applied Arts, Mumbai
- Light and Life Academy, Bangalore/Ooty
- National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
- Udaan School of Photography, Mumbai/Kolkata/Delhi
- National Academy of Photography, Kolkata
- Fergusson College, Pune
- The Film and TV Institute of Tamil Nadu/Pune
- Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata
- Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia University, New Delhi
So, once you’re a little established with the internship and freelancing work, use social media to spread the word and advertise your work. Nowadays, social media has various groups which can land you a job too. You could find your niche while working on small projects and slowly try to get into the big bad market. Start your own page or a website. Try not to spend too much on the same.
I agree that in the recent times, photography is one field which unfortunately has too many people trying their luck in. As now, everybody has the sources to buy a DSLR and everybody think they are a professional photographer. But be patient because this is going to take time! Be the best that you are and work hard. ‘Photograph’ is now a word that has value to even a child of 2-5 years to an elder person having the same picture of his/her grandchild. There will be projects out there waiting for you to work on.
Henceforth, in no case, photography will ever be out of business. You just need to work out ways to reach the destination and make the best of what you’ve got. So go, click away to glory and keep practising!
Image Source: Unsplash
7 thoughts on “Career In Photography In India: Colleges, Eligibility, Salary & Job Prospects”
The article is an eye opener for me. I got to learn things I didn’t knew. I have a question. Currently, I’m pursuing engineering but I am really interested in photography. I don’t have DSLR yet. I have taken some really nice pics, so how would you suggest me to start photography as a career. I don’t have a budget for DSLR now.
Great article!! i used to think that photography is only limited to weddings, events and movies but after reading this article i have cleared all my doubts and i am ready to convert my hobby into full-fledged career.Thank you for this article.Keep up the good work.
I am a 25 year engineering background student. Unfortunately i was preparing for govt jobs. Which seems no use now, after 4 year i still not have job. Which most of us do these days. I had big intrest in capturing in college. I used to capture with small camera but for preparation i left all. But am clear now to make photography life. Am i advisable to do so. Or it is too late.