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An In-Depth Guide For a Rewarding Career in Photography

Whether the serene divinity of sunrise or the hush of dusk, a photograph captures beauty and emotions to tell a story that never dies!

“You click amazing pictures!” how many times have you heard someone say that to you? If you have several times, then a photography career may be the one for you. Photography is an art of expression – when you capture a picture, the camera is your paintbrush, and the subject transforms into your canvas.

So, is capturing pictures more than just a hobby for you? If yes, then have you considered converting this hobby into a photography career?

If the answer is positive, then you’ve come to the right place! There are immense opportunities for a career in photography. How you may ask!

Well, the growth of e-commerce, fashion, advertising, media, and travel industries, has led to a rise in demand for skilled photographers. Due to this, more photography enthusiasts have started pursuing Careers in Photography.

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FAQs - Career in Photography

A photographer’s job is to capture professional-quality photographs using a camera. Whereas photography is the art and science of capturing pictures, it includes several types like scientific, aerial, fashion, etc. Depending on the type of job, a photographer might work on-field, in a studio, or with a newspaper or magazine publishing firm.

Golden Tip

The next time you stumble across a scenic picture in a magazine or newspaper, check its angle, the frame, the filters, and the edits. You can keep these features in mind and improve your photography skills.

A photographer can successfully tap into any industry with adequate experience and a sumptuous blend of creativity, technical expertise, and composition abilities to capture and preserve images.

Let’s look at some of the job roles of a photographer –

  • Marketing and advertising – “To be in the know” is a must to work with your desired audience. Increasing your social outreach, maintaining a professional portfolio, and keeping a record of previous work done are some of the elements contributing to a photographer's successful marketing.
  • Composing images – Analysing, arranging, and planning the elements in an image that align with the core idea or goal of the picture is called composing an image. This is one of the most important roles of a photographer.
  • Understanding the technicalities – A good photograph is an integration of several technicalities like – Perfect angles, lighting equipment, and knowledge about the line, shape, form, texture, pattern, colour, and space.
  • Maintaining and developing quality – Using appropriate developing and editing tools to enhance the picture quality and appearance is another important role of a photographer.

Golden Tip

A photographer’s work speaks louder than words – keep your portfolio rolling!

  • An eye for detail - It’s no doubt that a photographer needs artistic abilities, but the essence of photography is in the finer details.
  • Lighting skills - A clear understanding of the shades and shadows to draw the desired effects for a beautiful picture.
  • Contacts - It is necessary to develop a good association with the right clients to ensure they keep coming back and referring to other potential clients.
  • Equipment knowledge - Adept knowledge about all types of cameras and the kind of lenses used is important to always be on top of the game and technology.
  • Software skills - Essentially, a photographer must be equipped with appropriate editing, cropping, and cutting skills.
  • Teamwork - Liaison and coordination are important in the case of professional photography as it involves interacting with designers, crew members, and technicians.
  • Creative edge - What’s a picture with no depth, uniqueness, or story? Every successful photographer has a unique quality that sets her/him apart from the rest.
  • Legal issues – Being updated with legal policies, certificates, and licenses is important to ensure that there’s no barrier to pursuing your dream Photography Career.

If you are considering a career in photography, you need to have artistic abilities that help you capture moments at the right place and time. Here are some of the other skills you need for pursuing the photography career path

  • Your computer operating skills are phenomenal
  • The creative soul in you makes you develop perspectives that can be transformed into images
  • You look for details in every subject
  • You have substantial social skills to improve connections

  • Originality - You will develop a unique sense of style and skills that’ll make your pictures stand apart.
  • Time adjustment – Often, photographers work as freelancers and develop the affinity to have a flexible work schedule.
  • Business skills – You’re entering the business field as a photographer – developing a sense of expression and presentation will help elevate your business outreach.

Earlier students were hesitant to take up career in photography, maybe due to the false assumption of the uncertainty of jobs coming in. But now, in the age of digitisation, the scope of photography is humongous. Here are all your answers associated with the scope of photography.

Golden Tip

Who’s your favourite photographer? Research about them and find out when they started, did they ever think about the scope – or just gave all they had to pursue their photography career.

The top-five states with highest paying photography jobs across the world include –

  • New York
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Mexico
  • Columbia

Source: Bureau of labour and statistics

With Kashmir, the north’s crown; the mesmerising coastlines; the majestic forests; and the impeccable beauty that India offers, the scope of photography career in India knows no bounds.

You can start honing your photography skills wherever you are, but these are some of the most picturesque places that are a photographer’s dream –

  • Agra
  • Agumbe, Kabini, and Badami, Karnataka
  • Allepey, Kerala
  • Bharatpur, Rajasthan
  • Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
  • Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Island
  • Kashmir
  • Kaziranga, Assam

These options have everything from world heritage sites, wildlife, historical monuments, nature, forests, and a lot more.

  • Medical and diagnostic laboratories
  • Video industries and motion pictures
  • Scientific research and development services
  • Aerospace manufacturing – products and parts
  • And several other types of informational services

Yes, the life of a photographer seems glamorous and maybe if you work hard in the right direction, you can be a photographer at the Cannes Film Festival or capture wildlife photos for the National Geographic Channel.

Now that we know the areas and scope of photography let’s get to the most important part – the academics!

Are you intrigued by photography? Hop in – there’s space for everyone in this profession. For a professional bachelor’s degree, you need to have a high school degree, that’s nothing but a 12th pass certificate, in the field of arts, commerce, or science.

Along with this, you need to have an out-of-the-box approach, be open to travelling at odd times, have self-discipline, and have the flexibility to work for long hours.

A professional career in photography requires extensive knowledge of both modern imaging technology and conventional photography equipment. From photojournalism to portrait photography, this field has a lot to offer. Here are the top five careers you can pursue –

  • Portrait Photography

    • Portrait photographers are on the site with their equipment, from school photos to weddings, they capture every moment. Often, they work from a studio or in specific locations, depending on what the project entails. They are often self-employed or have their own business. Their responsibilities include –

    • Making appointments
    • Processing images
    • Framing photos
    • Billing clients
  • Scientific Photography

    • Scientific photographers often bring to life images that are not visible to the naked eye. They document diverse aspects to demonstrate technicalities and record experiments. Moreover, scientific photographers are well-versed in imaging techniques and equipment like –

    • Infrared photography
    • Underwater photography
    • Micrography
    • These photographers often get employed in government agencies, research institutions, professional universities, and much more.

  • Commercial Photography

    • To help organisations market their products and services, commercial photography offers a range of Photography Career in India. Commercial photographers capture –

    • Buildings (construction sites)
    • Merchandise
    • Company employees
      • Catalogs for media
      • Advertisement material
      • Visuals for websites
      • Client reports and records
  • Photojournalism

    • Photojournalists or news journalists working for magazines, news sources (paper and digital), and other publications. Irrespective of their job role, they need to have excellent storytelling skills to portray the required message. Areas of work include –

    • News or press
    • Covering stories for sports, politics, or court proceedings
  • Freelance Photography

    • This is the path followed by most photographers – it comes with the perks of being your own boss! There are several opportunities in the fashion industry, event photography, and news photography. It could be challenging at first, but more and more doors open as you progress.

  • Feature Photography

    • Describing a story through pictures is the role of a feature photographer. To get into this field, you will need to have a clear idea of the subject matter. As you proceed, you can sell your images to magazines, newspapers, and publications, whether online or offline. Feature photographers specialise in specific areas like wildlife, travel, sports, etc.

India is a country of rich cultural heritage, and each corner has many stories – waiting to be captured. So, when it comes to pursuing a career in photography, there are several options you can look into like –

  • Wedding Industry – Who isn’t aware of the big fat Indian weddings? Imagine the scope there! With the appropriate clients and a marvellous portfolio, you can surely earn good money. That’s not all – with the increase in pre-wedding parties, sangeet, and wedding photoshoots, the market demand for photographers has increased.
  • Fashion – India has seen a rise in fashion shows as innumerable new fashion brands are entering the market. Companies whether, international or national, are seeking photographers to capture their products and services. So, fashion is another market you can tap into!
  • Food and Travel – Travelers and food bloggers, as well as vloggers, have risen with the emergence of the digital world – helping people connect with no limits. This is another area of photography that you can enter. Restaurants, travel websites, etc., can help you build your professional life while also assisting you in making good money.
  • Real Estate – Realtors and architects have now realised the importance of setting up a good portfolio. This led to a rise in demand for photographers – often required to click impressive pictures of new office spaces, buildings, and houses.

Designed to match every student’s Career in photography – photography schools have a lot to offer. If you research sincerely, you will definitely find the perfect one!

Here are a few factors you might want to consider –

  • Course duration – Identify what you’re looking for – a degree or diploma. Once you decide, you can filter out your options.
  • The school’s reputation – Scroll through the student reviews and see whether you can get in touch with the graduates of that institution to gain insight into their learning experience. Look for the institute’s accreditation status and certifications.
  • Look for a school that provides hands-on training – Photography needs lots and lots of practical expertise – look for a school that offers hands-on as well as theoretical training.
  • The faculty – On the institute’s website, you can often find a staff section – that goes through their experience, their career in photography, and research about their previous work. This will paint a better picture of what the institute has to offer.
  • Placements – Check whether the college offers placement assistance – saving you from the job crazy hunt after completing your course!
  • Entrance – Analyse whether the college you wish to study in has any entrance exam or other formalities. If yes, then prepare for it!

Golden Tip

Scroll through the photography institute’s website – it can speak a lot about the institute and definitely answer all your questions!

The college fees for photography vary depending on the course you want to pursue – whether a diploma or a degree.

In the case of a diploma, the fee ranges anywhere between INR 5,000 to 5 Lakh. And the fee for a degree in photography, that’s approximately three to four years, ranges between INR 10,000 – INR 7,50,000.


Golden Tip

If you think you can’t afford your desired college’s fancy fees – talk to the faculty about scholarships and student aid. Otherwise, you can even pursue banks for educational loans with or without a mortgage.

To get an idea of what the college has to offer in terms of subjects, you need to go through the curriculum – often found on the website.

Photography is the art and science of visual expression and creation – the course material will revolve around colour and composition, lighting, and photo history.

Other specialised subjects include –

  • Mass communication
  • Digital photography
  • Fashion photography
  • Photojournalism
  • Food photography
  • Media laws and ethics
  • Print Media
  • Product Photography
  • Media marketing and much more!

There are several educational options to choose from –

  • Degree in Photography – BA
  • Degree in Photography – BSc
  • Diploma in Photography
  • Master’s in Photography

Many factors influence the salary of a photographer, for example –

  • Your place of residence – Is the standard of living in your city very high? Which category does it fall under – rural or urban? All of these will be the deciding factors in determining your salary.
  • What is your past work experience? As you grow your clientele and fine-tune your skills, you can charge more for your services or demand a higher paycheck from your employer.
  • Full-time or Freelancing – The number of hours you invest in photography as a freelancer will determine your salary.
  • What will be your area of expertise? – Your salary will differ depending on whether you’re a travel photographer, wildlife photographer, wedding photographer, fashion photographer, etc.

However, the average starting salary of a photographer in India is INR 3,52, 024, annually – this figure goes on to increase with each year of experience added to your Career in photography.


With the growing demand for visual means for marketing, social media, and other platforms, the scope of photography sees no limits.

  • Food Photographer
  • Social Media Influencer
  • Product Photography
  • E-commerce
  • Industrial Designers

While we have already spoken about the current scope and types of photography careers, the future of this industry is very bright. Here are a few developments that you can expect in the coming years so that you can also adapt and pick the right photography career path for you.

Immersive Photography While this type of photography has been around for over 200 years, it is only recently that it has moved from being purely 2 and 3 Dimensional to be more immersive. With 360 camera technology, you can now create photos that your audience can walk around and even touch. Virtual Reality (VR) has been able to bring science fiction to life with the metaverse.

Constant Connectivity From having to tether your camera to a PC with a cable to having options like Mirrorless and DSLR cameras that come equipped with WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC that allow you to directly transfer your pictures, camera technology has come a long way. This will make sharing pictures an easier task.

Vintage Photography Even in the world of digital photography, film photography has started a slow rise in popularity. The authenticity, nostalgia, and pure old school-charm of these photographs are irresistible.

  • Express your internal creativity – Make a connection among the ideas going on in your mind, and you will come up with a unique creation. Practice this until it becomes a habit!
  • Create contacts – Develop your connection with other photographers and learn from their experience. Break the barriers of comfort and start socialising – listen to all the advice that comes forth and rationalise it to sharpen your photography skills. Joining professional photographer associations can help you gain more knowledge and give you a head start in your photography career.
  • Portfolio Portfolio! – Flaunt your work – it’s the only way you can create a sea of potential clients. And don’t be afraid of the feedback; it’ll make you even better.
  • Develop your website, Instagram, Facebook, Blog, and Twitter – What’s more enticing than creating a website that has all your work? Keep your work alive by posting about it on social media platforms. And you will see the magic of increasing outreach.

Hard work, packed with creativity, a dash of resilience and the spirit of making it big, is what will take you to your dream place in the world of photography. Know the journey of well-known photographers like Daboo Ratnani, Darren Centofanti, Dayanita Singh, and many others and learn from their experiences. You never know; maybe a few years down the line, you’ll be shooting for Vogue, Grazia, National Geographic, or one of the many other profound industry names like these.

If you feel you are ready to enter the life of a photographer, you can commence your journey with Seamedu. This institute was founded with the goal to bridge the gap between industry and academia. The experienced faculty, state-of-the-art technology, and meticulously programmed photography courses we offer will surely help you build a successful Career in photography.

While the information listed here is research-based with the best attempts to keep it accurate and reliable, the actuals may vary according to the course curriculum, facilitylocation, an individual’s specialisation, experience, current industry scenario, economic conditions, and several other factors. We do not recommend or endorse any views expressed within the third-party information contained here. Employment opportunities or any included salary figures are not guaranteed.