PHOTOGRAPHER AS CAREER IN INDIA

Table of Contents

 WHAT WILL YOU DO?

As a Photographer

photogrpher as career in india you can pursue your career in various segments like photojournalism, portrait photography, wedding photography, landscape photography, forensic photography, real estate photography, sports photography, travel photography, wildlife photography, food photography or freelance photography.

Photography is critical to a broad range of industries from fashion to food to real estate to news & entertainment to science & engineering and others. In this field, you will find many working as freelancers and selling their shots/images as stock photos or to different corporate houses requiring their services.

As a landscape/travel photographer, you have to travel to separate locations for documenting images of natural spaces, man-made monuments etc. You may be working with travel magazines, media houses or selling your shots/images as stock photos or to different publications. Forensic photography involves working with crime investigation or police departments for documenting crime scene or forensic photos.

Food photography is an emerging field. As a Food Photographer, you may work with food blogs or magazines or as a food blogger to take pictures in a unique style. The a real estate photographer, you will mainly be capturing commercial properties for property agents to shoot their on-sale properties or sell your own services as a freelancer.

As a Wildlife Photographer, you may sell your shots of plants, animals or nature to different publications. You may also work as a camera operator as well as cameraman in film and television shooting sets.

For any type of photography, you need to be able to create visual interest for your target audience and remember the ‘rule of thirds’ (every image should be divided into 9 blocks with two vertical and two horizontal lines, every essential element in the picture should be positioned along these lines.

Key Roles and Responsibilities:

As a Photographer, you will be engaged with one or more of the following roles and responsibilities: –

  • You will be photographing people, merchandise, landscapes, or other subjects, using digital or film cameras and devices.
  • developing negatives or using computer software for producing finished prints and images. You will be using traditional or digital cameras and a variety of other instruments like filters, tripods, and flash attachments.
  • determining the desired composition of the images and picture, adjusting and selecting equipment, subjects, and lighting to get the desired effects.
  • You will be adjusting shutter speeds, apertures, and camera focus according to various factors like field depth, lighting, film type, subject motion, and film speed.
  • manipulating and enhancing digital or scanned images for creating desired effects, using specialized software or computers.
  • You may have to determine project goals, equipment needs,and locations by studying assignments and consulting with advertising staff or clients.
  • produce digital, computer-readable images from the film, using photofinishing laboratories and flatbed scanners.
  • You will be developing and printing exposed films, using touch-up tools, chemicals, printing and developing equipment etc.
  • we can employing various specialized photographic techniques and materials, including ultraviolet and infrared films, photogrammetry, macro photography, and sensitometry.
  • we have to create captions accompanying a photo shot (maybe a title, location, and date) to help a viewer understand the context of a picture better. An effective caption describes what is not visible in the photograph and must not repeat what is already shown.

 WORK ACTIVITIES

  • Getting Information and learning – Observing, hearing, reading, using computers, or otherwise obtaining information and learning from it.
  • Creative thinking – Developing new ideas, concepts, innovative solutions to problems, newer ways of getting things done, designing products and services, creating work of art and craft, etc.
  • Identifying objects, actions, and events – Identifying various characteristics of objects; observing and understanding actions and events; understanding changes in actions and events.
  • Inspecting situations, events, and people – Inspecting situations, events and people to understand the reasons and causes for the situation or events to happen; inspecting people to understand reasons behind their behaviour and actions.
  • Assessing and evaluating quality– Assessing and evaluating the quality of materials, systems, processes, products, services, etc.
  • Developing and maintaining inter-personal relationships – Developing professional relationships with co-workers and others outside organisations and maintaining good relationships.
  • Communicating with co-workers and others– Communicating with people in writing, verbally or otherwise inside your workplace and various other people who have professional relationships with your place of work.
  • Presenting and demonstrating work to others – you will need to present and demonstrate your work to others such as clients, co-workers, and superiors.
  • Working in a team – Working in a multi-disciplinary team of people; developing a team; maintaining professional relationships among team members.

 SPECIALISATION TRACKS IN THIS CAREER

Portrait Photographer

As a Portrait Photographer, you will have to cover various verticals starting from schools to weddings. You may specialize in wedding photography, newborn photography or family photography including pets. we have to handle several other responsibilities like making appointments, billing your clients, processing and framing images/photosetc. if you have your own business or are self-employed.You may also sell your shots/images as stock photos.Commercial Photographer

Commercial Photographer

As a Commercial Photographer, you will mainly be helping your clients capture their target market with their products or services. You will be photographing buildings, commercial properties, official equipment, corporate projects, merchandise, company employees, catalogs, websites, advertisements etc. Several companies need this service for company records, reports, symposiums, annual presentations etc. This is one of the most lucrative careers in photography. we have to operate out of your own studio or work at a chosen location.

You can specialize in real estate, sports, travel, fashion, art & lifestyle, wildlife, landscapes, food, education & training, electronics,and hardware or others. we have to handle several other responsibilities like making appointments, billing your clients, processing and framing images/photosetc. if you have your own business or are self-employed. we can also sell your shots / images as stock photos.Scientific Photographer

Scientific Photographer

As a Scientific Photographer, you need to document various subjects like experiments, technical information etc. we have to bring images, which are not visible to the human eye, to life. we have to use specialized instruments and techniques for infrared photography, micrography or underwater photography and others. we can working with research facilities, government agencies, media houses or universities.

You will have to handle several other responsibilities like making appointments, billing your clients, processing and framing images/photosetc. if you have your own business or are self-employed. we have also sell your shots/images as stock photos.Photojournalist

Press Photographer

As a Photojournalist or Press Photographer, you will be capturing news stories in the form of pictures/images. You may work with major newspapers, magazines, media houses, newswires, websites, radio stations, television companies, periodical publishers or journals operating in both online and print media spaces. Your job will be to reproduce first-hand information in the form of photographs about events, facts, ideas,and people.

You have to be a skilled storyteller, whether your photographs are accompanied with written text or not. Your photographs must convey the correct message to the audience.You may be on direct payroll with a media house or may also work as a freelancer.

You may have to cover national/local events, court proceedings, politics, forensic studies or sports. we have to handle several other responsibilities like making appointments, billing your clients, processing and framing images/photosetc. if you have your own business or are self-employed. You may also sell your shots/images as stock photos.Freelance Photographer

Freelance Photographer

As a Freelance Photographer, you will be working out of your own studio. You can operate in just about any industry and specialize in news, events, fashion etc. It is slightly more challenging to establish oneself as a Freelance Photographer, especially to develop and maintain industry contacts.You may cover weddings, family, pets, businesses, corporate events, restaurants, food blogs etc.You may also sell your shots/images as stock photos.Fashion Photographer

Fashion Photographers

Fashion Photographers shoot models in different locations to showcase fashion clothing. They also shoot during fashion shows. They may work with models to create their portfolios or with fashion designers to shoot clothes designed by them.Wildlife Photographer

Wildlife Photographers

Wildlife Photographers shoot wildlife or animals in their habitats and it is an exciting and high paying field of photography but it takes many years to learn to shoot wildlife. They use several devices for shooting wildlife.Travel Photographer

Travel Photographers

Travel Photographers shoot at various destinations or locations of tourist interests. They may shoot buildings, scenic places, nature, city life, etc.Food Photographer

Food Photographers

Food Photographers specialise in taking photographs of food dishes, wines, and liquor. They shoot fine dining dishes, exotic wines, and liquor in various settings like a studio, restaurant, hotel, etc. for various purposes such as making an advertisement for a restaurant.

 EDUCATION REQUIREMENT

After Class 11-12, you can go for:

  • Diploma / Certificate / Advanced Diploma courses.
  • B. Voc. Courses.
  • Bachelors Degree (B.A.-Bachelor of Arts, B. Sc.-Bachelors of Science, B.F.A.-Bachelor of Fine Arts, B.C.A.-Bachelor of Creative Arts) with Photography as a major or specialisation.

After your Bachelors Degree, you can go for Masters degree (M.A.-Masters in Arts, M.F.A.-Masters in Fine Arts or similar) / Advanced Diploma / Post Graduate Diploma in related disciplines with specialisation in Photography/ Photography Design.

Various private/public vocational training establishments / colleges / reputed photographers across India offer various courses on:

  • Photography
  • Photography Design
  • Digital Photography
  • Photojournalism
MINIMUM EDUCATION REQUIREDMAXIMUM EDUCATION REQUIRED
EDUCATION REQUIREDPost Higher SecondaryDESCRIPTIONDiploma / Certificate Programs for which the minimum eligibility is a pass in Higher Secondary / Class XII School Leaving examination.EDUCATION REQUIREDPost GraduateDESCRIPTIONPostgraduate Degree / Diploma / Certificate Programs for which the minimum eligibility is a pass in Graduation / equivalent Diploma program like Honours Diploma or Graduate Diploma.

 JOB OPPORTUNITIES

You will get job opportunities as a Photographer in various commercial/public sector enterprises, magazines, media houses, film and television companies, or as an intern under professional photographers or in other agencies. Some examples are:

  • Newspapers
  • News agencies
  • Websites
  • Television Companies
  • Magazine and other periodical publishers
  • Journals
  • Event management compnies
  • Television production companies
  • Syndicated photographers’ agencies (some photographers joining in a partnership to work for various clients)
  • Photography studios
  • Film production companies (as still photographer or in Cinematography, provided you are trained in Cinematography or motion picture photography)

You may get roles like:

  • Photographer
  • Assistant Photographer
  • Fashion Photographer
  • Press Photographer
  • Product Photographer
  • Professional Photographer
  • Still Photographer
  • Staff Photographer
  • Photo Lab Technician
  • Developer, Photographic
  • Photojournalist
  • Process Cameraman
  • Digital Camera Photographer
  • Photographer General
  • Photographer in Media
  • Still Photographer
  • Photographer in Studio

You may also work as a freelance photographer but you have to establish and maintain wide contacts among potential clientsin order to work independently.

 EARNING

Most photographers begin as an individual and working on a project either assisting a senior photographer or working independently. They earn on a project basis. For a day’s work, a beginner may get just about Rs. 2,000.

Someone with a good portfolio may start getting Rs. 10,000-20,000 or even more for a day’s work. Wedding and fashion photographers may earn much more. A good photographer doing wedding photography may get Rs. 25,000-1,00,000 a day. A Fashion Photographer may get Rs. 50,000 – 2,00,000 for a day’s work. A reputed fashion photographer may take about Rs. 10,00,000 or even more for a day’s work. They make 15-20 crore a month.

But photography is a highly crowded and competitive field. It’s difficult to establish your presence. But nevertheless, if you are dedicated and focused, in about 5-6 years, you may make a decent Rs. 25,000-50,000 a month. After 10-12 years, you may earn much more.

Wildlife Photography is another very lucrative field but it takes a long time to establish yourself as an independent photographer. You have to work as an Assistant for a long time. You may make about Rs. 50,000 – 2,00,000 or more for a project which may last for a few weeks. Reputed they take about Rs. 15,00,000 – 1 crore or even more for a project, depending upon the nature of photography required and the duration of the project.

Photographers hardly get a permanent job except in some media companies. Here, at a junior level, one can earn about Rs. 10,000-22,000 a month. In the middle level, one can make about Rs. 20,000 – 50,000 a month. A senior photographer may make about Rs. 50,000 – 25,00,000 or even more per month.

 CAREER GROWTH

From entry-level job positions as Photographer, Assistant Photographer, Fashion Photographer, Press Photographer, Product Photographer, Professional Photographer, Still Photographer etc., you may grow into a team leader role managing work of a few photographers. In medium and large scale companies, you may have a position as a Senior Photographer, Chief Photographer, Head – Media Planning etc. after 15+ years of experience.

 FUTURE PROSPECTS

The road ahead for this pathway looks sunny and uphill. The growth in the sub-sectors of the Indian Media and Entertainment Industry showed decent growth. The Television industry is expected to grow in terms of employment volume to 0.64 million by 2022 from 0.28 million in 2017, translating to a human resource requirement of 0.36 million. The Print Media industry is expected to grow in terms of employment volume to 0.13million by 2022 from 0.07million in 2017, translating to a human resource requirement of 0.06million.

The overall industry growth of Media and Entertainment Sector has been estimated at a rate of 13.10% compounded annually to touch the mark of 39.68 billion and US Dollars by 2023 from 22.28 billion US Dollars in 2018. India’s media consumption has been growing at an alarming rate of 9% in the period 2012-2018 compounded annually. This is 9 times that in the US and 2 times that in China. Revenues from the Advertising sector are forecasted to reach 18.39 billion US Dollars by 2023 from 9.44 billion US Dollars in 2018. Digital Advertising industry in India is expected to grow at a rate of 32% compounded annually to touch the mark of 2.93 billion US Dollars by 2020.

Various lens makers like Fujifilm and Zeiss have stated that the Indian market is an extremely important and dynamic market. The Photo and Imaging market in India (especially the professional photography segment) has been showing immense potential. In the lightweight cameras and an interchangeable lens or mirror-less categories, Indian consumers have been showing tremendous interest.

The demand for autofocus and zoom lens is very high and constantly growing in India especially in the wedding photography segment but Future ProspectsProspects IndicatorFuture Prospects at a GlanceCurrentLong TermVery Long TermHighly NegativeModerately NegativeSomewhat NegativeNo ChangeSlow GrowthModerate GrowthHigh GrowthVery High Growth

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