Photography is a unique and creative medium of self-expression. It is an art form requiring aesthetic sense as well as technical expertise. A hobby that can be made profitable by going professional by the talented. 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 attributes needed to be a professional. Being a creative medium, photography requires more of inherent talent for success than formal training. However training hones the inherent skills and help 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 skill for choosing and presenting a subject in a way to achieve the maximum effect with the appropriate equipment. One should have a definite know how of the angle, lighting and the latest equipments and technology to make a name in the field.
There are no specific academic requirements for full time courses in photography, however, candidates who have cleared the 10+2 exam are eligible for the diploma/certificate courses in photography. There are many students who learn photography along with their college degree, doing a part-time course. Besides the Certificate and Diploma courses in the field, Photography is also offered as an optional subject for a bachelor's degree in Fine arts. Some institutes offer full fledged B.A courses in photography of three year duration.
Job Prospects and Career Options
Press photographers are also known as photojournalists. Press photographers supply pictures to the national and local press, and must be versatile with an ability to photograph all kinds of subjects. They must have journalistic instincts, know what makes a good news picture, be able to write accurate captions, work well with reporters, be quick and often work under difficult conditions.
Commercial/ Industrial photographer takes pictures of merchandise, exteriors and interiors of factories, and machinery both indoors and outdoors to be used for company brochures, annual reports, and in advertising and selling. An industrial photographer's main emphasis is on taking pictures for a single company or firm. The main intention is to make the company's factory, machines or products look good.
Advertising photographs are either taken by the photographic departments of advertising agencies, by photographic studios, or by freelance photographers. A large number of photographers do catalogue work, while some studios specialize in 'mail order' photography. This is the best paid and most competitive branch; success in this sphere depends entirely on ability, efficiency and the right personality. Advertising photographers are usually provided with instructions as to what exactly has to be photographed. However they are also expected to suggest their own ideas for new angles.
Fashion photography as a career developed recently in India. It is an extremely creative and well paid profession. Most fashion photography is done by specialist studios or freelancers who are commissioned by fashion houses or advertising agencies. They usually work under the direction of a fashion expert. The bulk of fashion photography is carried out in either Mumbai or Delhi and involves by highly sophisticated and well-equipped studios by freelancers who are commissioned by fashion houses of advertising agencies. They can also find employment with fashion houses, designers, fashion journals and news papers.
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