Pursuing arts as a career is a dream come true for most people. This is especially true for the youth of India who is encouraged to pursue either engineering or medicine right since the time they are in their mother’s womb! A career in fashion, journalism, and photography has been considered unstable up until now, but that thought process is gradually evolving.
It is sensible to research about a career before you choose to pursue it. What if you leave a stable career path behind only to pursue something that you might not enjoy in the future?
With that in mind, we’ve listed a few pros and cons of photography as a career.
1. Freedom and flexibility
Most photographers choose to work as freelancers rather than work with companies. This gives them the freedom to choose the projects they want to work on and the numbers of hours they want to put in behind their craft each day.
Talk to anyone who holds a regular 9-to-5 desk job and they will tell you that they find it next to impossible to get leaves or leave early from office if they want to socialize with their family and friends.
Working as a photographer will free you of these limitations. This profession also allows you to embrace your creativity at your terms. For instance, you might hate shooting weddings, but you might be crazy about wildlife photography. Depending on your likes and dislikes, you can choose the projects you want to take.
According to Soumya Sankar Bose, a documentary photographer, he’s happy with his lifestyle because he chooses his own topics, does his own research and doesn’t need to follow someone else’s orders or instructions. That sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
2. You get paid to do what you love
Photography is not something most students are encouraged to pursue as a profession. Several people, at least in India, practice it as a hobby. So, if you are the odd one who gets to do what you love, you should consider yourself lucky!
And what’s more? You not only get to turn your passion into your profession, but you also get paid for it!
The average pay of a photographer is INR 700 per hour. With experience, this number could easily go up to INR 2000 per hour. (Source: Payscale)
3. Unending potential
Whoever said that it’s difficult to make a decent income as a photographer didn’t know what they were talking about. From shooting weddings and birthday parties to wildlife and travel photography, there is no limit to the things you can get paid to click through your camera.
4. Action and adventure
If spending 5 days every week in front of a computer screen isn’t a way of life you’re willing to accept, allow photography to come to your rescue. This profession has the power to thrill and scare you all at once.
Rathika Ramasamy is arguably one of India’s foremost wildlife photographers. She is passionate about birds specializes in bird photography.
In documenting birds through her photographs, she has developed a style of technical excellence combined with a captivating story. She has travelled to most of the National parks in India, and has also been to national parks in Africa.
1. Good cameras and gear don’t come cheap
A good camera won’t define your photography skills, but it sure will enhance them. If you want to offer the best to your clients and keep them coming back for more, you need to be willing to invest in expensive technology.
To give you an idea, a Nikon entry-level DSLR camera costs at least INR 65,000. A good quality 50mm lens will cost you nothing less than INR 10,000. And then there is other equipment like tripods, memory cards, and lens filters you need to invest in. All photographers need to own this essential photography gear. To put it simply, being a photographer comes with a price tag.
While a 9-to-5 work culture can be extremely taxing, one cannot deny the fact that it allows you to work with other people, interact, and bond with them.
On the other hand, a career in photography is for the lone wolf.
Yes, you meet more people that you otherwise would in an office setting. But, working by yourself won’t allow you to build the same friendships that people who spend eight-plus hours a day together can build.
3. No guaranteed income
As with any freelance career, photography doesn’t guarantee you a fixed income. If the workflow is good, you’ll make more than you expected.
But there will also be times when you will be out of work.
If you want to pursue photography as a profession, you need to be mentally prepared for a time when you will have a lot of money as well as a time when you will have little or no money.
4. You have to do everything
Working in an office will ensure that you have designated duties. You do what is expected of you – nothing more, nothing less.
But when you branch out on your own, you have to look beyond your craft. You will be required to look into your personal finances and tax, correspondence and sales inquiries, making invoices and contracts, photo editing and even social media promotion!
Most of these activities will need to be done at least once a week. And unless you can afford to employ someone to handle these things, you’ll have to do it yourself.
TO SUM UP
If a routine life isn’t meant for you, a career in photography might be your calling. But make sure you weigh the pros and cons of photography before you choose to dive into it head-on!
Found this article interesting? Then find out whether photography as a career has any scope or future in India.