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Career in Photography

Photography is more of a profession than a career. It is an exceptional medium of self-expression. It is an art form that demands a sense of technical expertise. An individual who inculcates a hobby in photography can successfully make it profitable by venturing into professional photography, by taking it as a career option, also in the Indian context.

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 ability needed to be a professional.

Being a creative medium, photography requires more of inherent talent and personal attributes for success than formal training. However training hones the inherent skills and helps 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 skills for choosing and presenting a subject in a way to achieve the maximum effect with the appropriate equipment.

Types of Photography

Those who want to pursue photography as a career have the following options before them-

1. Photojournalism - Photojournalists work for newspapers and news magazines who commission them to provide photographs of newsworthy events, things and situations. The photo journalist creates a news story with the help of pictures taken during an event like war, riots or festivities etc. This field is full of adventure and risk as the Photo Journalists have to visit places of disasters, riots or war fields. A Photo Journalist has to shoot pictures for the whole incident and prepare a story based on that.

2. Fashion and Advertising Photography-This face of photography includes taking pictures to display clothing and other fashion items. One has to shoot models and actors. This area of work is full of glamour. Fashion photographers are aware of styles, moods and fashion trends. The job is in the studio as well as on locations.

3. Commercial Photography - This branch involves photographing for several commercial segments such as merchandise, exteriors and interiors, machinery and fashions to be used in advertising and selling. A great variety of cameras, lights, props are used in commercial photography.

5. Food display Photography- Food photographers work for food manufactures hotels and restaurants, exporters, dairy, chocolates and ice-cream companies. Photographs are shot either in a studio with an attached kitchen or in hotels for exclusive shots.

6. Industrial Photography - Industrial photographers photograph workers on the job, machinery, industrial layout, prominent places in the industry etc. These photographs are used in company publications or for ad campaigns. Industrial photography demands knowledge of the industry as well as its equipment

7. Nature and Wildlife Photography - Wildlife photographers have interest in nature, wildlife, birds, and their habitats, keen observation, patience, an eye for interesting details and love for adventure.
Wildlife photography is devoted to taking the pictures of animals in action, such as eating, fighting, or in flight. Game farms are also a preferred location for wildlife photography. Natural elements such as landscapes, wildlife, plants, and close-ups of natural scenes and texture are displayed in Wildlife Photography.

9. Scientific Photography - Photographic illustrations and documentation are used for scientific publications and research reports. The chief areas scientific photographer’s covers are engineering, aerodynamics, medicine, biology and chemistry. Medical journals and books carry photographs taken by specialists in this field who have both knowledge and interest.

10. Travel Photography - The documentation of an area’s landscape, people, cultures, customs and history is one of the most sought after photography option, especially in India.

11. Documentary Photography-Documentary photographs tell stories with images. A documentary photographer may shoot a series of images of the inner city homeless or chronicle the events of international combat. Any topic may be the subject of documentary photography. As with photojournalism, documentary photography seeks to show the truth without manipulating the image.

12. Wedding Photography-Wedding photography is a blend of different types of photography. Although the wedding album is a documentary of the wedding day, wedding photos can be retouched and edited to produce a variety of effects. For example, a photographer may treat some of the pictures with sepia toning to give them a more classic, timeless look. 

13. Underwater Photography -is usually employed by scuba divers or snorkelers.  However, the cost of scuba diving, coupled with often expensive and unwieldy underwater photography equipment, makes this one of the less common types of photography. Similarly, if an amateur has the equipment and the scuba know-how, taking shots underwater can be complicated, as scuba goggles are magnified and distort the photographer’s vision.

14. Microphotography-Microphotography uses specialized cameras and microscopes to capture images of extremely small subjects. Most applications of microphotography are best suited for the scientific world.

15. Aerial Photography-An aerial photographer specializes in taking photos from the air. Photos may be used for surveying or construction, to capture birds or weather on film or for military purposes.

Popular photographers in India have been Raghubir Singh Khatu, Raghu Rai, Iqbal Mohamed and many more who have left their marks on the sands of time.


There is no specific academic requirement for full time course in photography; however, candidates who have cleared the 10+2 exam are eligible for the diploma/certificate courses in photography.

Some of the courses offered in Photography are:

  • Certificate Course in Advanced Photography
  • Certificate Course in Basic Photography
  • Certificate Course in Digital Photography
  • Certificate Course in Fashion Photography
  • Certificate Course in Photo Journalism
  • Certificate Course in Photography
  • Diploma in Fashion Photography
  • Diploma in Motion Picture Photography
  • Diploma in Photography
  • Diploma in Professional Photography

Career Prospectus
One of the most exciting aspects of photography is the variety of jobs available in this field, ranging from highly specialized, technical work to jobs that require creativity and Visual literacy.

Photographers can start working as assistants to senior photographers, and they are paid around Rs.3,500-Rs.6,000. These days, photographers have packages of nearly Rs. 25,000 per month, and much more for experienced photographers.

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