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 several, then you should know that photography is an art of expression – when you capture a picture the camera is your paint brush, 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 career?

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

Well, the growth of e-commerce, fashion, advertising, media, and travel industries, has led to the rise in demand for skilled photographers.

What is photography and who is a photographer?

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

What’s the role of a photographer?

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

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 the previous work done are some of the elements that contribute to the successful marketing of a photographer.
  • Composing images – Analyzing, arranging, and planning the elements in an image that align with the core idea or goal of the picture is called 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, knowledge about the line, shape, form, texture, pattern, color, and space.
  • Maintaining and developing quality – Using appropriate developing and editing tools to enhance picture quality and appearance is one of the most important roles of a photographer.

What are the skills required by a good photographer?

  • An eye for detail – It’s no doubt that a photographer needs artistic abilities, but the essence of photography is in the 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 refer 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 pursue your dream career path.

How to recognize whether you’re fit for a career in photography?

You have artistic abilities to capture moments at the right place and right time.

  • 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

What are the skills you will develop as you go down the photography career path? 

  • 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.

What is the scope of photography?

Earlier students were hesitant to take up photography as a career path, maybe due to the false assumption of uncertain jobs that come in. But, now in the age of digitization, the scope of photography is humongous. Here are all your answers associated with the scope of photography.

Which cities across the world provide photography career opportunities?

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

  • New York
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Mexico
  • Columbia
Source: Bureau of labor and statistics

What is the scope of photography in India?

With Kashmir as the north’s crown, the mesmerizing coastlines, the majestic forests, and the impeccable beauty that India offers, the scope of photography in this country sees no bounds.

To start off you can practice your photography skills in –

  • 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.

Which industries have the highest paying job roles for photography?

  • 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 capturing 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!

What is the eligibility for pursuing a career in photography?

You are 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.

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

What are the job roles after the degree in photography?

A professional career in photography requires extensive knowledge about modern imaging technology, and the 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 work on specific locations, depending on the work. 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 human eye. They document diverse aspects to demonstrate technicalities and record experiments. Moreover, scientific photographers are well-versed with 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 organizations market their products and services, commercial photography offers a range of career opportunities. Commercial photographers capture –

    • Building (construction sites)
    • Merchandise
    • Company employees
    • Catalogs for media
    • Advertisement material
    • Visuals for websites
    • Client reports and records
  • Photojournalism
  • Photojournalists or news journalists work for magazines, news sources (paper and digital), and other publications. And, 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 proceed.

  • 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, publications, whether online or offline. Feature photographers specialize in specific areas like wildlife, travel, sports, etc.

Which areas of photography have good scope in India?

 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 marvelous portfolio, you can surely earn good money. That’s not it – with the increase of 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 fashion brands are entering into 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 realized the importance of setting a good portfolio. This led to the rise in demand for photographers – often required to click impressive pictures of new office spaces, buildings, and houses.

What are the factors you should consider while choosing a photography school?

Designed to match every student’s career goals – 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 a 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 an insight into their learnings. Look for the institute’s accreditations 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 go through their experience, their career as a photographer, 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 – Analyze whether the college you wish to study has any entrance-exam If yes, then prepare for it!

What is the course fee for photography institutes?

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

In 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.


What does the college curriculum look like?

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 color and composition, lighting, and photo history.

Other subjects include –

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

Which course can you pursue to get certified as a professional photographer?

There are several educational options to choose from –

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

How much do photographers make?

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 for determining your salary.
  • What is your past work experience? As you grow your clientele you can charge more for your services or demand for 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? – Depending on whether you’re a travel photographer, wildlife photographer, wedding photographer, fashion photographer, etc. your salary will differ.

However, the average salary of a photographer in India is INR 352, 024, annually – this figure goes on increasing with each year of experience added to your career.


What are the other associated career paths 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

Four Tips for A Successful Career in Photography

  • 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 socializing – listen to all the advice that come forth and rationalize them to sharpen your photography skills.
  • 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, 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 your famous 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, and 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, the institute was founded with the goal to bridge the gap between the industry and academia. The experienced faculty, state-of-the-art technology, and meticulously programmed photography courses will surely help you build a successful career!

Disclaimer :

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, facility-location, and an individual’s specialization, 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.