Career Compass

Head towards a 'picture' perfect future

A look at photography as a career choice

Head towards a 'picture' perfect future

Sanjay Arora

With the expansion of scope in various industries and flexibility of academic courses, a majority of students have the option to look beyond the mainstream subjects and explore the field of photography, painting, writing as a career choice. While physics, chemistry, economics have always been the top choices, more creative aspects were considered as a hobby till a few years back. Given the establishment of more institutions that started providing avant-garde courses like the ones on photography, the barriers have been broken and more and more students can opt for such courses nowadays.

Photography is the means of ascertaining the gems amid the mundane surroundings. It’s a form of art that surpasses the workings of the naked eye and captures what is unseen and unfathomable.

As rightly pointed out by renowned photographer Raghu Rai, ‘A photograph has picked up a fact of life, and that fact will live forever.’

Amid the emergence of numerous fields that offer opportunities to hone one’s photography skills, photojournalism is the most prominent one. Apart from that, one can go for wildlife photography, fashion photography, commercial photography, food photography, wedding photography. Freelancing can give you the perfect balance in your professional and personal lives, while giving you the prospects to do what you truly love.


Institute Watch

All over India, various prestigious institutes provide professional courses in photography. Some of these are:

                            1. International Institute of Mass Media, Delhi

                            2. Institute of Mass Communication, Manipal

                            3. Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi

                            4. Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia University

                            5. Academy for Photographic Excellence, Delhi

                            6. Asian Academy of Film and Television, Noida

                           7. Film and Television Institute of India, Pune

                           8. YMCA Centre for Mass Media, Delhi

A two-year Associate Degree in Photography is offered at different art institutes. Both Bachelor of Arts in Photography (a four-year course) and Master’s Degree are also available at numerous colleges and universities.

But given the paucity of such institutions in India, the price of such courses is way higher than what a course in sociology or biology may cost. The cost-dimension becomes an obstacle for students from financially vulnerable background. Hence, they tend to compromise on their dreams and move away from the path and take up a more traditional course.


Follow your passion

You may be financially deprived of taking photography courses from a respected institution, or you may find your true vocation at a later stage in life, or you are already involved in some other course, it is never too late to look beyond the existing reality and what could be, if you have the courage to move your feet forward.

Here are some of the ways you can learn about photography without taking up an expensive course:

1. Be at the right place at the right time. Attend photography exhibitions, interviews by eminent photographers, join in photography walks (even if you are a novice), engage with other photographer friends and learn about their journey. It will clear your understanding of how much you want to be involved in this field. The initial step is to understand yourself.

2. Diploma courses are not the only way to learn about photography. Various online photography courses are also available (some of them are free), free photography workshops, which would help you nurture your basic skills such as composition, depth, ISO settings, aperture etc.

3. Plenty of photography blogs are available on the internet, which can polish your fundamental knowledge of the subject. Reading is absolutely mandatory whether or not you opt for a professional course. A range of YouTube videos provides various degrees of knowledge, depending on your level.

4. Practice every day, even if your pictures don’t come anywhere near the level of satisfaction. It is through an array of wrong photographs one can set the right course for oneself.

Moreover, education can rush in from various doors. Don’t be disheartened if you are not being able to take up a professional photography course. Keep your eyes open and your camera ready. Going back to Raghu Rai, we can happily resonate on ‘Skills are never taught, they are acquired. I can give you a camera, but can’t feed your vision.’

The writer is Chief Mentor and CEO of Maven Career Coaching.

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