Careers in Photography
is a unique and creative medium of self-expression. It is an art form requiring
aesthetic sense as well as technical expertise. A hobby that can be made
profitable by going professional by the talented.
With the explosion of the communication network, the growth of advertising and
media and the fashion boom, and digital photography, it has now become a
profession with great commercial value. Photos are an essential part in both
print and electronic media. So this is an area offering great scope for those
who have an interest and attributes needed to be a professional.
Being a creative medium, photography requires more of inherent talent for
success than formal training. However training hones the inherent skills and
help to shine in this competitive field with various specializations like
portraiture, fashion and advertising photography, journalistic photography,
wildlife and outdoors photography etc. Creating a commercial quality photograph
requires the skill for choosing and presenting a subject in a way to achieve the
maximum effect with the appropriate equipment. One should have a definite know
how of the angle, lighting and the latest equipments and technology to make a
name in the field.
Educational: There are no
specific academic requirements for full time courses in photography, however,
candidates who have cleared the 10+2 exam are eligible for the
diploma/certificate courses in photography. There are many students who learn
photography along with their college degree, doing a part-time course. Besides
the Certificate and Diploma courses in the field, Photography is also offered as
an optional subject for a bachelor's degree in Fine arts. Some institutes offer
full fledged B.A courses in photography of three year duration.
Besides the academic requirements, having a
background in computers or electronics, related work experience and training is
beneficial for making a break in the field.
Successful photographers are creative individuals who can think and communicate
in visual terms. They are able to interpret a client’s needs, translating their
ideas into images that work. Thus photography basically requires a keen,
observant eye, and an intelligent, curious and perceptive mind. A photographer
must have full knowledge and command over the variety of cameras, ligh
props, and all kinds of photographic techniques. They should have a sense of
light and shade and the magic of colours. Photographer must have creativity,
determination and good powers of observation. They must also have the ability to
work quickly under pressure, in difficult conditions and irregular hours.
Job Prospects and Career Options
One of the most exciting aspects of
photography is the variety of jobs available in the field, ranging from highly
specialized, technical work to jobs that require creativity and Visual literacy.
One can begin your career as an assistant of
a senior or professional photographer, so that he/she can grasp the finer points
of photography. Photographers can specialize in areas such as portrait,
commercial and industrial, advertising, scientific, fashion, news, wildlife
photography etc. They have the option to either take up jobs with news papers,
magazines, advertising agencies, government agencies, industrial houses or work
as free lancers. The government employs photographers on a regular pay scale to
do general photography documentation, for covering day-to-day events and
functions and for making photo features and captioning. Fashion photographers
can find employment with fashion houses, designers, fashion journals and news
Press photographers are
also known as photojournalists. Press photographers supply
pictures to the national and local press, and must be versatile with an ability
to photograph all kinds of subjects. They must have journalistic instincts, know
what makes a good news picture, be able to write accurate captions, work well
with reporters, be quick and often work under difficult conditions.
essentially involves telling a story in pictures and therefore requires
knowledge of the subject. Feature Photographers cover an entire theme or subject
with a set of photographs. The work is varied, and leads to assignments at any
time and in any place-photographing people at home, or life in foreign parts, or
schools at work, anything that makes a story. Photographers specialise in the
photography of wildlife, sports travel, environment etc. They may work with news
reporters or work as free-lancers and take independent assignments on
environment, wild life etc.
work normally for magazines and periodicals, nearly always as freelancers. The
main task of an editorial photographer is to pictorially illustrate what is
written in the article or report. Work can be varied, depending on the article
or report, which needs illustration.
Commercial/ Industrial photographer
takes pictures of merchandise, exteriors and interiors of factories, and
machinery both indoors and outdoors to be used for company brochures, annual
reports, and in advertising and selling. An industrial photographer's main
emphasis is on taking pictures for a single company or firm. The main intention
is to make the company's factory, machines or products look good.
Portrait / wedding photographers:
They take pictures of individuals or small groups. Portrait subjects like pets,
children, families, weddings, functions and activities of sports and social
clubs. However, there is an increasing demand for portraits in the home, garden
or workplace, especially in the case of children's portraits. Portrait
photographers may work for a studio or be self-employed.
Advertising photographs are
either taken by the photographic departments of advertising agencies, by
photographic studios, or by freelance photographers. A large number of
photographers do catalogue work, while some studios specialize in 'mail order'
photography. This is the best paid and most competitive branch; success in this
sphere depends entirely on ability, efficiency and the right personality.
Advertising photographers are usually provided with instructions as to what
exactly has to be photographed. However they are also expected to suggest their
own ideas for new angles.
Fashion photography as a
career developed recently in India. It is an extremely creative and well paid
profession. Most fashion photography is done by specialist studios or
freelancers who are commissioned by fashion houses or advertising agencies. They
usually work under the direction of a fashion expert. The bulk of fashion
photography is carried out in either Mumbai or Delhi and involves by highly
sophisticated and well-equipped studios by freelancers who are commissioned by
fashion houses of advertising agencies. They can also find employment with
fashion houses, designers, fashion journals and news papers.
Fine arts photographers
sell their photographs as fine artwork. In addition to technical proficiency,
fine arts photographers need artistic talent and creativity.
involves the use of a digital camera. The images are captured on a disk, floppy
or directly on to the computer. In conventional methods of photography the
images were captured on film which had to be processed and then scanned with the
help of a scanner onto the computer for any further changes or effects that the
image may need. Digital photography saves time and money that goes into scanning
images. Digital photography is used largely in the media, as digital images can
be stored easily and conveyed quickly over long distances.
Nature and Wildlife Photography
involves taking photographs of animals, birds, plants and landscapes. While
photos of rare species are in great demand, nature photographs are also widely
used as pictures for calendars or covers. Romantic sunsets, flowers, trees,
lakes and waterfalls, etc, all make interesting subjects for a nature
Forensic Photography: A
crime scene must be photographed from every angle clearly to show detail, with
the emphasis on accurately recording the size and distance of objects. They can
find employment with law enforcement agencies, police, legal system and in the
investigative services of the government and also private detective agencies.
Freelancing has been the
most popular career choice among photographers. Photographers who want to be
self-employed need to have business management skills. They must have good
communication, problem solving skills, and be able to work independently. They
can do freelancing in any of the above fields.
Photographers can start working as assistants to senior
photographers, in which capacity they are paid around Rs. 3,500 - 6,000. Your
earnings can go up to 25,000, depending upon the designation and the
organisation likewise and maybe more once you have established yourself as a