“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”
All of us have experienced moments when we experience complete bliss or are in a place that we would want to remember for a long time, and in these moments we go ahead and try to capture it in our phones. Some people tend to stick to just that, while others love the feeling of capturing such moments try to pursue photography.
With this blog we bring to you everything that you need to know to Click-start your career as a Photographer in India.
What is Photography?
The simplest definition of photography is that it is the process of capturing light with a camera to create an image.
The first ever permanent photograph was clicked in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce who clicked a photo out of his window.
“View from the Window at Le Gras” by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce
If you try to discuss the aesthetics of the above picture, it is not at all impressive. However, it is the oldest surviving photograph and so an important part of photography.
Over the years photography has constantly evolved and improved on the technology which is used. Simultaneously, the meaning of photography has also evolved for everyone. It holds a much deeper meaning for people now, they use it as a means to capture their memories and emotions.
If we look at the current scenario, a freelance photographer with good skills has the potential to earn anywhere between INR 80,000 – INR 1,00,000 per month. But these numbers also vary depending on the location and number of projects you are able to take up in a month.
Different Types of Photographers
- Press Photographers/photojournalists: Photojournalists are basically journalists, who tell journalistic stories via Photographs. Photojournalists take pictures of everything, right from war zones to famous people. They are associated with Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, and even work for television channels. You could become a sports photojournalist (Imagine taking a picture of a perfect catch by Virat Kohli), a travel journalist (Yes, you get to Travel and take pictures, and you get paid for that!) , and more!
- Feature Photographers: Feature photographers also work closely with Journalists like Press Photographers. All of us have seen a feature photograph at one time or the other. Next time you open the newspaper, the big picture you see with the Headline, is the feature photograph. Feature photographers try to indicate the tone, or some depth to the headline for the audience to get a better idea. These types of photographers work with news agencies, big blogging agencies etc.
- Portrait and Wedding Photographers: This is the best genre of photography for beginners to start making a buck out of their Passion. Wedding Photographers take pictures of people at Weddings, the Wedding setup, the Bride, Groom and everyone else. They are responsible for the family wedding photo album. And wedding photographers get paid! Guess what Indian families spend the most on? Weddings and Education! Put out your wedding photography samples during the wedding season and try to get a gig. You can always start from your our own extended family!
- Advertising Photographers: These are photographers who are on-boarded by Advertising agencies for all kinds of pictures : Right from product photography to Art direction. Photographers get paid the most in the field of advertising, but not all newcomers would get an opportunity with an Advertising Agency. If you’ve had some travel photography gigs, and some other form of feature photography, approach an advertising agency and get a chance. With Ad agencies (especially in Mumbai), you have to be persistent to get a chance with the photoshoot for an advertisement.
- Fashion Photographers: Just like advertising Photography, Fashion Photography is very lucrative financially. Usually fashion houses, and Marketing Agencies hire freelance photographers to get fashion photography done. This is either done for the fashion ramp itself or many a times in high end studios.
- Freelance Photographer: Freelance photographers are the most common of the lot. They don’t seek full time hiring at any place, and their association with organisations is short-lived and project based. For example, you run a company, and you want all of your employees photographed. You put out a word to get a photographer onboard. You are basically looking for a freelance photographer who can charge you for a small project like this, and still get it done professionally! Freelance photographers can get involved in fashion photography, travel photography, advertising photography, wedding photography, all at the same time!
Steps to Start your Career as a Photographer in India
- Have the right knowledge: You can’t make a career out of something without having the know-how of the field. Photography is not only an art, it can be dissected as a science as well. You can learn the basic principles of photography from a hell lot of youtube videos and what not, but practical experience matters. You don’t necessarily need a DSLR for practical experience, but you should understand all the important photography terminologies.
- Take up courses and internships: It is always essential to take up an online tutorial or a course to understand the basics of photography. This will speed your learning process and also give you some practical photography tips to implement. As soon as you have done some courses on Photography, while you are still studying (anything) in College, you can start taking up a freelance photography gigs.
- Take part in Photography Competitions: Just Google search “Photography competitions in India in 2020” and you will find a lot of photography competitions around you. Participate in all of them! Winning or losing isn’t of importance here. These competitions will help you understand what is the standard of talent, skill, and art out there. It would also give you an idea of what aspects you need to improve upon. If in case you do win, you get a lot of recognition, and you can use that to impress future clientele!
- Build your Social Media Presence: Social media, especially Instagram are very important for budding photographers. This is where people see your work and start identifying you as a photographer. Put only your best work out there if you are just starting out. When you grow in fame and recognition, you would be putting out only your mediocre pictures, as a lot of good photographers keep their best work for art exhibitions etc. But if you are just starting out, put the best of the best work out there. Also, discover your niche in photography. Are you more of a street photographer, a nature photographer, a wildlife photographer, a portrait photographer or an abstract photographer. You might not get paid freelance opportunities in your specific niche and interest, but it is important to have a niche to be recognised.
How to switch to Photography after Engineering or any other degree?
It’s very simple. There are two ways to do that. If you have already worked in the field of photography during your bachelors degree, and have a portfolio made it would be easier for you to enter the field. You would be able to start freelancing as soon as your bachelors degree got over and earn a little in the beginning and make it big as time passes. But if you are more comfortable taking the traditional and formal route, no problem!
There are M.Sc. / PG Diploma in Photography in India, in a lot of different Colleges. You don’t need a prior degree in Photography to be able to do that. The eligibility criteria for a masters or PG diploma in photography is a minimum of 3 year (Any) bachelors degree!
The fees for an M.Sc. / PG Diploma in photography could range from 50,000 Rs. to 5Lac Rs. depending on the College you choose. But a lot of disgruntled BBA, B.Com, Engineering, Architecture students in India start pursuing photography by doing a masters or a PG diploma in photography.
Tips and tricks for Photography Beginners
Photos clicked by a professional photographer can easily be distinguished from the ones clicked by an amateur one. The road to transitioning from being a beginner to being a professional is long but understanding and implementing some tips and tricks can help you travel faster.
The five tips and tricks for beginner photographers are:
- Your camera doesn’t matter: There are countless choices in the market when it comes to the camera and its gear. While it is true that some are better than the others, it is also true that most entry-level DSLRs are better than the top-of-the-line film SLRs ever were. So just start clicking with whatever camera you have, even your phone camera will do. Now a days phone cameras are as good as a DSLR and you can easily start learning the basics of photography with it.
- Create a shot don’t just take it: Photographers are nothing less than a painter or an artist. If you start putting thought into your shots before clicking them just like an artist does before picking up his brush, your photos will become a lot more engaging and alive.
- Learn your settings: There are countless camera settings, so many that even the most advanced photographers sometimes don’t get it right. But learning them will help you capture better and improve your skills greatly. Start learning by clicking on manual mode, you won’t learn if your camera makes all the decisions for you.
- Give attention to light: The most important part of any photograph is light. Good lighting generally makes for a good photo. Similarly, bad lighting contributes to a bad photo. The goal is to balance the light’s intensity between the subject and the background so that their features are best shown.
- Learn to edit the right way: Keeping post-processing or editing at high on your priority list can be a good idea. But of course, there’s the chance of you overdoing it. So learn to balance it all out, play around to understand the editing software, and make sure to not save over your original work. Never make any permanent changes.
If you want learn photography and understand the basics of industry then sign up for the MyCaptain Photography Workshop.