“In 2011, we started offering diploma courses in photography,” said Rajan Chowgule, director, Bharati Vidyapeeth School of Photography, Pune. Responded from students that many of them wanted to pursue further education abroad, where a diploma / certificate course did not benefit them. Thus, in 2018, we launched a three-year regular degree course with 50 seats in BA (Commercial Photography) and 25 seats in BA (Photography and Cinematography). ”
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Since the introduction of the degree course, 80-85% of the total acceptance capacity has been steadily admitted in these two programs, he added.
Ravi Dhingra, a lifestyle photographer and visiting faculty at various institutes, said, “Many independent photography schools and multidisciplinary institutes offer six-month to one-year long diploma and certificate programs in photography. Over the last few years, the demand for these courses has grown steadily. ”
Chaughule said that in the first year of the degree course, students are taught all the basic aspects of photography. “In the second year, they are taught about specific streams, including photography, fashion, food, portraits, art, products and much more. In their final year, students choose their field of specialization for their portfolio, which counts for the most part of their final score, ”he said.
Short-term programs have a similar course structure, which is crunched within six months or a year, Dhingra adds.
Qualifications, fee structure
Students in the 12th grade are eligible to apply for a degree course in photography, Chagule said. “They need to have a portfolio that lets us know that they are really interested in the industry,” he added.
Higher education in photography requires investment in the form of a camera, laptop and related software, which makes it a slightly more expensive option for students. “Our fee structure is Rs 12 lakh for three years. Students will also need to bring a basic camera and laptop. We know it’s a bit more, but our focus is to get students to take seriously about careers in photography. A higher fee will ensure this, ”Chaghule said.
Dhingra says a good photography course will cost students between Rs 26 lakh and Rs 4 lakh. “However, this cost does not include the cost of a good camera and laptop,” he says.
Dhingra said, “Various professionals come to the Institute of Photography as guest lecturers. They serve as a student window into the various available career options. Some are even taken as interns. Once they learn from the experts, the students go on to establish their name in the industry. ”
Chaughule says that every year, the institute organizes a photo exhibition, where students showcase their best work. “Experts from all walks of life come to the exhibition. They can hire students for a specific assignment or even as assistants, ”he said.
Dhingra and Chaghule both agree that taking a job is not a financially viable option for photography students. “A job will pay the minimum wage. Spending an initial few years training with an industry expert is a good idea, as photography students know they have to strike on their own. Good photographers can earn up to Rs 50,000-60,000 as soon as they complete their education, depending on the type of assignment they can get, ”said Chaghule.
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