Rajan Chaughule, director of the Bharati Vidyapeeth School of Photography, Pune, says: “In 2011 we started offering courses leading to a diploma in photography. Feedback from students revealed that many wanted to continue their studies abroad, where a diploma / certificate course did not give them weight. Thus, in 2018, we introduced regular three-year diploma courses, with 50 places in BA (Commercial Photography) and 25 places in BA (Photography and Cinematography).
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Since the introduction of the course, these two programs have registered a constant admission of 80 to 85% of the total capacity, he adds.
Ravi Dhingra, lifestyle photographer and visiting professor at various institutes, says: “Many independent photography schools and multidisciplinary institutes offer a variety of diploma and certificate programs in photography lasting from six months to one year. In recent years, the demand for these courses has grown steadily.
Chaughule says that in the first year of the course, students learn all the basic aspects of photography. “In the second year, they learn specific fields, in particular photography in fashion, food, portraiture, industry, products, etc. In the final year, students choose their area of specialization for their portfolio, which counts for the maximum portion of their final grades, ”he explains.
Short-term programs have a similar course structure, taking place over a period of six months or a year, adds Dhingra.
Eligibility, fee structure
Students graduating from Class XII are eligible to apply for a photography course, Chaughule explains. “They have to have a portfolio that lets us know that they are really interested in art,” he adds.
Higher education in photography requires an investment in the form of a camera, laptop, and associated software, making it a slightly expensive option for students. “Our tariff structure is Rs 12 lakh for three years. Students are also required to bring a basic camera and laptop. We know this number is slightly high, but our goal is to admit serious students about a career in photography. Higher fees would guarantee that, ”explains Chaughule.
Dhingra says that any good photography course would cost students between Rs 2½ and 4 lakh. “However, that cost doesn’t include the cost of a good camera and laptop,” he says.
Dhingra says, “Various professionals come to photography institutes as guest lecturers. They serve as a window for the student to the various career options available. Few are even taken as interns. Once they have learned from the experts, the students set off to establish their name in the industry.
Chaughule says that each year the institute holds a photography exhibition, where students present their best work. “Experts from all facets of the industry come to the show. They can hire students for a particular assignment or even as assistants, ”he says.
Dhingra and Chaughule agree that taking a job is not a financially viable option for photography students. “A job would pay a minimum. While spending the first few years of training with an industry expert is a good idea, photography students know they will have to fend for themselves. Good photographers can earn up to Rs 50-60,000 immediately upon graduation, depending on the type of assignment they manage to get, ”Chaughule explains.