Do you have an eye for good pictures? Does the thought of capturing real life emotions excite you? Then you can definitely turn your passion for photography into a full-blown career.
If photography is the career you wish to pursue, be prepared to spend time to hone your skills. There are few degrees or diploma courses in photography, so enrolling into a junior college is a must, but you can join any number of workshops, short-term courses and nature camps.
A number of institutes and universities offer certificate and diploma courses in photography. Utkal University (Bhubaneswar) and Fergusson College, Pune University, offer a three-year integrated degree course in photography. In Kolkata, Satyajit Ray Film and Televison Institute offers photography as a subsidiary subject, while National Academy of Photography (NAP), the first of-its-kind in eastern India offers advanced and short-term courses, as well as workshops on photography.
“A month-long and a twomonth long course on fundamentals of photography cost Rs 4,200, and Rs 8,000, respectively. The fee for six-month long and nine-month long courses on digital photography is Rs 12,000 and Rs 18,000,” says Madhu Sarkar, founder-director, NAP.
Even some years ago, the idea of becoming a wedding photographer might freak the parents out, but with weddings getting grander by the day, the demand for a professional photographer is also on the rise.
“Today everyone wants not just good pictures for his or her big day, but also pictures that capture emotions and tell a unique story. A run-of-the-mill photographer can give you the done-to-death wedding album, but not something really striking and fashionable,” says Swati Chauhan (27), a Himchal Pradesh-based wedding photographer.
She stresses weddings are no longer a family affair, but a big business opportunity for photographers to capture dramatic, awe-inspiring and intimate moments! And of course make big money. One could easily ask for about Rs 25,000 a day, plus accommodation, travel and other expenses, she says. “If you’re talented, hardworking, willing to travel, instinctive and understand the clients’ demands, there is no limit to the kind of work you do and make big money. There is a chance to join happy couples on their honeymoon or click photos at the Cannes red carpet,” adds Chauhan, who dropped out of college to become a professional photographer.
“Because you narrate a story through pictures, you must be very creative, expressive and think out-ofthe-box. You must also have technical knowledge,” says Kolkata-girl Shreya Sen, who is now based in Mumbai.
In fact, apart from needing that extra quality and interest in visuals, colours and light, one must also build a good client base over time. Doing internships with big firms in the field can also help one to build his or her name.