The art of photography once belonged to the esoteric elite, the fortunate few who were able to purchase those bulky cameras complete with dry plates, or the even wealthier who could afford to hire a professional to snap portraits for them. Fast forward roughly 200 years, and nearly everyone is a budding photographer carrying a camera on their smartphone. For those who discover a passion for photographer while shooting on their phone, taking the next step to a professional camera can be a fraction of the investment it used to be.
India, in particular, is benefitting from photography equipment being more accessible and affordable than ever. The country has begun to see not only a rise in the popularity of photography, but also amateur photography becoming one of the most lucrative professions – particularly for women.
Photography has allowed the women of India an opportunity to enter into the workforce. Many of India’s most acclaimed photographers are women, such as Dayanita Singh, Ketaki Sheth, and Sooni Taraporevala.
“Photography is the new language, read and written by all people, regardless of spoken language or their literacy level… Imagine the power of such a language. Imagine its reach… the places it can take you to, the stories it can tell, the feelings that have no vocabulary,” Dayanita Singh shares on her blog.
It is common for these women’s work to sell for a couple thousand dollars, while even “in-demand wedding photographers in a city such as New Delhi can cost well into the thousands of dollars for an evening’s worth of work,” reported Forbes online.
With such a vast and expanding landscape of opportunity, it’s no wonder why photography has become such a popular ambition.
“I have been taking pictures of portraits, landscapes and anything I find interesting for almost a year now, and intend on doing a proper course from a university abroad to hone my skills,” Aditya Vasu, an engineering student in India shared with The Times of India. “Since I recently bought myself an SLR camera, I browse for tips on how to take the best pictures over the Internet.”
Whether for a budding female artist or a young professional looking to make a little extra cash, India’s booming photography culture is creating space for and inspiring a new generation of photographers. As a company founded by a man who immigrated from India to the U.S. to pursue his dreams in photography and visual art, it is inspiring for us to see young photographers in India have the chance to make a living with the art they love, right at home.