A Detailed Guide for Career in Professional Photography

This article on having a career in photography is going to be an interesting read. I wrote this article keeping in mind how our society is changing rapidly.

Earlier children and their parents had only two options either engineer or doctor.

However now things are changing rapidly, there are other options available to choose as a career.

In this article we shall look at one of such options. We will talk about photography profession in great length.

professional photography

We will discuss every aspect of it, like job description, how to become a successful professional photographer, skills required, cost of affording a career in photography, training institutes, jobs prospects and salary, some tips and finally concluding with disadvantages related to the career.

This will be an interesting read for you if you are thinking of photography as a career.

Professional Photography: a Brief Job Description

Let us start with job description of a photographer. If you are a photographer then you are expected to do the following things as your job.

  1. You need to work with your clients to discuss want kind of images they require and how they can use them.
  2. You have to work at different location in order to get a perfect image needed by your client.
  3. You got to know a wide range of equipment and how to work with them like adjusting apertures, shutter speeds and camera focus etc.
  4. You have to liaison with other professionals, graphic designers, researchers, art directors etc to get a better end product.
  5. Complete understanding of traditional films and contemporary digital photography.
  6. Developing expertise with software like cutting, editing, cropping, changing emphasis etc.
  7. Compiling finish products for sale like albums.
  8. At last developing a great portfolio and self-marketing yourself.

So these were few things that you got to do as a photographer.

Different Types of Photography Careers

After discussing I need to tell you different kinds of careers in professional photography that you could go for.

1. Advertising Photographer: The commercials that you see on you TV is an actual work of an advertising photographer. You have to take photographs for a particular commercial.

2. Event and Concert Photographer: Event and concert photographers have to present at any event like parties, launching of certain products etc. Concert photographers are for taking photos of a big concert with thousands of people.

3. Photo Journalist: You can start taking photos of things around you like covering social issues for example civic situation, streets, conditions of hospitals etc and sending them to a newspaper.

4. Landscape Photographer: Landscape photographer has to take pictures about beautiful scenery like mountains, rivers, canyon, forests etc. These will be framed and adorned in your living room.

5. Wedding Photographer: They never run out of job. Wedding photographer has to work with wedding and everything related to it. You need to know how to work with different kinds of camera.

6. Baby and Family Photographer: There is a special photographer for shooting baby and family pictures. This line of career is just same as being a wedding photographer.

7. Travel Photographer: If you love travelling around the world then you get to visit different places. You can capture all those places and sites in your camera and become a travel photographer.

8. Real Estate and Architecture Photographer: Real estate agents and developers need you for picturing different real estate properties and architecture. Take images of a building, room and locality around it.

9. Wildlife and Pet Photographer: You might have seen Discovery Channel or National Geographic Channel. Then you know about wildlife photography. Pet photographer is also similar to it here you shoot cats and dogs not lion or cobra.

10. Micro and Macro Photographer: Micro means very small images like bacteria and Macro means up close picture of an ant. Both form of photography is popular as a career.

11. Scientific Photographer: Scientific photographer has to look things in great detail and shoot images related to scientific purposes. It is quite similar to Micro Photographer.

12. Nude Photographer: Nude photographer or erotic photographer is about shooting nude models for magazines and various other adult publications. This is quite similar to the advertising photographer as a career.

13. Medical Photographer: Medical photographers have to deal with shooting pictures in an operation theatre especially during a surgery. You need to get close images.

14. Paparazzi: Well you know about Paparazzi. This could be a great career if you are a photographer. You need to run around a celebrity and take every photo as you can. Even there private photos which are considered immoral but you make good money.

15. Photo Blogging: Finally photo blogging is just video blogging. Here you take photos of things around and blog about them. You can take photos as you like and present it to the world.

So these were some of the different types of photography career that you can choose from. If you want to be a photographer then specialize in any one of these 15.

There are others also but 15 are enough.

How to Start a Career in Photography

Well Starting a Career as a photographer could be tough because it is not being going for a call centre job. Openings are limited. start photography career

So how do you start a career in photography?

Well the best way to start is as a freelance photographer. You could be a photo journalist or even a photo blogger.

You need to know everything about digital camera and basic equipment.

Initially focus on building a decent portfolio before you expect to get clients.

After that you build network of people related to your job and start getting clients.

Advertising photographers are in great demand today.

Cost of Affording Photography as a Career

How much does it cost being a photographer?

You have to bifurcate the cost in two different categories first one is cost of formal education like college and second is cost of equipment. cost

Cost of Course: How much a professional course could cost you? Cost of studying in a primer institute could cost you anything between Rs.50,000 to Rs.1,00,000 for 2 year course. However it doesn’t include the tuition fee.

Cost of Equipment: As you know today all the photography is done through digital photography. So camera, lenses, accessories all the equipment could cost you up to Rs 100,000/- to Rs 200,000/-.

Therefore total cost could be Rs 500,000 to even Rs 10,000,00/-.

What are Skills Required to be a Good Photographer

If you have to become a good professional photographer you need to acquire certain skills. Here are some of them-

1. Know Your Equipment: Complete knowledge of all types of cameras and different lenses. You have to work almost with every modern digital camera. photography_skills

2. Complete Understanding of the Software: Editing, Cropping, cutting etc. Understand every aspect of the software in your camera.

3. Liaison and Coordination: Teamwork is important because you have to coordinate with graphic designers, technicians and entire crew.

4. Creativity: There is no substitute for creativity. You have to creative each and every time.

5. Marketing Skills: You also need to market your finished product.

6. Portfolio: You cannot succeed if you haven’t built a great portfolio.

7. Legal Issues: You have to have good knowledge about legal issues also because you might face this situation in your career.

8. Technical Skills: You got to get familiar with every small detail like lights, developing and printing photographs.

So these were few skills that you need to develop for being a good photographer.

Prospects and Job Demand in Photography Career

What are the prospects and job demand for photographers in real market?

There are certain kinds of photographers that are more in demand.

Wedding Photographers

wedding photographersWedding photographers are the ones who are number one in demand. Even if the economy is in recession you make great money being a wedding photographer.

India has over $30 Billion wedding industry and there can’t be a day where there is not a demand for photographers.

You will get clients very easily. So if looking for a career in photography then go for wedding niche.

Fashion and Advertising Photographers  fashion photographers

Second best are fashion and advertising photographers. Prospects for future are really great. Companies are growing and they need creative photographers.

How Much You can Make as a Photographer

This is a good question as here we break down how much a photographer could earn.

Well it depends upon the niche you are in and the experience you have. Photographer_earnings

Let us begin with wedding photographers.

  • A wedding photographer could make Rs 100,000/- to Rs 300,000/- a day. Yes in one day.
  • A Fashion photographer could make Rs 50,000/- to Rs 200,000/- per project.
  • The average Salary of a photography in India is Rs 350,000/- per year.
  • Meaning Rs 30,000/- or more per month.

So these were regular or you can say average photographer.

However if you want to be a paparazzi then the money is no limit.

You can even make million dollars as paparazzi. However this is very rare.

Photography Course in India

If you are going to be a photographer and want to join a training institute and some of school then here are some of them.photography courses

  1. Asian Academy of film and television – Visit www.aaft.com
  2. National Institute of Photography Mumbai – They offer all kind of courses from crash course to advance course. Visit www.focusnip.com
  3. Centre for Research in Art of Film & Television (CRAFT), Delhi – Visit www.log2craft.org
  4. New York Film Academy, Greater Noida – Visit www.nyfa.edu
  5. The Indian Institute of Digital Art and Animation, Kolkata – Visit www.iidaaindia.com

These are some of them you can start your photography course with.

Disadvantages of Being a Photographer

Well I have to be balance here so I need to give you other side of the picture.Disadvantages

So here are some of the disadvantages being a photographer.

Self-Promotion: The first and foremost disadvantage is self-promotion. You will not find clients easily because no one knows. You have to promote yourself; you need to be inside a network and this is very difficult to achieve.

You may fail also. Access is the problem.

Advertising Expenses: You need to advertise yourself and expenses could go over the top. You have to spend a lot of money for advertising and you have not even started earning yet.

Salary: Job market for photographers is very small. Hence the job you get as a regular photographer comes with very low salary.

Danger: Finally there are dangers associated with it especially if you are a wildlife photographer.

So these were few but the basic disadvantage is getting clients.


So finally I will conclude this article by saying photography could be an exciting career however you need to know every aspect of it.

Whether it is job description, basic skills, salary, growth and disadvantages.

I hope this article will give you a complete perspective.

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