I DIDN't go to a photography college and why?

Updated: Apr 1

We here in India are always guarded with a set of parents who are overprotective about things that surround us. Since the time we are born and as long as they are alive they guard us to their lives, which is very parental and we understand but its important to come out of the comfort zone to know what we are and I will be happy to say I am lucky enough to have parents who let me be me. I have set of friends who chose to do things that were planned by their parents and some are happy to be where they are and some are what they are and it is totally fine.



Anyone trying to fly off in the air or trying to fly in the different directions are either mocked or questioned unless they are proved wrong. Doing something unconventional is a new trend and many parents are understanding the benefits, the escape from the overcrowding applications vs a limited scope.


Reality shows have thrown the needed light, but yet many occupations still need some education to be fed about.


Why I am talking about parents? Cause we are a set of people belonging to a generation who falls right in the middle of the conservative and liberal era of career choices. Many career choices are still a myth and many including ourself raise questions against.


Alike other folks my parents wanted me to join an engineering or medical stream but I ended up doing visual arts, practically as an academic qualification. Photography was not a part of my curriculum but that's what I do full time and I guess I was lucky enough to come across resources that helped me to raise my skills in a short time. At the present point of time where education is becoming more and more of a leisure, a fancy opportunity with the raising fees due to various factors, going to a college is a question for many. Schooling is still a must and I insist to finish it, having a basic education is a must well many are deprived of that too.

With various online educational forums coming into the scene which does give quality content against very pocket-friendly fees is raising a good question in mind if it is worth going to a physical college. All I know from not going to a dedicated photography college is having practical experience matters.

Any college is a combination of practical and theory regarding the respective subject, the deadlines help us to be on track but then why many people don't succeed, psychologically when we are asked to do things we tend not to do it and many times we excel in those. Something similar happened to me too.

I generated my own course and as there was no pressure and expectation I enjoyed it more than what I was supposed to do. I didn't have competition or anyone to get compared with which led me to be a free bird and do my mistakes and learn and self realize.


Expectations are a big enough factor for many to fail and give up on things one is supposed to do.



its a subjective yet very objective thing to talk about.

  • If you don't have funds to create a space and have the desired equipment to do things just for yourself, going to a college and sharing the space and equipment is a good way to go about.

  • If you feel and think being a free bird with no deadlines will not help you to cover things up faster with the needed love and desire for your subject, college is meant for you.

  • Education is a never-ending process and we can simply add on to what we know, irrespective you try to learn something new.

  • Going to college is a question depending on the nature of opportunity you will have access to post finishing a course.

  • Migration to a different country with better livelihood and opportunity is a good excuse to join a college and it does have benefits.

  • Rising international educational fees is a good excuse to look for the scope of being at home.

  • Almost all the unconventional streams are not anymore tied to going to college yet being a doctor, lawyer, an engineer and more do have its debate but personally I will suggest going to one to get your basics clear.


Going to an educational institution for its strategic academic can and do a lot of financial stress over one and a family but its indeed a personal choice. A choice which was not a choice a decade ago. It is quite admirable to understand how education is free-flowing and how approachable it is to the extent it's in your hand in the form of a smartphone.


The thing which helped and helps me to survive is the practical aspect of my profession, the experience I had in person and the knowledge I gained gradually. The process of reading about photography to holding one in hand and creating images to processing and manipulating one helped me to be one in the market and good enough to charge which supports my living. I am not sure how much a college would have helped me if I had joined one, sadly the knowledge I gained being an art historian doesn't exactly help me professionally but it helps to add a perspective to things that add value to me and my brand...


Joining a college is a way to get self-validated in the form of certificates and degrees but one should run for the quality of education irrespective its in the comfort of your own home or having a scheduled academic lifestyle.


I am a freelance commercial photographer based out of Mumbai, India, who clicks food, people, portrait and product extensively for many national and international brands and production houses. I ended up teaching myself the skills required to run a firm and do the needed as any business requires, self-realization is my mantra and I understand things better as my guts help me along.


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email: shovonakar@gmail.com


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