From being unthinkable to becoming one of the most sought after professions. Kunal Daswani throws light on this glamorous and fulfilling career.

Photography in India is a very viable career option these days. Earlier, it was almost unthinkable to pursue it full time, people thought of it more as a hobby. But now there are vocational courses which give you all the technical knowledge you will need but after that you will need to assist an established photographer and learn on the job because there is a lot more that goes into photography than just taking pictures. Indian photographers are making a name for themselves internationally as well, be it through advertising campaigns or high fashion shoots for international publications. They have widened the scope for up-and-comers and people have realised that it's not just a glamourous career but also very fulfilling as it marries commercial success with creative satisfaction.

Basic qualifications

Well a passion for photography is obviously very important. You can pick up all the skills you need but your creativity is what will get you projects and appreciation. There are a few reputed institutes in India where you can specialise in photography like the Light and Life Academy started by Iqbal in Ooty, and Shaari Academy in Mumbai.

Camera requirements

Most people ask me this same question and I always say the same thing. Photography is not just about what equipment you have. For me personally photography is all about light. The literal meaning of photography means “writing with light” (Photo – light, graphy – writing). So it's not about having the fanciest camera or the latest lighting equipment, you can create great images with just a camera phone and sunlight. Pictures that I have shot with the iPhone have been used commercially on CD labels, brochures & lots of online media. As they say, ‘the best camera is the one you have with you when a photo opportunity presents itself.

Types of photography

There's so much you can do with photography these days. Commercial – or advertising photography is when you work with an advertising agency based on their clients' requirements. So under that there are specialisations like automobiles, food, product and fashion. Fashion photography, in fact, is a whole different field where you shoot fashion spreads for editorials. There's also portrait photography, nature and wildlife photography, interiors, etc.

Lucrative

A good photographer can earn anything from Rs. 50,000 a month, depending on his shoot charges. Of course, it helps when you have a few steady retainer clients. And if you're really good, well, then there's no limit to how much you can make