If you want to be a travel photographer and do not know where to start, you are in the right place. We are here to thoroughly guide you on how to become a travel photographer in India. Travel photography is now one of the most desired activities during tours. It is even beneficial among photographers. It is a genre that is combined of all the skills and techniques in photography while traveling. And India is the wonderland for it. So, let’s dive into the discussion.
India is a place of beauty
India is one of the most desired countries to visit. Its beauty is incomparable. Even if it is a third-world country, people are drawn to it, and every year, millions of people visit it in group. The reason lies in its geographic position and, of course, the historical evolution. India is the only country in the world with deserts, mountains, oceans, rainforest, snowfall all within its boundaries. Needless to mention, the historical and archeological beauty of India is just as rich. From India gate to Taj mahal, from Calcutta to Kerala, from mandir to adventure activities, India has everything that would delight a tourist. The diversity in cultures and regions makes it more beautiful for a wholesome experience.
The benefit of being a travel photographer in India:
The question may come up that is it beneficial to be a travel photographer in India? Well, the answer would be yes. The count of people visiting India every year is above 11 million. The tourists tend to seize their chance of getting a picture-perfect capture of their experience. This is why the world of art and creativity adore India. The most beautiful and unique captures always catch the eye of art enthusiasts. They are always willing to pay a generous amount of money for acquiring a unique click. India is the best place for the inspiration of the aesthetic, lively and unique pictures. Even street photography while traveling, capturing common people’s life is an eye-catcher for many.
Let’s talk numbers now. According to “India Today,” a beginner travel photographer’s starting salary is an average of $5000, which is just a beginner’s paygrade. A regularly experienced photographer’s earning can be up to $30k on average. Yes, that is right; numbers never lie. Travel photography is one of the most profitable backgrounds for photographers. If it is beneficial or not, yes, it is beneficial and the greatest opportunity of all. Photography skills in India can never go to waste.
How to become a travel photographer in India?
Being a travel photographer takes much more than one set of skills or techniques. It is the combination of landscape, street, portrait, environmental portrait and even architectural photography. So let’s not delay anymore and jump right into the steps to be one.
1. Start small and find a niche:
Wanting to be a travel photographer, India is full of opportunities. India is a place you can start anywhere. But as a beginner in the region and even in this profession, it is better to start small. We already know travel photography is a combination of Every type of photography (landscape, portrait, street, nature, candid, archaeological, aesthetic etc). So, start practicing the skills while traveling around the area you live. This way, you will be able to figure out which type of photography you are most comfortable and good at. That is your niche as a travel photographer. You can rate yourself while doing so, understand your style and build on it. This is how you can get plenty of practice to perfect your hands in every niche too.
2. Do proper research and work smart:
If you are confident that India is the place you want to work with, before hopping on the airplane, you must do your proper research about it. What are the most attractive and alluring places there? What do people crave of India? And look into the opportunities of travel photography in India. There are so many. Also, being familiar with the Indian demographics, geographical position of it and its cities. Everything there is to know about the country is research material for you. It can be political or economic knowledge; everything is relevant to a travel photographer.
It would help if you always kept in mind that the pictures you take now, you must keep uploading your best work to the relative sites and your blogs to reach out to more people and make Them familiar with your work. This is the first step of starting to build up your brand. This is how you make smart choices. Because the last thing you want is to step into a profession or another profession cluelessly. You need to make this your ground if you wish to work here.
3. Recheck resources:
Rechecking and sorting resources is one of the very important steps. We are going out of our limb and say you already know which equipment you will use. So, you just need to reevaluate the equipment. Camera/phone-lenses, Tripod, cards, charger, backup battery; The things are easily carriable. And the research journal, laptop, card reader for data transfer and necessary accessories; optional though. You cannot go with some things if you are a photographer, especially when you are a travel photographer. It will be best if you carry some filters and different types of lenses for better sight capturing. So, recheck and sort all your equipment and accessories before leaving. In this way, there will not be any chance of pitfalls or backstepping.
4. Gather experience on your own:
Now that you know almost everything about India, your personal skills and niches, it is time actually to hop on that plane to India. But has your job here started yet? Well, no. Actually, it is the time when you earn yourself some personal and professional experience. Here, you will need to invest your time and resources and exploit your potential. Traveling around India and getting familiar with the places would be one part of it. And the other part is taking those pictures of you. You can take pictures for your professional portfolio.
Pro tip: India is filled with natural and every other kind of beauty. But it is the most commonly visited place. All the familiar places to visit, all the common tourist spots will not be news to people. Therefore always look for angles and unique places to take pictures of. And use different methods to take pictures of commonplaces. This will put a weight on your portfolio.
5. Set up a portfolio:
At this point, it is time to set up your portfolio. The portfolio is the most important element while building up a career as a photographer. A photographer portfolio is documentation of all the great works of photographers. A detailed list of their experience, qualifications and, most significantly, the pictures captured by them. While setting up the portfolio, you must keep in mind that you must add all the best work. In this case, pictures taken in India would be most preferable. Your portfolio will be the only document potential affiliates would be interested in seeing and get in contact with you. So be as creative as possible while you are at it.
Tools you will need to use in photography:
We talked about rechecking resources before leaving for India. But what do you actually need to be a travel photographer?
Let’s find out.
Main equipment: the most significant piece of equipment you need is camera and camera lenses. for traveling, carrying a lightweight DSLR or a mirrorless camera should do the work for you. But for different effects, you can use Prime lenses, zoom lenses (basic lenses) then there are Telephoto Lenses, Wide Angle Lenses, Specialty Lenses.
Some other necessary are extra battery, memory card, tripod, card reader, flashes, laptop, cables, SD card memory case, travel camera backpack, GPS watch or any GPS device.
To carry everything with protection, you will also need a quality suitcase or luggage.
How to Make Money from Travel Photography?
There are many opportunities to make decent money from this line of work. It all starts with promoting your work. Then you can make money from sources. But you need to know how that is first. So let’s look into that.
- Selling online and Writing & blogging about photography: Selling photos online and writing blogs have to be the first approach. You can reach out in freelance art selling sites to put up advertisements for selling. The websites take care of the print and shipping formalities.
- Patreon/build a brand: Patreon is a privilege given to subscribed audiences for early access to update and exclusive content. It is an effective way to create and grow the brand name. Also, a fair source of income. The subscription fee is usually very low, so people get attracted to exclusive content even more.
- Sign up for contract work and Affiliate with businesses and products: when your brand name is created, the businesses sign up contracts with you. If your work is good you get sponsored and all you have to do is show their product of place through your travel photography.
- Teaching photography: this is the most effective and certain way to make money off the career. Tech the newcomers and pass on the knowledge. Give speeches and lectures in the respective field. But for this, you need to build up an image by working hard and creating a good reputation.
What degree/courses do you need to be a travel photographer?
There is a concern that might come to your mind, which is qualification. Do you need to have any educational or skill qualifications for entering this arena? Well, the answer is no you do not. But you do not necessarily need to graduate with a photography major. If you have the talent and passion, you can start anywhere you want. But photography courses are beneficial for skill development. And the parties evaluating your portfolio may find them impressive if you include some of the course credits. It is not compulsory, but it would not hurt having one to put weight to your name. If you are a student now and extremely passionate about building a photography career, it is highly recommended to get your undergraduate degree in photography. That is the right way to do it from the.
How much does a travel photographer earn in India?
The most decorated travel photographer in India earns about $57000 a year. But that is data for the future. As a beginner’s salary India Today claims it is around $5000 yearly and rising. A professional, established travel photographer in India can make on average $30k a year.
What skills does a travel photographer need?
Skills necessary in this specific profession are:
- Creative outlook
- Technical photography skills
- Attention to detail
- Strong networking skill
- Good communication skills
- Patience and concentration
- Passion and flexibility etc
Travel photography is a creative profession that requires a lot of patience, outdoor tolerance and, most importantly, passion. If you got it, you are ready to evaluate the opportunities. And this is where we come in. So it would be best if you started small and invest time in skill development and research work to build up the portfolio. The more creative and unique your work will be, the more people would be interested in your work, and you will attract contracts and art enthusiasts.