How to become a Photographer?


Do you enjoy capturing every moment of your life? Do you like to travel and see the world through an artist’s eyes? If you answered yes, you could easily become a photographer because the most successful photographers feel the same way. The famous American photographer Steve McCurry once said, “My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.”

Photography is an art form that requires a great deal of practice and perseverance. Photographers create images/pictures that tell a story, convey an internal message, or document an event. A career as a photographer requires both technical and artistic skills.

Do you aspire to be a photographer or are you just exploring the field? In either case, you’ve come to the right place! This blog discusses the skills required, colleges and courses, salary, and what else it takes to become a photographer. Follow the step-by-step guide about how to become a photographer.

Who is a Photographer?

A photographer is a professional artist who creates artistic or commercial-quality images with digital or film cameras for a variety of purposes.

Learn more: How to become a wildlife photographer

How to become a Photographer? [4 Step Guide]

Step 1: Stream to select

Photography courses are available regardless of whether you choose the Science, Arts, or Commerce streams.

Step 2: Certification courses and project courses

The certification courses listed below can help you become a photographer.

  • Digital Photography
  • Photography Course Online
  • iPhone & Android Photography Course
  • Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing
  • Diploma in Photography
  • Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography
  • Introduction to Digital Photography
  • Photography Composition & Portrait Photography Masterclass
  • Beginner Nikon Digital SLR (DSLR) Photography
  • Fashion and Glamour Photography
  • Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR Specialization
  • Camera, Exposure and photography
  • Seeing Through Photographs
  • Fundamentals of Digital Image and Video Processing
  • How To Be a Pretty Professional Outdoor and Nature Photographer
  • Online Photography Classes
  • FREE Introductory Photography Course

Step 3: Educational qualifications

Candidates must have completed their 12th in any stream. A degree, diploma, or certificate in photography courses is a plus. Academic qualifications are less important than skills.

How to become a photographer after 10th?

To become a great photographer, you must have both technical and creative abilities. Colours, images, lighting, and other elements must pique your interest and expertise. Students in India who have completed class 10 are eligible to enrol in the courses listed below. The courses cover photography, angles, and lighting, as well as technical knowledge of tools like cameras and an understanding of fine arts.

  • Courses to become a photographer:
ITI Digital Photography3 yearsUpto ₹1,00,000
Diploma courses in Photography1-2 years₹65,000 to ₹5,00,000
Certificate courses1 -12 months₹30,000 to ₹50,000
  • Top institutes in India:
Name of InstitutionLocation
Government Industrial Training InstitutePune
Advanced Training InstituteLudhiana
Le Mark School of ArtMumbai
Morph AcademyChandigarh
Pixel Institute of PhotographyNew Delhi
Advanced Training InstituteKolkata
Institute for Photography ExcellenceGujarat

How to become a photographer after 12th?

  • To become a photographer In India

After 12th, the best way to become a professional photographer is to pursue a degree, diploma, or certificate in this field. A photography degree or diploma course teaches you skills, expertise, and knowledge that will help you become a professional photographer.

  • Diploma course to become a photographer in India:
Diploma in Advertising and Commercial Photography1-2 years
Diploma in Digital Photography1-2 years
Diploma in Photography and Cinematography1-2 years
Diploma in Fashion Photography1-2 years
PG Diploma in Photography1-2 years
Diploma in Photography and Digital Imaging1-2 years
Diploma in Digital Cinematography1-2 years
Diploma in Professional Photojournalism1-2 years
Professional Diploma in Art of Photography1 year
Professional Diploma in Wildlife Photography1 year
Professional Diploma in Travel Photography1 year
Professional Diploma in Photojournalism1 year
Professional Diploma in Product Photography1 year
Professional Diploma in Architecture Photography1 year
  • Top institutes offering diploma courses to become a photographer in India:
Name of InstitutionLocation
Creative Hut Institute Of PhotographyKerala
Delhi College of PhotographyDelhi
National Institute of Photography, MumbaiMaharashtra
Light and Life AcademyTamil Nadu
YMCA Centre of Mass MediaDelhi
Jaipur National UniversityRajasthan
Allahabad University – University of AllahabadUttar Pradesh
Tilak Maharashtra VidyapeethMaharashtra
RIMT UniversityPunjab
Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and CommunicationDelhi
Sources: 1, 2
  • UG courses to become a photographer in India:
BA Photography3 years
BA Visual Arts and Photography3 years
BFA Photography3-4 years
BFA Photography and Visual Communication4 years
B.Sc. Photography and Video Visual Production3 years
B.Sc. in Photography and Cinematography3 years
B.Voc Photography and Videography3 years
B.Voc DIP Photography and Videography3 years
BA Multimedia and Forensic Photography3 years
B.Voc Photography and Animation3 years
  • Top UG colleges to become a photographer in India:
Name of InstitutionLocation
Indian Institute of Digital Art and AnimationWest Bengal
Osmania UniversityTelangana
Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts UniversityTelangana
Asian Academy of Film and TelevisionUttar Pradesh
ICAT Design and Media CollegeTamil Nadu
Dr Annasaheb GD Bendale Mahila MahavidyalayaMaharashtra
Vivekanand CollegeMaharashtra
Seamedu School of Pro-ExpressionismMaharashtra
Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Arts and ScienceKerala
NS Patel Arts CollegeGujarat
Sources: 1, 2

Also read: How to become a Videographer

  • To become a photographer abroad

In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, you can study photography as a standalone degree; however, in the United States, you are more likely to major in photography as part of a liberal arts bachelor’s degree; this becomes the main focus of your degree alongside a general education in the arts and humanities.

  • Top courses to become a photographer abroad:
Fundamentals of Digital Photography3 years
Professional Photography3 years
BA in Photography3-4 years
Bachelor of Photography3 years
BFA in Photography3 years
Bachelor of Arts degree in Photography3 years
  • Top colleges to become a photographer abroad:
Name of InstitutionLocation
The New York Institute of PhotographyUnited States
Vevey School of PhotographySwitzerland
Spéos International Photography SchoolFrance
Photography Studies CollegeAustralia
Rodchenko School of Photography and Multi-MediaRussia
Parsons School of DesignUnited States
School of the Art Institute of ChicagoUnited States
Istituto Europeo di DesignItaly
Tokyo Zokei UniversityJapan
Accademia ItalianaItaly

Step 4: How to prepare for the job?

  • Find a photography mentor: Attend photography lectures, exhibitions, and seminars. At these events, you’ll meet a lot of photographers and get a lot of answers from them.
  • Internships: Internships allow students to participate in photographic workshops and fieldwork to learn about the technical, creative, and logistical aspects of photography in the studio and on location.
  • Put together the right set of cameras, lenses and photography equipment: While you will need the proper equipment to capture high-quality images, don’t go overboard and buy every fancy photography gadget you can find.
  • Find your Focus Area: As you learn how to be a photographer, you can choose from a variety of photography specialities. Students typically choose to specialise in one area, such as
  1. Portrait photography
  2. Commercial photography
  3. Scientific and industrial photography
  4. Aerial photography
  5. Fine art photography
  • Build your Photography Portfolio: Having a strong photography portfolio will help you succeed because all potential clients will judge your abilities and talent based on your portfolio.
  • Be Proactive to Find Work and Clients: As a freelance photographer, you must accept that work will not always come to you. You’ll need to be proactive and go out and find paying gigs, especially if you’re new to the business.
    Want to start early? Check out Clever Harvey’s JuniorMBA in Design&Branding program for hands-on experience.
World's very first photograph taken by the scientist Nicéphore Niépce titled 'View from the Window at Le Gras'.
This is the world’s very first photograph taken by the scientist Nicéphore Niépce titled ‘View from the Window at Le Gras’.

9 most important skills for becoming a photographer

  • Artistic skills
  • Technical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Close attention to detail
  • Organisation
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity and Imagination
  • Patience and Flexibility
  • Master Visual Editing Software

Salary of a Photographer

In India

An entry-level photographer with less than one year of experience can expect to earn an annual compensation (tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of ₹3,04,283.



The following are some entry-level photographer salaries from around the world.

CountryAnnual Salary
United States$43,905
United Kingdom£26,583
Canada$49,068 (CAD)
Australia$60,686 (AUD)
NorwayKR 390,700

Top 10 recruiters in India

  • Getty Images
  • Lifetouch
  • OCUS
  • WorldWide Photography
  • Mom365
  • Classic Photographers
  • Bella Baby Photography
  • Photogenic
  • CYS Group (WA)


Top 10 recruiters abroad

  • CNN
  • Associated Press
  • New York Times
  • Amazon
  • NBCUniversal
  • The E.W. Scripps Company
  • Gannett
  • Tribune Media
  • Sinclair Broadcast Group


More about photographers?

If you’ve arrived at this point in the blog, it can only mean one thing: you like photographers and may one day become one yourself! As a bonus, a few Instagram accounts of a few photographers are included here. Check them out and have fun exploring more!

  • @brahmino
  • @witchoria
  • @macenzo
  • @janske
  • @asasjostromphotography
  • @daveyoder
  • @thiswildidea
  • @mikekus
  • @danrubin
  • @darrelljoness

Photography is a never-ending learning experience; even seasoned professionals find new ways to push themselves. Whether it’s learning new business skills or taking on unique photography projects, keep looking for ways to improve your abilities. Best wishes on your photographic journey, and happy clicking!

Day in the life of a Cinematographer

FAQs related to how to become a photographer

How do I get started in photography?

Ans: To begin your career as a photographer, follow the steps below:
1. Find your inspiration
2. Get a good camera
3. Learn and develop your photography skills
4. Learn photo editing
5. Find a mentor
6. Experiment with different types of photography
7. Attend workshops

What to study to become an photographer?

Ans: There are no specific educational requirements for becoming a professional photographer. The majority of photographers are self-taught, though some have degrees in film, visual art, or design. Photojournalists frequently have journalism degrees or significant field experience.

Do photographers earn good money?

Ans: A good photographer can earn between 80,000 and 1 lakh per month.

Is photography a good career?

Ans: The future of photography is brilliant! Photography is a thriving industry that is not going away anytime soon. If you want to work as a professional photographer in India, now is the time!

Is it hard to learn photography?

Ans: Without some background knowledge, it can be difficult to understand all of the photography-related terms and concepts, which can slow your learning curve. With some research into articles, tutorials, videos, and hands-on shooting, you’ll soon have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of photography.

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