Photography Courses: Certification, Online, Eligibility, Fees, Syllabus 2021

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Ahana Bhaduri

Content Writer | Updated on - Jun 1, 2021

Asia is the second-largest contributor to the global photography market, accounting for 29% of shares. Global Market predicts the photography industry to make INR 36200000000 ($36.2 billion) in 2021.

Photography specializations in the field of sports, events, landscapes, wildlife, and street are gaining popularity worldwide. The current COVID-19 situation has lead to widespread use of the internet and social media, Photographers are expected to benefit from this trend as organizations are increasingly demanding professionally skilled photographers for media communication, public relation, and other professional services.

Photography courses are offered as full-time or part-time courses. Popular full-time degree photography courses include BFA/BA photography, MFA/MA photography courses, along with cinematography, fine arts, and film making as specializations.

Photography Certificate Courses don't require any eligibility criteria, the basic knowledge of colors and camera is an asset. However, The eligibility criteria for candidates who wish to pursue any Photography Courses After 12 is passing class 12 with a 50% aggregate, and a bachelor's degree in photography for postgraduate photography courses. Online Photography Courses are available at certificate and diploma levels, the admissions to which are based on merit.

An entry-level photographer earns an average salary of INR 3,37,065 whereas, a senior-level photographer with 8+ years of experience earns an average salary of INR 5,64,748. The estimated salary for a photographer will increase by 34% within a period of 5 years, as stated in compensation data by SalaryExperts.

All About Photography Courses

Photography Courses are extensively related to the art of capturing images and covers topics such as camera, computer graphics, images, angles, lenses, lightings etc. Photgraphy courses are suited for those who have a creative eye and a passion for photography. Photography Courses are an up and coming courses and the demand for photography courses are expected to grow by 7% by the year 2026.

  • The average photography course fees ranges from INR 35,000 – 2,00,000
  • Admissions to photography courses are done on the basis of merit
  • Photography courses such as Certificate photography courses and Diploma in Photography courses can also be pursued after completing class 12th board exams
  • Photography courses after 12th such as Diploma in Photography courses are the most pursued courses in India
  • The duration of Diploma in Photography courses ranges from 1 – 2 years and an Undergraduate photography course’s duration ranges from 3 – 4 years
  • The average salary received post the completion of photography courses ranges from INR 3,50,000 – 4,50,000 per annum

What are Photography Courses?

Photography courses teach the art of capturing images through the application of the knowledge of light, color, and objects. The admissions to various photography courses such as certificate photography course, UG photography course, and PG photography course are based on the merit of the previous examination. BVP CET is the only entrance exam for master photography courses admission.

Who Should Study Photography Courses?

If you have a knack for photography, be it any kind of photography, and you want a professional that complements your passion, then Photography courses are for you. The demand for photography colleges in India has significantly increased in the past 10 years. Colleges are providing a range of certificate courses to degree courses. 

The in-demand photography courses for a high salary are the fashion photography courses available at different levels. 

Why study Photography Courses?

Today students have a plethora of choices from their plates to take up as a career, and photography courses are the top choices amongst them. Photography courses does not only provide an exciting career opportunity but also it ensures stable career along and an interesting opportunity to work at various sectors. Below mentioned are few of the top reasons as why one should take up Photography courses,

  • Share your perspective: Every photo is unique, this is because everybody sees things differently. Photography lets you share your perspective of the world with others and lets people admire your work.
  • Build your Start up: Photgraphy courses are generally taught by professionals who have mastered the skill. These people share experience and give valuable tips on how to create a good shot. Once you are trained and have sufficient knowledge on photography, you can start your own business and work independently.
  • Lets you travel to new destinations: Photography comes under one of the few courses which allows people to not work in a restricted area but travel to new places and locations for photoshoots or other projects and assignments. 
  • Document History: The world is continuously evolving, and one is unaware of what might happen the very next moment. Photography lets people capture a moment that can create history and can be documented for future references.
  • Infinite Possibilities: Photography is not restrcired to a certain sector, photographers have the opportunity to work for various sectors such as corporate photography, wedding photography, photojournalists, wildlife photography etc. Thus making it an interesting and non mechanical sort of a profession. 

Different Types of Photographers

From fashion photography to street photography, there are endless types of photography that photographers practice across the world. The most popular photography courses in India are: 

  • Wedding Photography
  • Portrait Photography 
  • Product Photography 
  • Fine-art Photography
  • Photojournalism

Who are Wedding Photographers?

  • A wedding photographer's salary in India ranges between INR 7,500 to INR 1,75,000 and can even go up for independent/freelance photographers.
  • Wedding Photography in India has been increasing tremendously at a 20-25% annual growth rate every year.
  • The market size of wedding photography is estimated to be $25-30 billion.
  • There are an average of 10,000-15,000 wedding photographers in India who charge anything between INR 50,000 and INR 7 lakh a day.
  • Wedding photography courses are some of the most popular free online photography courses with certificates.
  • The certificate courses are designed to impart basic camera skills and the theme of wedding photography. 

Who are Portrait Photographers?

  • Portrait photography is a part of fashion photography courses as it mostly involves capturing close-up shots of models, babies, even pets.
  • A portrait photographer should have high impromptu skills with props. They need to create a theme in each frame.
  • Since portrait photography is mostly done indoors, photographers should be well knowledgeable about lights too.

What is Fine-Art Photography?

  • There is a worldwide increase in fine art photography, especially in Asian Countries due to the demand for high-quality pictures.
  • Some Asian countries such as Taiwan and Shanghai pay $10,000- $200,000 to fine art photographers.
  • Courses such as BFA photography, MFA photography are the most common fine-arts photography courses.
  • These courses are available as degree courses and can also be pursued as photography certificate courses

What is Product Photography?

  • With the growing popularity of eCommerce and online business, product photography has grown immensely popular among the photography courses after 12th.
  • The recent shift to commercial videography for advertising products has put a slight halt in the product photography market, however, product photographers with video editing skills are high in demand.
  • Product photography skills require high creative skills, for better representation of products across the internet.
  • Product photography is still in demand, as majority of people using email marketing services or social media platforms prefer images over texts and long videos.

What is Photojournalism?

  • Photojournalism is a joint venture of photography and journalism courses. It imparts knowledge on creating stories through photographs.
  • With less text and more visuals, photojournalists use their cameras for a visual representation of a story, unlike journalists who used pen and paper.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a decline of 4% from 2019-2029 in employment for photographers.
  • The increasing popularity of Internet media has coincided with the decline of newspapers, meaning that photojournalists lose job opportunities in print even as they gain them online.

Types of Photography Courses Available in India

  • Introductory Photography Courses - Chris Bray
  • Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography
  • 1 Month Online Beginners Photography Courses
  • Photography Basic and Beyond: From Smartphones to DSLR Specialization
  • Advanced Digital Photography

Certificate Photography Courses

Photography certificate courses are offered in an online and offline mode. These courses are highly popular because of their convenience and short duration along with the availability of free photography courses.

  • Most certificate courses range in duration from a few hours to few weeks to a couple of months.
  • These courses are suitable for candidates to pursue a job as a means of upgrading their skills for a hobby.
  • One can complete certification courses at their own pace.

Certificate Courses are perfect for people already working in the photography industry to learn new skills. It helps in increasing the pay grade for the candidate. The average pay package for these courses is around INR 2-5 LPA.

Certificate Photography Courses: Highlights

Duration Few Hours to Weeks
Admission Merit basis
Eligibility 10+2 from a recognized board
Fees INR 5,000-10,000
What after Certificate Courses Higher degree courses
Average Salary INR 2-5 LPA

Online Photography Courses

The table below lists the top online photography courses offered in India along with the duration and price of the course.

Course Name Fees
Introductory Photography Courses - Chris Bray Free
Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography INR 390
1 Month Online Beginners Photography Courses INR 1,950
Photography Basic and Beyond: From Smartphones to DSLR Specialization INR 3,659 per month
Advanced Digital Photography Free

Some online photography courses mentioned above have a final project submission before the final certificate is issued. 

Certificate Photography Courses Offline

Photography certificate courses offline are offered by institutes and colleges. The course is taught in offline mode in classrooms.

Certificate Photography Courses: Admission Process

  • Admissions to photography certificate courses are done based on merit.
  • Candidates need to pass 10+2 examinations and submit documents like mark sheets, transfer certificates, etc.
  • A final project or assessment needs to be submitted before the final certificate is issued at the end.

Certificate Photography Courses Colleges

Most photography courses in India are offered offline. The following universities offer photography certificate courses.

Diploma in Photography Courses

  • A diploma in photography requires candidates with a 10+2 degree while a PG diploma in photography requires applicants to have a bachelor's degree.
  • Both courses are designed to make students job-ready through an intensive course structure.
  • The duration of a diploma in photography is 1 year while a PG diploma in photography is 1 to 2 years.
  • Candidates can also choose a specialization during the course curriculum.

Diploma Photography Courses: Highlights

Duration 1-2 years
Admission Merit-based
Eligibility Diploma:10+2 from a recognized board PG Diploma: Graduation from a recognized university
Fees INR 30,000-50,000
What after Certificate Courses Opt for Jobs
Avg Salary INR3-5 LPA

Diploma in Photography Courses

There are several diploma and PG diploma in Photography courses in India. The details of the university's average fees have been outlined below.

Course Name Colleges Offering Average Fees
2-year Diploma Course in Photography Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi INR 40,000
Diploma in Professional Photography Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bangalore INR 55,000
PG Diploma Still Photography Courses AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, New Delhi INR 74,320
PG Diploma in Digital Photography Pondicherry University, Puducherry INR 11,425

Diploma in Photography: Course Admissions

Admissions into diploma and PG diploma in Photography courses are based on merit. 

  • Universities release a cut-off list based on which applications are accepted.
  • No entrance examinations are conducted for admission.
  • The cut-off is made based on class 12 scores and/or graduation scores.

Diploma in Photography Courses: Top Colleges

Undergraduate Photography Courses

Bachelors in Photography is a specialized course under the Fine Arts department in universities. 

  • The candidate should pass his 10+2 examination to be eligible.
  • Bachelors in Photography courses duration is 3 to 4 years.
  • It can be pursued either in distance mode or regular mode.
  • Admissions are on a merit basis or through an entrance exam qualifying score.

Undergraduate Photography Courses: Highlights

Duration 3-4 years
Admission Merit basis
Eligibility 10+2 from recognized board
Fees INR 1,00,000-2,00,000
What after Certificate Courses Opt for Masters
Avg Salary INR2-4LPA

Undergraduate Photography Courses Details

The top bachelors in photography courses are mentioned below, along with the colleges that offer such courses.

Course Name Colleges Offering Average Fees
BFA Photography Lovely Professional University, Phagwara INR 17,100-86,500
Bachelor of Fine Arts Applied Arts Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi INR 41,500
Bachelor of Film and Television Production Cinematography KIIT, Bhubaneshwar INR 2,35,000

Undergraduate Photography Courses: Admissions

For admission into bachelors in photography courses, the following eligibility criteria should be met.

  • Candidates must have completed their 10+2 exam from a recognized board.
  • An aggregate score of at least 50% is needed to complete the photography courses eligibility.
  • Candidates should score equal to the cut-off score released by the University.

Undergraduate Photography Courses: Top Colleges

All of the top universities and colleges that offer bachelors in photography are mentioned below.

NIRF University Rankings College Name Average Fees
4 Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore INR 86,500
10 JMI New Delhi INR 41,500
13 KIIT Bhubaneswar INR 2,35,000
29 Osmania University, Hyderabad INR 17,100
51 Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar -
78 LPU Jalandhar INR 58,000

Postgraduate Photography Courses

Master in photography is pursued by candidates who wish to gain higher knowledge in photography courses. MFA in Photography or MA in Commercial Photography and Cinematography are some of the popular photography courses.

  • A bachelors in photography or any other is the minimum photography courses eligibility for a masters degree.
  • Masters in photography courses duration is 2 years.
  • The admissions are done based on merit or through entrance exams.

Postgraduate Photography Courses: Highlights

Duration 2 years
Admission Merit/Entrance
Eligibility Bachelor in Photography
Fees INR 3-4 LPA
What after Certificate Courses Move into Jobs
Avg Salary INR 5-7LPA

Postgraduate Photography Courses: Details

Master in photography is offered as MFA in Applied Arts or a MA in Commercial Photography and Cinematography. All details of these photography courses are mentioned below.

Name Average Fees
Master of Fine Arts Applied Arts INR 12,000
Master of Arts in Commercial Photography and Cinematography INR 7,00,000

Postgraduate Photography Courses: Admission

The admissions to a masters in photography courses are either done based on merit or through photography entrance exams.

  • Candidates need to have a bachelor's degree in photography from a recognized university.
  • A minimum aggregate score of 50% is required to be eligible for photography courses.
  • BVP CET is the only photography entrance exam for admissions to masters in photography.
  • For merit-based admission, candidates must clear the cut-off lists released by the university.

Postgraduate Photography Courses: Top Colleges

The top colleges offering a masters in photography courses degree are mentioned below.

NIRF University Ranking College Name
10 JMI New Delhi
13 Bharathiar University, Coimbatore
63 Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune

How to start career as a Photographer?

Every profession needs a certain amount of knowledge for people to excell in it. Before starting a career in photography, one should get themselves fully equipped with all the necessary steps, in order to ensure a swift run to success in the particluar field. Below mentioned are few of the most essential steps one should take into notice before initiating a career into photography,

  • Earn your degree: As discussed, students who want to make a career into photography should first get a degree on photography courses. There are an array of degrees to choose from, such as Certificate in Photography Courses, Diploma in Photography Courses, Undergraduate Photography Courses and Post Graduate Photography courses. This way you can build your skills and become a pro at your field
  • Find the right equipments and tools: Before starting your professional career, students have to get themselves equipped with latest gadgets that are prerequisites for this profession, such as camera, tripod, lights and lenses. Invest in a good laptop and photo editing software.
  • Set up your photography business: Decide on the types of photography you want to take up, thereby you can develop a business plan, create marketing strategy and finally network with other photographers

What are the Skills Required For Photography Courses?

Organizations and clients have a set list of skills that they look out for in their photographers. Basic photography skills, entrepreneurial skills, knowledge of legal matters, etc. are some skills required to be a good photographer.

Creativity Strong networking skills
Technical photography skills Team working skills
Patience and concentration -
Attention to detail -

Top Photography Colleges in India

Some of the top photography colleges offering photography courses in India are JMI New Delhi, BHU, LPU Jalandhar, and many more. Photography courses are categorized as short-term certificate and diploma courses, and full-time degree courses at colleges. Photography colleges like JMI New Delhi, BHU offer photography courses at all levels, even photography certificate courses offline,

Top Photography Colleges in Bangalore

College Courses Offered
CREO Valley Diploma, Bachelor, and Master
JD Institute of Fashion Technology Bachelor
M. S. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences Bachelor and Master

Top Photography Colleges in Mumbai

College Courses Offered
National Institute of Photography Certificate and Diploma 
FX School Diploma
Dr. D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth Bachelor
Sir JJ Institute of Applied Arts Certification, Bachelor, and Master

Top Photography Colleges in Hyderabad

College Courses Offered
Hamstech Institute of Creative Education Certificate and Bachelor
JD Institute of Fashion Technology UG Diploma
College of Fine Arts Bachelor and Master
Roots Collegium Bachelor

Top Photography Colleges in Delhi

College Courses Offered
AJK Mass Communication Research Centre PG DIploma
AAFT Diploma, Bachelor, and Master
JMI Diploma, Bachelor, and Master

Top Photography Colleges in Kerala

College Courses Offered
JD Institute of Fashion Technology Diploma, Bachelor, and Master
Creative Hut Institute of Photography Professional Diploma

Photography Courses: Syllabus

History of Photography Photoshop
Photo Corrections Film Cameras and Processing
Sensors Studio Lighting
Wildlife, Fashion and Photo Journalism Different parts of Camera
Colour Filters Selection of Shots
  Natural and Artificial Photographic Light Sources Portrait Photography
Photographic Optics Close-up Accessories and Techniques
  Photo Tools -

Photography Courses: Jobs

Most photography graduates choose to work as freelance photographers. The other popular photography jobs like a wildlife photographer, underwater photographer, etc along with the salary offered are mentioned below.

Jobs Average Salary
Fashion Photographer INR 1,48,000-10,00,000
Event Photographer INR 1,00,000-3,00,000 per event
Photojournalist INR 3,09,000-5,20,000
Sports Photographer INR 2,00,000-8,00,000
Product Photographer INR 4,58,000-9,80,000
Wildlife photographer INR 1,60,000-9,00,000

Salary After Photography Courses

Type Average Income
Wedding Photographer INR 10,000 to INR 1,00,000 per day
Photojournalist INR 15,000 to INR 45,000 Per Month
Fashion Photographer INR 25,000- INR 80,000per month
Wildlife Photographer INR 15,000 – INR 1,25,000 per month
Product Photographer INR 25,000 Per Month
Average Salary

Salary as Comparison By Gender

Gender Salary
Men INR 25,000
Women INR 21,900

Photography Courses FAQs

Ques. Can I learn Photography courses online?

Ans. Several photography courses can be pursued online. Most online courses are self-paced and can be completed by submitting a final project.

Ques. Where are the Courses in Photography?

Ans. There are various courses online, but pursuing a photography courses from a recognized academy adds value to your resume. Some of the best online photography courses are offered by:

  • Udemy
  • Coursera
  • University of Delhi

Ques. What is the duration of Photography Courses?

Ans. The duration of the course depends on what level of study you are pursuing. For UG, it is 3 years, at PG level it is around 1-2 years, diploma 6 to 12 months and for Certification, the course is around 3 to 6 months.

Ques. How much does the photography courses cost?

Ans. Fees for the photography courses may vary as per the institute you choose. There are free online certifications available, but the individual fee depends on the level of the course and where you pursue the course from. The average fee charged ranges around INR 36,000 to 7 lakh.

Ques. Should I go for a photography weekend course or MBA or should I look for a job in the field and learn from the experience?

Ans. Each course has its own advantages and added values. Before seeking out a job in the chosen field, it would be wise to complete a certification course or a diploma course. This will not only increase credibility in the job realm but also teach the basics of photography.

Ques. Is photography a good career?

Ans. It is definitely worth pursuing photography courses. Photographers can work alone and work on word of mouth and charge their own fees. This is the perfect course to combine passion and job.

Ques. What is the average salary after completing photography courses?

Ans. The salary of a photographer differs from the type of project, fashion photography, product photography, sports photography, etc. The skill level and experience level are also taken into account. The starting salary is in the range of INR 3-5 LPA.

Ques. Do I get a scholarship to pursue photography certifications?

Ans. Yes. There are scholarships and financial aid available on a need basis. The amount of scholarship will be different from institute to institute.

Ques. Which Photography courses are the best?

Ans. There are a plethora of courses in photography such as Diploma in Photography, PG Diploma in Still Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts Photography, and so on. There is a wide range of short term online certification Photography courses available on platforms such as Coursera and Udemy.