Question:

I want to pursue a course in wildlife photography and want to know whether I can have a secure job as a wildlife photographer.

Answer:

Exciting? Yes. Adventurous? Yes. Secure? No. Wildlife photography is ideally suited for someone who thrives on adventure, has an impeccable sense of composition, colour and can capture images that speak a thousand words. 

It’s a profession based on passion of photography and the outdoors. You must love wildlife, animals, be curious about nature. 

However, establishing yourself as a professional wildlife photographer is no cakewalk, which is why, many talented photographers remain amateurs. The climb can be hard and long, and the financial returns, not very satisfactory in the beginning. Only those with tenacity and a neversay-die attitude coupled with a real passion stick on and go on to become celebrity shutterbugs like Mike Pandey or the Bedi brothers (both recipients of the Wildscreen Panda Award, better known as the Green Oscar). 

Apart from learning photography, you should also study and learn about wildlife, their habitat, ecology, etc. Read books, attend short-term programmes from World Wildlife Federation, or Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun or Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History if you are interested in birds. 
 

Be prepared to lug heavy equipment — which incidentally does not come cheap. Depending on your assignment — a travel photo-feature — it may take three or four days or even a year or more. You need oodles of patience for that perfect moment and quicksilver reflexes not to miss it, unlike models in a fashion shoot. Animals and nature wait for no man. 

Since few full-fledged courses are available in this field, it would be a good idea to work with an established photographer as an understudy before starting out on your own. You will gain invaluable learning experience and master some very useful ‘insider’ tips and tricks of the trade. Although most of the known names in photography are selftaught, change is in the air. 
A number of photography schools have mushroomed all over the country. 
While there are many things a course won’t teach you, you’ll learn how to handle a camera along with some essential tricks of the trade to get you started. 

Here are some institutes that you could check out: 

  • Camera Art Institute, New Delhi,
  • Film & Television Institute of India, Pune (www.ftiindia.com),
  • India International Photographic Council, New Delhi,
  • Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (www.jmi.nic.in),
  • JJ Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai,
  • Light & Life Academy, Ooty (www.llacademy.org),
  • National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, (www.nid.edu),
  • Asian Academy of Film & Television, Noida (www.aaft.com);
  • Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, New Delhi

Courtesy: Education Times