A profession that was borne out of a hobby, evolved as an art form into a high- end lucrative profession
Eyes like a shutter, mind like a lens, is what one may require to be successful in this profession. Photography was once just regarded as a hobby but, today, has changed into a high- end lucrative profession. Regarded as an art form and having limitations, with the evolution of technology, photography too has established a strong base for itself. Although, it is very important for one to understand this profession before delving into it and calling oneself a ‘ photographer.’
Dabboo Ratnani is one of the leading photographers in India and his most notable work is his annual calendar which is also one of the biggest showbiz events. His journey into the profession was not a cake walk either and took him years to establish himself but passion and persistence brought him a long way. “I started very young and enjoyed my work. I did my graduation through correspondence and assisted Sumeet Chopra for four years which changed my perception towards photography from a hobby to being a profession.” Changing his initial plans to join his father’s retail business, Ratnani became a photographer at the age of 22. In 1993, he assisted Sanjay Gupta, a film director to shoot campaigns for his films and says, “There was no looking back since then.” While talking about the essence of photography, he says, “Most often magazines are sold for their cover pictures.” The profession which is no more an art form, involves much more than creativity,” he says.
The profession requires consistency, and focus. One may also become a freelancer and set up a studio but the assignments one gets may depend on the excel- lence of their work. Ratnani says, “It’s a business process which has an art to it.”
Amateur photographers who indulge in photography as a hobby have the internet to their advantage. Abhishek Maurya, an amateur photographer and communication executive says, “Photography is a recent discovery and it’s something I have a passion for.” He doesn’t have the right equipment, instead uses his phone to click images. “I’m not sure about the equipment but according to me, it’s the angle of an image that matters,” he says. Although Ratnani insists that one should invest and look at it as an asset as it help capture a perfect image.
Enrolling in an institute is an option, as not everyone gets an opportunity like Ratnani to assist established photogra- phers. There are a few media institutes that offer courses in photography but one should make sure that the course teaches students the qualities required to be a good photographer. Kurt Inderbitzin, chief operating officer, Annapurna International School of Film and Media ( AISFM) in Hyderabad says, “Even though our academy is new but our global standards, world- class alumni network and quality education aims to produce quality professionals that the market demands.” AISFM is India’s first private and not- for- profit institute which also has the largest and best- equipped campus. Inderbitzin adds that after pursuing photography, one also has the option of branching out into Cinematography. This is an option but the change may be a challenge for some and it is not necessary that good photographers would be good cinematographers too “It depends on individuals and the passion they feel towards their profession,” he says.
Photography demands passion and persistence for one to succeed.