We all know 3 idiots, and how one character left a lucrative job opportunity for a wildlife photography position in the climax – with all the melodrama preceding and following. That should, eventually, make it easier for children to follow their dream of this alternate career, and give a try to what they really want to do in life. Sadly, the answer is an ironic NO. Photography, like other art forms, remains a much neglected option as a career. To the doctors, engineers, we have added MNC slaves and some others as respectable jobs.
Some years back, I was reading an article on entrepreneurship and why it’s not popular in India – because important things like settling down in a stable job, marriage, etc are more important than the life of a human and the wishes of its heart. Photography carries the burden of title freelancer apart from the already cursed entrepreneurship model in the world. Let’s take a look at the various options in photography as a career in the country.
- Wildlife Photography
Since we started with 3 idiots, we have to begin with wildlife photography. Count the number of wildlife photographers you know from India. I’m assuming that since you came to this article, you must have an interest in photography. You barely need your fingers to count. Why? Wildlife photography is a hobby for the rich – and nowhere close to being a career choice.
- Wedding Photography
Some of the talented, creative, and hardworking wedding photographers earn a fortune during the season. And then spend it all in the off-season. Oh wait, that’s not the point. The point here is that you will always be considered an inferior being, even if you earn four times as much as an MNC guy during the financial year. You don’t have a respectable career. You don’t have foreign bosses, but your own. You aren’t indirectly helping someone from the other country earn more.
- Fashion Photography
This is my genre. And I can tell more freely. The prejudice considering this specialty is far more trivial. I’ve often been asked what happens to the models after the shoot. Do foreign models provide any extra service? Call me for assistance for any model shoot. For the outside world, fashion photographers have far more responsibility than just clicking pictures which can sell a story or a product. Ironically, this isn’t gender specific. They believe every male model is gay – and is open to adventure.
Okay, enough of the public perception. I’ve been doing photography for a decent time, have a decent experience, and can give an advice to everyone out there – to venture into photography only if you are fired enough to do the job. If you’re lucky, you will have partial support. There’s enough money to be made, there’s enough respect to be earned, there’s enough fame to be gained – only if you stay true to the art and forget everything else. One more thing, you need to market yourself well. But first, grab any camera, or even a phone, and start your journey. The earlier you start, the better.
[Written By Raghav Gautam]