As much as we’d want it, not every moment of life can be captured and stored in our memory. Thankfully, photographs ease the burden by helping us relive special moments and milestones whenever and wherever we please. Just a glimpse of them can transport us back to the time and place where the picture was taken, and the emotions that moment accompanies become very real.
However, if it’s a way to cage a memory forever, contemporary professional photography is also an art that can take up various forms such as wedding photography, fashion photography, et al. In India, this career field has progressed rather slowly but progressed nonetheless to the place it is today – the demand for fashion photographers has seen a steady surge, replicating the ever-growing fashion industry.
Demand for fashion photographers in India
The idea that fashion photography must be considered a separate professional stream was first proposed by the Parisian fashion houses back in the late 1800s. However, the field was still very elite that not many could enter. Gradually, with the advent of social media, handy and accessible HD-quality cameras, and photo-sharing apps, fashion photography got a whole new meaning.
The demand for professional fashion photographers seeped through to every section of the society across the world, making its way into India via its Fashion Capital – the city that houses the world-famous Bollywood industry, Mumbai. Fashion photographers are needed for magazine shoots, brand advertisements, fashion houses, and media groups.
Aspiring fashion photographers in India can choose from a number of different projects to work for, as discussed below.
- Fashion or beauty editorials
These are the major fashion photography projects involving the use of models in dramatic poses, makeup, and different props as needed. These projects are what people typically think about whenever fashion photography is mentioned. Working on such projects brings high value to a photographer’s portfolio.
- Spec shoot
Such projects require prior planning and thought; spec shoots are not a spur-of-the-moment thing. For such shoots, a photographer must gather a team of models, stylists, and makeup artists and decide on the theme and mood-board beforehand. Once everything comes together perfectly, the idea is then pitched to a publication house with hopes of being published.
- Commercial photography
Commercial photography projects are all about selling a particular product or concept. The specific purpose behind such photoshoots is to make the product at hand so attractive that it generates high revenue for the company or fashion brand in question.
The economic aspect
Now, the amount of money one can generate as a fashion photographer in India significantly depends upon their individual skills, the market condition, whether they choose to go freelancing or work for a fashion brand, as well as the nature of their work. For instance – catalogue photographers usually get paid on a monthly basis, and their payments are usually low when compared to those working for commercial shoots or editorials. Then, working as an assistant to a senior photographer, one may expect a salary that ranges between Rs. 36,000 to Rs. 72,000 per annum. However, this is just until one gains experience and a proper understanding of the field’s demands. Up the career ladder, experience can bag a fashion photographer a starting salary of Rs. 1,20,000 to Rs. 3,60,000 per year. These numbers are only bound to rise with time and practice.
The first step towards establishing a solid fashion photography career in India is to opt for professional courses. Institutions like the Pearl Academy offer professional fashion photography courses in India, wherein students get to enjoy a comprehensive learning model delivered by industry experts and become successful commercial and editorial fashion photographers.