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Career in Photography


Photography

According to Wikipedia, Photography is the art, application and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film. And one who practices the art of Photography is known as a Photographer.


What does a Photographer do?

Since there are various categories of Photography, it would be unfair to conclude their work under one head. Therefore, the several different types of Photography and their basic role is explained below:

Nature Photography -

7979 As the name suggests, this category of Photography basically includes all the natural aspects of the environment. We can further divide this category into two other types of Photography:

  • Landscape photography -A landscape photographer tries to capture the beautiful photos of the wilderness with no human influence. Although this type of Photography needs not much equipment but it is still pretty difficult as because the photographer can only increase or decrease the light, they do not have any options of adding any kind of props to the image neither can they move the features for making it better.

  • Wildlife Photography -A wildlife photographer captures all organisms that grow or live wild. The work a lot of patience and perfection and thus it’s very exhausting both physically and mentally. And because humans aren’t safe around wild, wildlife photographers use hideouts so that they can be safe even after being at a very close distance. Hides are made of anything that conceals form and movement.


Macro Photography -

The basic concept of macro photography is to make really tiny objects or organisms appear way bigger than they actually are. Macro photography cannot be done with simple cameras or phone cameras by just zooming in because it can affect the quality. Thus, Photographers use macro lenses especially for macro photography so that they can properly focus continuously from infinity to 1:1 scale.


Astrophotography –

Astrophotography is a very unique and interesting type of photography. Astrophotographer’s click pictures of all the celestial bodies that aren’t exactly visible to the naked human eyes. Although some of them are visible to us like the moon or the stars but astrophotography creates a detailed clear image of every celestial body. Professional sensors such as the CCD or CMOS sensors are used for these long- exposure shots.


Photojournalism –

We often read or see articles in newspapers or online websites which have various photographs expressing the story whereas the words don’t play much of a role. This collecting, editing and putting the pictures in such order that it speaks the news itself is called photojournalism. Photojournalists are an important part of not only the photography sectors but also the media.


Portraiture –

As we know, a portrait isn’t only limited to photography but it can also be a painting or a sculpture whose main motive is to showcase the exact expression of a person. Portraiture can be called the photography of portraits. Photographers capture the subject's personality, using powerful lighting, backgrounds and poses.


Wedding Photography –

Wedding photography focuses on capturing weddings and events related to weddings. Photographers click various shots of the couple, families and friends, rituals etc. All of this include portraits, candid, aerials etc. to click moments and make it memorable even after years. Wedding photographers are mostly freelancers.


Fashion Photography –

It is a photography genre that is solely dedicated to the presentation of clothes and other fashion objects. It is required for ads or fashion magazines such as Vogue, Vanity, Fair or Elle, etc.

Commercial Photography –

In short, commercial photography is used for the sales and marketing of several products. Photographers click images of the product which is later used for branding, publicity, brochures, product placements as well as merchandising.

Architectural Photography –

In general, this genre of photography is used to click images of structures. Photographers focus on all aspects such as exteriors or interiors of a building, bridges and several other types of structures, new or antique, broken or freshly build, etc. These photographs are helpful in archaeological studies and advertising firms etc.

Aerial Photography –

In simple words, any photograph taken from the air is aerial photography. Wikipedia suggests Aerial photographers click these pictures which help in cartography, land-use planning, archaeology, movie production, environmental studies, power line inspection, surveillance, commercial advertising, conveyancing, and artistic projects.

Requirements

As every other field, photography too has various requirements that are necessary to fulfil. Although the basic and foremost thing that is required is talent. No qualification is important enough as much as talent is in this sector. To understand the requirements better, I’ve listed it down in four different categories:

Knowledge –

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services.

  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services.

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods.

  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Skills and Abilities –

(The skills mentioned below are for all the photographers, irrespective of them being freelancers or corporates)

  • Mental skills

  • Artistic Vision

  • Attention to details

  • Patience

  • Social orientation

  • Innovation

  • Creativity

  • Persistence

  • Stress tolerance

  • Flexibility

  • Technical skills -

  • Digital Imaging

  • Editing Software

  • Electronic Image Handling

  • Film Development

  • High-resolution imaging

  • Image manipulation

  • ISO Speeds

  • Lens' handling

  • Photography composition

  • Freelancer's skills -

  • Marketing

  • Self confidence

  • Close Reading

  • Critical thinking

  • Understanding of Intellectual Property

  • Disclosure Agreements

  • Entity Establishment

  • Social Media Management

  • Website Development

  • Adobe Creative Suite

  • Customer Service

  • Consulting

  • Creating and Managing Expectations

  • Problem Sensitivity

  • Physical Endurance

  • Oral and Written Communication

  • Presentation

  • Consistency

  • Price Setting

  • Branding

Gadgets –

Photography is incomplete without gadgets. There are various classifications of gadgets based on lenses or cameras but few basic gadgets that are a common necessity are listed below.

  • Digital Camera

  • Lenses

  • Tripod

  • Lighting

  • Editing software

  • Printers and scanners

  • External hard drive

Education -

Most photographers choose to freelance rather than work under someone but some of them prefer to have a job. Almost every other profession needs certain degrees to continue further but as we know talent is the first requirement every photographer need to fulfil. Some employers require at least a Secondary education diploma for photography jobs. Although industries such as photojournalism or science require a basic bachelor’s degree in that particular discipline. Certain educational programs offer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in photography as well. Coursework covers photographic forms, lighting and darkroom methods, photography and its history related technological and computer applications. Many vocational schools, community colleges and art schools offer photography training. These types of programs offer a variety of photography classes and students have the option of obtaining a Diploma or certification after successful completion of the training. Since photographers produce visual images, several programs also teach students how to develop a portfolio for potential clients and employers to highlight their work. A list of 10 well known Institutions are mentioned below that provide various courses related to this discipline i.e. Photography:

Delhi College of Photography

Contact - +91(0)11 45517450

Courses offered –

  • Basic

  • Advanced

  • Foundation

  • Wildlife Photography

  • Candid Wedding Photography

  • Fashion Photography

Light and Life Academy

Contact - +91 7598287370

For Admissions: admissions@llacademy.org

Courses offered:

  • PG Diploma in Professional Photography

  • Diploma in Travel and Nature Photography

  • Custom design courses

Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University, Hyderabad

Contact – 040 - 23321226

Courses offered:

  • BFA Photography

  • MFA Photography (PTPG)

  • MFA Photography

  • Bridge Course (Photography)

AJ Kidwai Mass Communication Research Centre

Courses offered:

  • PG Diploma in Still Photography

  • Visual Communication programme to aspirants.

Asian Academy of Film and Television

Contact - 09109112056

Courses offered:

  • 3-month duration programme in Still Photography and Journalism

Osmania University

Contact – +91-40-27090020

Courses offered:

  • A three-year duration BFA (Photography) course

National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

Courses offered:

  • MDes in Photography Design course

Sir JJ Institute of Applied Arts

Contact -+91 022 2262 127

Courses offered:

  • Post Graduate Course in Master of Fine Arts (Photography)

  • Apprentice Training Course (Photography).

National Institute of Photography

Contact - 022 24306502, +91 9029643364(WhatsApp)

Courses offered:

  • Workshop on Fashion Lightings

  • Digital Photo-Editing Techniques

  • Foundation course

  • Crash course

  • Basic course

  • Advance course

  • Diploma in Fashion Photography

The Indian Institute of Digital Art and Animation

Courses offered:

  • BSc Film & Photography

  • PG Diploma Photography

  • Diploma in Photography & Videography


Job Outlook

As we discussed above, there are various types of Photography and therefore all of them have different probabilities of jobs and different earnings. The 5 most profitable sectors of Photography in India are elaborated below:

Event photography –

Festivals and events like weddings are never ending in India. Also, our rich cultures make our events as such more colourful and pretty and people want to preserve those memories. And hence, event photography is one of the most profitable type of Photography. A wedding photographer could make Rs.100,000/- to Rs.300,000/- a day and we can assume how much they’ll earn annually.

Photojournalists –

Photojournalists are in demand for obvious reasons. All the newsletters, news channels and even new age websites need them. Also, there are various unsafe places a photojournalist has to go that include war zones, red light areas, etc. which repels many aspirants to join this field and thus the people are less and incomes are high. As per “India today” a photojournalist can earn Rs.2 lakh- Rs.3.5 lakh per year as starting salary.


Commercial photographers –

Commercial photographers are required for every other product that releases everyday from every industrial sector be it medicines, groceries or even construction materials. A commercial can earn up to Rs.32,25,600 annually.

Wildlife photographers –

Although wildlife photographer can earn a lot but one needs to be really talented and their work needs to be well known for them to start making huge amount of money. A popular and well-known wildlife photographer can earn around Rs.30,000(minimum) to Rs.1 Lakh per month.

Fashion photographers –

Fashion photographers are required by high end fashion brand which makes it obvious that their earnings would be quite high. A fashion photographer with good clientele can earn up to Rs.1 Lakh – Rs.2 Lakhs per month whereas a newcomer with a decent clientele can earn around Rs.40 k to Rs.80 k which is also quite high.

P.S. – There is another field which is quite popular and similar to fashion photography is portrait photography. Many models and actors require portfolios and portrait photographers do earn a lot but one needs to be quite successful in this field to earn a whopping amount which would need a lot of time and experience as well. One of the most famous Fashion and Portrait Photographer in India is Dabboo Ratnani. According to sources, his net worth is around $1 million to $5 millions (approx.)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the basics of photography and taking good photographs?

According to exposure guide, to get your photos looking their best, you need to master the three basics: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. You also need to understand the relationships between these three controls. When you adjust one of them, you would usually have to consider at least one of the others, to get the desired results.


What are megapixels?

A megapixel is equal to 1 million pixels. If a camera uses more pixels to create the image, it allows a desirable higher resolution.


What is ISO?

In digital photography ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. The lower the number the less sensitive a camera is to light and the finer the grain.


Do I have to be in business to be called a pro?

No, A photography can be an expert in the field and can still choose to keep it as a hobby. Therefore, one doesn’t need to be in business to be a pro.


Is photography a good career?

According to Quora, photography is a good career. The reason is that if one possesses the talent of photography then there are a lot of options to choose from. One can even choose whether they want to work under professional photographers or freelance.


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