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How to Become a Photographer - Career as Photographer

Update on 17 Nov, 22

5 minutes read

How to Become a Photographer - Career as Photographer

How to Become a Professional Photographer: Photography is one of the most important upcoming professions in recent times. Photography is a unique field that requires skills, creativity, and patience. Photographers are in huge demand in recent times in different professional streams and experienced photographers get a very good paycheque.

Advertising agencies and media houses are always on the lookout for skilled photographers and it is one of the top career choices with incredible future prospects. Photography has also become popular after the advent of social media where people can express their creative sides through engaging and captivating images.

However, photography is an art and it requires creativity, acumen, an eye for detail, and skills. It is not everybody’s cup of tea and those who have a real passion for photography must consider taking it up as a profession.

Details to Become a Professional Photographer:

So if the question arises of how to become a photographer, there are several photography courses that one can take up after completing Class 12th Boards. Aspiring candidates must have skills like Creativity, eye for detail, aesthetic sense, communication skills, patience, and concentration. Besides this, the candidates need to meet certain eligibility criteria in order to apply for the photography courses.

Skills to Become a Photographer:

  • Eye for detail
  • Communication skills
  • Aesthetic sense
  • Teamwork
  • Technical skills
  • Creative instincts
  • Originality

Different Types of Photography:

Photography is a specialized field and there are different genres of photography. Aspiring candidates can take up one or more kinds of photography based on their interests and area of expertise. If you ask How to become a professional photographer, the niche that a candidate wants to master depends totally upon him or her. However, all the areas of photography provide extremely good career opportunities and photographers with a few years of experience have lucrative salary prospects.

  • Portrait Photography: This is one of the most common genres of photography that involves clicking images of personal portfolios, family photos, school photos, photos of eminent personalities, and engagement photos. This kind of photography pays attention to close-ups of the subject’s face or full body images.
  • Fashion Photography: Fashion photography is a glamorous world where the job role of a photographer is a chance to work on International projects including photoshoots, fashion magazines, or fashion weeks. This is a highly glamorous area of photography where the photographer gets a chance to work with renowned personalities and travel to exotic destinations for their projects. Though this is a much-coveted field, it requires very good skills, experience, and proper networking.
  • Sports Photography: Sports photography is a highly specialized field and is only meant for those who love sports along with photography. The job role of a photographer in Sports photography requires precision, skills, and presence of mind to shoot at a high shutter speed and use heavy zoom lenses. 
  • Wildlife Photography: The job role of a photographer of the Wildlife genre requires the shooting of wild animals in their natural habitat and the photographer has to spend long durations in field locations. A wildlife photographer must have knowledge of animal behavior and have a good amount of patience.
  • Photojournalism: Photojournalists mainly shoot pictures of the print media and must have the ability to capture candid shots that appear natural and truthful. The career of a photographer in journalism has very good prospects as they get job opportunities in leading newspapers and media houses.
  • Architectural Photography: This kind of photography involves the shooting of heritage structures and monuments. Such photographers must have an accurate sense of colors and angles to make the photograph look impressive. Architectural photography is much in demand with the increased restoration and conservation of heritage structures.
  • Wedding Photography: A Wedding Photographer must have knowledge of different camera angles and modes that will give the best clicks. The career of a photographer in the wedding niche is full of opportunities as he/she can take pictures of wedding occasions and are always in demand.
  • Food Photography: Food photography is constantly in demand because of the different types of cuisines and their impressive visuals on several platforms like magazines, brochures, or social media. These photographers have to shoot in field locations including kitchens and hotels and have excellent salary prospects.

Besides the given areas of photography, other genres of photography include Aerial photography, Fine Arts Photography, Landscape Photography, and Product photography.

Best Photo Editing Tools Used by Professional Photographers:

There are several tools that are required by professional photographers to get the best quality images. Though there are several software tools that are used for photography, it is very essential to know the right tools that are required by a particular domain of photography.

Check out the best photo editing tools:

  • Adobe photoshop
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Corel paint shop pro
  • Pixlr Editor
  • DxO Photolab 4
  • Corel Paintshop pro
  • Canva
  • GIMP
  • Inkscape
  • Capture One
  • PicMonkey
  • Snappa
  • HDR Darkroom 3

Photography Courses After 12th:

There are several Photography courses after the 12th Board exams that can be pursued by a candidate. These professional courses are offered by renowned Institutes and candidates can have bright career prospects after completion of the courses. Apart from long-term courses, there are several short-term photography courses after the 12th that can be pursued by eligible candidates.

  • BA in Visual Arts and Photography
  • BA in Communication Design Photography
  • BA in Photography and Cinematography
  • Diploma in photography
  • Undergraduate courses in photography
  • Certificate courses in photography
  • Postgraduate Diploma in photography
  • Diploma in fashion photography
  • Diploma in journalism photography
  • Diploma in wedding photography
  • Diploma in Wildlife photography
  • Diploma in Digital Cinematography
  • Diploma in photography and digital imaging

There are several photography courses after the 12th that can be pursued by interested candidates. Professional photography courses after the 12th include the following:

  • Undergraduate courses
  • Diploma Courses
  • Certificate courses

Check out the photographer courses after the 12th, eligibility, course duration, and salary prospects:

Name of the Course Eligibility Criteria Duration of the Course
B.A in Visual Arts and Photography Candidates must pass the Class 12 Board exams from a recognized Institute. The selection of the candidate is on the basis of merit. 3 years
B.A Photography
B.Sc in Photography and Cinematography
B.A in Visual Arts and Photography
B.A In Communication Design Photography
Diploma in Digital Cinematography Candidates must pass the Class 12th exams in any stream. The selection of the candidates is merit-based. 1- 3 years
Diploma in Professional Photography
Diploma in Photography and Digital Imaging
Postgraduate Diploma in Photography
Certificate in Advertising and Commercial Photography Candidates must pass the Class 12 Board exams from a recognized Institute in any stream (Arts/Science/Commerce)
The selection of the candidates is merit-based.
Some Institutes prefer candidates who have passed the Class 10 Board exams from a recognized Institute.
3 months to 6 months
Certificate in Photography and Digital imaging
Certificate in Digital Cinematography
Certificate in Photography and Cinematography
Certificate in Fashion Photography

Steps to Become a Professional Photographer:

A career as a photographer is extremely interesting and exciting and offers very good salary prospects. However photography is an art and it requires creative skills, concentration, knowledge of the working of the camera, and patience to become a good photographer.

Below are some of the steps to become a professional photographer which will help to achieve your dream of becoming a successful photographer:

Ask the Correct Questions:

  • Photography is a very good career choice but before you delve into the profession it is important that must have answers to some questions like 
  • What skills do you have?
  • Why do you want to choose photography as a profession?
  • Which area of photography interests you the most?
  • What motivates you to become a photographer?
  • Do you want to be a freelance photographer and start your own business?

Find a Professional Mentor:

There are several professional photographers who will be good mentors and teach you the basics of photography. It is also advisable to become a member of online photography communities as this will lead to insightful interactions with peer groups.

Enroll in Internship Programs:

For a budding photographer, it is best to engage in an internship program with professional photographers. There are photography jobs and paid internships available and the training is extremely valuable for a would-be photographer. These internship programs will provide the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to enter the field of photography.

Pursue a Photography Course from a Reputed Institute:

It is very important to choose the right photography course that will enhance career prospects. A formal course from a reputed Photography Institute will not only add to the resume but also inculcate the necessary knowledge and skills in the candidate. These courses range from undergraduate, postgraduate, and Diploma courses to small duration Certificate courses. These courses teach the fundamentals of photography and provide rich knowledge about the tools and techniques of photography.

Choose your Domain as a Photographer:

The last step to becoming a professional photographer is to select a niche area that you find most interesting in the photography business. There are several domains of a career in photography that including Fashion photography, Wildlife photography, Wedding photography, Sports photography, Travel Photography, and Portrait photography. Select the area of photography that inspires youth. The most and become a professional photographer in that particular domain.

Top Photography Colleges in India and their Fees Structure:

There are several top photography colleges in India that provide Undergraduate, postgraduate, Certificate, and Diploma courses in photography. These colleges have extremely skilled and experienced teachers who deliver rich knowledge and hands-on training to the students in the area of photography.

The Top Photography Colleges in India can be summarized as follows:

Name of the College Fees Structure
International Institute of Mass media, New Delhi INR 1,70,000
University of Delhi INR 32,500
YMCA Centre of Mass Media INR 36,500
K’s Academy of Photographic Arts, Tamil Nadu INR 2,50,000
Symbiosis School of Visual Arts and Photography INR 4,70,000
Film and Television Institute of India, Pune INR 35,000
Institute of Mass Communication, Manipal INR 4,95,000
Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida INR 2,00,000
CMR University INR 2,10,000
Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi INR 2,69,000
National Institute of photography INR 10,000
Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi INR 74,020

How to Become a Professional Photographer without a Degree:

It is possible to become a professional photographer without a degree. Photography is an art and those who are passionate about photography can improve their skills and expertise with proper practice. Talented photographers with many years of experience need not require a professional degree to attract attention.

So if the question arises, how to become a photographer without a degree the answer is that, it is not impossible. You can become a professional photographer without having a formal degree if you have the necessary skills and expertise. Besides, aspiring photographers must do regular photoshoots to improve their art.

But it is better to gain a professional degree to take up a career in photography. There are several courses in photography that an aspiring candidate can take up after completion of Class 12 exams. These courses include undergraduate courses, postgraduate courses, Diploma courses, and Certificate courses. These courses will teach the angles, light, and tools of photography which are very important to becoming a professional photographer.

Career in Photography:

A career in photography is not for everybody because photography is a very niche area and only individuals with tremendous passion and skills must consider taking up photography as a profession.

Professional photography is a very competitive profession and only those candidates who have the right knowledge and mindset about photography can thrive in this business. The question that frequently arises in the mind of individuals is how to become a photographer in India.

To answer the question it is very important to note the correct interests that one has to become a professional photographer in India. These include:

  • Patience
  • Communication skills
  • Eye for detail
  • Creativity
  • Concentration
  • Hard work
  • Knowledge of camera angles and light

Candidates who are wondering how to become photographers in India must know that to become a professional photographer he/they must enroll in a photography course. There are both short-term and long-term photography courses in India that are offered by reputed institutes. Most of these courses require the candidate to qualify for the Class 12 exams from a recognized Board.

The professional photography courses after Class 12th Board exams include Undergraduate, postgraduate, Diploma, and Certificate courses. All these courses teach the basic and core areas of photography.

Eligible candidates can enroll in a photography course that is suitable for them and gain the skills and expertise. After completion of the course, they have the option to do an internship program or start a career as a photographer right away.

So those of you who are still thinking about how to become a photographer in India, here are a few areas of photography that provide well-paid salary prospects in India.

  • Travel Photography
  • Media and journalism photography
  • Fashion photography
  • Advertising photography
  • Architectural photography
  • Forensic photography
  • Wildlife photography
  • Sports photography
  • Wedding and event photography
Salary of a Photographer in India:

Photography as a career possibility has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years. Experienced and skilled photographers are recruited by several agencies in different domain areas. Besides this, freelance photographers who have several years of experience and are extremely talented, usually demand very high salaries from their clients.

The average salary of a photographer in India is INR 3 lacs per annum. The salary of a photographer varies with the niche area and the experience of the photographer.

Given below are the salary prospects of a Photographer in a different domain in India:

Domain of Photography Salary Prospects
Fashion photographer INR 50,000- INR 2,00,000 per project
Wildlife photographer INR 15,000- INR 25,000 per month
Wedding photographer INR 1,00,000- INR 3,00,000 per day
Advertisement photographer INR 25,000 per day
Portrait photographer INR 20,000 per month
Newspaper photographer INR 15,000- INR 25,000 per month
Top Recruiting Companies for Professional Photographers:

There are several renowned companies that hire professional photographers in India and abroad. Photography is a much-in-demand profession in recent times and skilled photographers are recruited by well-known companies and can also work as freelance photographers.

Professional photographers may work as full-time, part-time, remote, or freelance photographers. These recruiting companies also have well-paid salary prospects and sometimes offer flexible working hours to the professionals.

Check out the Top Recruiting Companies for Professional Photographers:

  • Digital First Media
  • Tru Place
  • Flipkart
  • Amazon
  • Cozymeal
  • Main Street hub
  • Photographers Direct
  • Best Indian sites
Advantages of Being a Photographer:
  • You can learn several aspects of photography from experienced professionals and become an expert in the art yourself.
  • You can meet a lot of people and expand your network which will prove beneficial in the long run.
  • You can enjoy flexible working hours by becoming a part-time photographer or freelance photographer.
  • You can gain the required skills and experience to add to your portfolio which will pave way for better job prospects.
  • You can start your own photography business and make a good amount of money.
  • You can learn the latest trends in photography and also become aware of the latest tools and technology used in photography.
  • You can get valuable feedback from your employers that will help you to improve your skills.
  • You will get regular assignments and projects which will help you to master the different camera angles.
Conclusion

Photography is a very important career opening in recent times and has well-paid salary prospects. It is not difficult to pursue a career in photography in India if the candidates have the right skill and interests. It is also important to join a photography course in order to gain the necessary expertise to excel in the profession of photography.

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