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How To Become a Photographer Easily

In India, the pursuit of a Diploma in Photography emerges as a popular choice for aspiring photographers. Renowned photography colleges across the country offer an array of diploma and certificate courses, catering to students with a burning passion for this captivating craft. Additionally, students can opt for undergraduate or postgraduate photography courses, with admission based on merit or entrance exams. Read more career blogs at college49.

Who is a Photographer?

For those yearning to express their creativity and seek a versatile vocation enabling them to hone their artistic aptitude, embarking on a path in photography holds tremendous allure. The realm of photography boasts a plethora of settings, presenting a myriad of enticing prospects for those who harbor an inclination towards this captivating field. Acquiring the knowledge of becoming a photographer empowers individuals to discern whether this occupation aligns harmoniously with their personal aspirations and professional ambitions.

What does a Photographer do?

Photographic professionals capture compelling visuals encompassing a diverse range of subjects, encompassing but not limited to occasions, individuals, creatures, and landscapes. Employing a keen sense of lighting and an artistic perspective, they immortalize moments while eliciting profound reactions from their audience. Though specific responsibilities may vary depending on their specialization, photographers commonly engage in the following core tasks:

  1. Promoting their services to entice clientele
  2. Conducting research on prevailing photography trends and techniques
  3. Devising strategic plans to execute successful photo sessions
  4. Assessing raw photographs to select the most optimal shots
  5. Utilizing editing software to enrich and refine the visual output
  6. Safeguarding and utilizing state-of-the-art photography equipment
  7. Maintaining an up-to-date and comprehensive professional portfolio

What Do a Photographer’s Skills Have?

To excel as a photographer, certain essential skill sets are necessary. These skills include:

  • Passion for Photography
  • Technical knowledge of lighting
  • Creativity
  • Patience and Concentration
  • Willingness to travel and work at odd hours
  • Computer skills
  • Software proficiency
  • Communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to generate instant ideas

What is the Eligibility Criteria for a Photographer?

To pursue a career as a photographer, certain eligibility criteria must be met. The minimum requirements are as follows:

  1. Diploma/Certificate Courses:
    • Candidates who have successfully completed their 12th standard in any stream are eligible to enroll in diploma/certificate courses in photography.
  2. Photography Course for Graduates:
    • Graduates from any discipline are also eligible to pursue a photography course.
  3. Preferred Work Experience:
    • It is preferable to possess 1-2 years of work experience in the media and journalism sector after graduation or completing a certificate course in photography.

What are the benefits of a Photographer?

Becoming a photographer comes with numerous benefits that can enhance your life and career. Here are some advantages of pursuing a photography career:

  1. Development of Creative Skills
  2. Financial Opportunities
  3. Meeting Diverse People and Exploring New Places
  4. Specialization and Career Advancement
  5. Entrepreneurial Opportunities
  6. Immortality Through Captured Moments:

What are the courses of a Photographer?

To embark on a successful photography career in India, it is essential to plan and execute your path starting from the 12th standard. Choosing the right course, understanding the eligibility criteria, and finding the perfect college are crucial steps in pursuing a career as a photographer.

Here are some of the top undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) photography courses in India, along with their average fees and notable colleges:

  1. Diploma in Photography:
    • Average Fees: INR 65,000 – 5,00,000
    • Top College: Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida
  2. Diploma in Digital Photography:
    • Average Fees: Free
    • Top College: Alison
  3. Diploma in Camera & Lightning Techniques:
    • Average Fees: Not Available
    • Top College: AAFT Noida
  4. BA Visual Arts and Photography:
    • Average Fees: INR 4,70,000
    • Top College: Symbiosis School of Visual Arts and Photography
  5. BFA Photography:
    • Average Fees: INR 2,407
    • Top College: Faculty of Visual Arts BHU
  6. B.Sc in Photography:
    • Average Fees: INR 2,10,000
    • Top College: CMR University, Bangalore
  7. PG Diploma in Professional Photography:
    • Average Fees: INR 2,50,000
    • Top College: K’s Academy of Photographic Arts, Tamil Nadu
  8. PG Diploma in Still Photography & Visual Communication Program:
    • Average Fees: INR 74,020
    • Top College: Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
  9. MFA in Photography:
    • Average Fees: Not Available
    • Top College: IIP Academy, Delhi
  10. Foundation Course (in Wildlife Photography):
  • Average Fees: Not Available
  • Top College: DCOP Delhi
  1. Crash Course in Photography:
  • Average Fees: INR 10,000
  • Top College: National Institute of Photography
  1. Introductory Course in Wedding Photography:
  • Average Fees: INR 6,400
  • Top College: Udemy
  1. Professional Diploma in Art of Photography:
  • Average Fees: INR 3,83,500
  • Top College: Creative HUT Institute of Photography, Kottayam

Diploma in Photography: The diploma in photography is a one-year professional course focusing on documentary, travel, and nature photography. To be eligible, students must have scored a minimum of 50% in their 12th standard from a recognized board. The admission process usually involves personal interviews and the submission of a portfolio of work. AAFT Noida is a renowned college for diploma courses in photography, and admission is often based on their entrance exam called AAFT GEE. The average fee for a diploma in photography ranges from INR 65,000 to 5 LPA. Specializations such as digital photography and camera & lighting techniques are also offered in diploma programs.

BFA Photography: BFA photography is an undergraduate three-year course in fine arts. Students who have completed their 12th standard can pursue BFA in photography, with admissions based on the merit score of the 12th standard. BHU, Varanasi offers BFA in Photography at an average cost of INR 2,407, making it an affordable option compared to other photography courses. After completing BFA, students can pursue an MFA in photography or opt for PG diploma courses in photography.

Professional Photography Courses: In addition to diploma and bachelor-level courses, many students opt for short-term professional courses or online courses in photography. Popular courses include the foundation course in wildlife photography, crash course in photography, and introductory course in wedding photography. These courses can be completed in a few weeks or months and usually cost around INR 10,000. Admissions to these courses are often on a first-come, first-served basis, and in some cases, a portfolio may be required to assess the individual’s experience and interest in photography.

What are the different types of Photographers?

Photography encompasses a diverse range of types and segments. The major types of photographers are described below:

  1. Wildlife Photographer:
    • Wildlife photographers capture images of animals in their natural habitats. They often have a demanding travel schedule, venturing to locations where wildlife thrives, such as the African savannah, Sundarbans, or even the Arctic. Most wildlife photographers work as freelancers, spending their time traveling, capturing photographs, and selling their work to interested buyers. Their income largely depends on their network and connections. In India, the average salary of a wildlife photographer ranges from INR 7 LPA to 12 LPA.
  2. Travel Photographer:
    • Travel photographers, as the name suggests, embark on extensive journeys as part of their assignments. To capture the essence and beauty of a place, they immerse themselves in the culture and surroundings. Remote and lesser-explored locations often offer exceptional photographic opportunities. As trainee travel photographers, the average pay ranges from INR 10,000 to INR 20,000. With experience and expertise, the average salary can rise up to INR 14 LPA. It is advisable for travel photographers to regularly sell their photographs, build trust, and establish a strong online presence through blogs or websites. The combination of captivating visuals and well-written content enhances their appeal.
  3. Sports Photographer:
    • Sports photographers specialize in capturing fast-paced action moments of athletes and sports events. They work for newspapers, magazines, websites, and photo-stock agencies. Planning the composition, and considering placements, lighting, and equipment are essential aspects of their work. Sports photographers often utilize photo-enhancing software like Photoshop to refine their images. In India, with the prominence of cricket and events like the IPL, there is a good scope for professional sports photography. The average salary of sports photographers in India ranges from INR 2.44 LPA to 3.60 LPA.
  4. Scientific Photographer:
    • Scientific photographers focus on capturing medical or scientific data using specialized instruments or equipment. They strive to present accurate representations of scientific subjects without any image manipulation. Images play a vital role in helping the world understand complex scientific concepts. A well-illuminated photograph of an object can often provide a clearer understanding compared to animated representations.
  5. Food Photographer:
    • Food photographers are hired to capture enticing photographs of dishes prepared in restaurants, advertising agencies, or magazines that feature food recipes. Their goal is not only to make the food look delicious but also visually appealing. Factors such as colors, textures, lighting, and angles are crucial in food photography. Many food photographers work as freelancers, visiting restaurants and sharing their photographs on social media platforms to attract more customers. The average salary of a food photographer in India typically ranges from INR 3.45 LPA to 4.23 LPA.
  6. Fashion Photographer:
    • Fashion photography has gained significant popularity, especially due to the influence of social media. Fashion photographers conduct shoots both indoors and outdoors, using high-quality cameras. While having a photography qualification is advantageous, what matters most in this field is the ability to capture stunning images. Apart from fashion photography for magazines and calendars, fashion photographers are hired by celebrities to maintain relevance in the eyes of their audience. Regular social media posts featuring fashion photography help celebrities stay connected with their followers. The average salary of a fashion photographer can range from INR 2.5 L to 4 L for a period of three months or based on the number of selected photographs.
How To Become a Photographer Easily
How To Become a Photographer Easily 3

What is the Salary of a Photographer?

The salary of a photographer can vary based on their field of specialization, experience, and skills. Here is a table that provides an overview of the average annual salaries a beginner can expect in different photography fields in India:

Job ProfileAverage Annual Salary (INR)
Fashion Photographer4.10 L & above
News Paper and Magazine Photographer9.60 L & above
Wildlife Photographer6.70 L & above
Advertising Photographer4.50 L & above
Wedding Photographer4 L & above

Salary based on Experience:

Experience (years)Average Annual Salary (INR)
0-22.30 L
2-54.10 L
5-109.37 L
10-1510.11 L
15-2012 L
20+13.73 L & above

Salary based on Qualification:

QualificationAverage Annual Salary (INR)
High School1.33 L
Certificate or Diploma2.40 L
Bachelor’s Degree2.55 L

How to Become a Photographer in India?

Outlined below are the steps to embark on a journey toward becoming a proficient photographer:

  1. Discover your specialization Photographers, as imaginative professionals, typically operate within specific domains, capturing various subjects. Before embarking on your photographic career, it is crucial to identify your niche, the particular area you intend to specialize in professionally. Factors to consider when selecting your specialization may include:
    • Your preferred subjects for photography
    • Whether you lean towards indoor or outdoor environments
    • Your interest in capturing live events
    • Your inclination towards working with clients in a studio setting
    • Whether your passion lies in photographing clients, events, or products
    • The unique voice, vision, and mission of your brand
  2. Hone your skills Developing technical expertise, aesthetic sensibilities, and photography skills can be accomplished through various means, such as pursuing a degree or enrolling in relevant courses. Although employers may not mandate a degree in the field, obtaining an education can augment your resume and assist in building a robust portfolio. Pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with a specialization in photography is one viable path, and some individuals may choose to further their education by pursuing a Master of Fine Arts (MFA). Additionally, you can explore continuing education opportunities by enrolling in photography courses at local colleges or universities. Examples of courses that can bolster your success as a photographer include:
    • Fundamentals of photography
    • History of photography
    • Digital photography
    • Advanced editing techniques
    • Color photography
    • Monochrome photography
    • Photojournalism
  3. Invest in photography equipment The choice of photography equipment largely depends on your preferred subjects and work environment. However, most photographers rely on an array of cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, and tripods. In today’s digital landscape, capturing photos digitally necessitates additional equipment such as memory cards and editing software. Alternatively, if you opt for film photography and self-development, it is essential to procure the necessary equipment for a darkroom setup, including chemicals, trays, and lines for hanging photos.
  4. Master your camera and editing software After acquiring your equipment, it is imperative to dedicate time to familiarize yourself with each camera setting, its activation, and the meaning behind the digital symbols displayed on your camera. Mastery of your camera comes with practice and experience, which contributes to the refinement of your skills. Additionally, proficiency in editing software is crucial to deliver high-quality work to employers and clients. Numerous online courses and tutorials are available to guide you through popular editing programs.
  5. Conduct comprehensive research Especially if you opt not to pursue formal education in the field, conducting in-depth research is paramount to your growth as a photographer. Resources such as textbooks, digital art publications, magazines, and influential social media accounts can provide insights into various techniques, methodologies, and emerging technologies within the realm of photography. Staying updated on photography trends, equipment advancements, and industry innovations is crucial.
  6. Seek photography opportunities Equipped with the necessary skills, experience, and equipment, you can explore employment opportunities with established companies or launch your own freelance business. Consider the following avenues to secure photography work, whether as an employee or a freelancer:
    • Leverage your network by informing them of your photography aspirations or your newly established business.
    • Offer freelance services by listing your offerings on marketplace websites catering to individuals seeking photographers in your locality.
    • Utilize freelance platforms that connect photographers with potential projects and clients.
    • Create a professional website for your business, providing credibility and enabling you to define your niche or brand voice, which facilitates finding suitable job opportunities.

1. How can I improve my photography skills?

Improving your photography skills requires practice, experimentation, and continuous learning. Explore different techniques, study composition, lighting, and post-processing, and engage with other photographers to gain inspiration and feedback.

2. : What equipment do I need as a beginner photographer?

As a beginner, start with a reliable camera body, a versatile lens (such as a standard zoom lens), and a tripod. Gradually invest in additional lenses, filters, and lighting equipment as you progress.

3. How do I find my photography niche?

Finding your niche involves experimenting with different genres and subjects of photography. Pay attention to the type of photography you enjoy the most and the subjects that resonate with you. Explore different genres and styles until you discover your passion.

4. What is the importance of post-processing in photography?

Post-processing allows you to enhance your images, correct exposure, adjust colors, and bring out the desired mood. It is an essential part of the creative process and can significantly impact the final look of your photographs.

5. How do I market myself as a photographer?

Create an online portfolio or website to showcase your work, utilize social media platforms to share your images and engage with potential clients, collaborate with other professionals, participate in photography competitions, and network within the photography community.

6. What legal considerations should I be aware of as a photographer?

Familiarize yourself with copyright laws, model release forms, and property release requirements to ensure you have the necessary permissions and rights to use and sell your photographs. It’s essential to respect the privacy and intellectual property of others.

7. What steps can I take to turn my photography hobby into a full-time career?

Start by honing your skills, building a strong portfolio, identifying your target market, and establishing a solid online presence. Gradually transition into paid assignments, network with industry professionals, and consider marketing strategies to attract clients and sustain a full-time photography career.