Valuable career tips from India's first Child and Maternity Photographer
30 July 2021 — Written by Aishwarya Muralidhar
Considering a career in photography after college? Amrita Samant, India’s first child and maternity photographer dishes out her expert advice on pursuing the art of photography and turning it into a full-fledged profession.
Although she was working as a Human Resource Manager, Amrita found herself dabbling in creative pursuits whenever she could. From dance to art, she tried on many different hats. It was during this pursuit that she stumbled across photography. She soon found a niche for herself in the child and maternity space. Nearly eight years since, she now owns and runs her own photography business, Mommy Shots by Amrita.
These are a few tips Amrita wanted to share with young adults hoping to pursue their interests.
“Speak to professionals in the field. Try to understand what their day-to-day tasks look like and ask yourself if you can lead a life doing that. Once you get a hang of what that’s like, and if you can sustain it for a long time, then that career might be a good choice for you. Provided you have the interest and the perseverance to pursue it.”
If you’ve already identified a career that you’d like to pursue, that’s great! But before you jump into it, be prepared. Ask questions, see if you can talk to professionals working in the field, and read up. Find a mentor to guide you or do an apprenticeship. If you’re thinking it all sounds like overkill, it’s not! The point of it is to give you a realistic idea of what that career looks like. What you might have pictured it to be might be different than how it really is.
How do you bring yourself to pursue a career in the creative field when it seems like there’s a lot of talent out there doing the same thing? Find your own voice and style!
“While there’s an ocean of photographers out there, I still think that you can break into the field if you have the grit to. If you’re passionate and business savvy, there’s no stopping what you can do. There’s enough avenue for more unique imagery to be made.”
While Amrita drew from her experience as a photographer, this stands true for all creative pursuits. Experiment and try to understand what works for you and what doesn’t.
While Amrita didn’t pursue photography academically, she learnt her trade on the job. And the business skills that she racked up as an HR enabled her to run her business better.
“There is a ton of free content out there that you can use to study your subject of interest and build skills. But no amount of book knowledge amounts to getting out there, planning your own shoot, and executing it. If you have the option or the luxury to pursue photography academically, go for it. But nothing can equate to the amount of practice you put in.”
We’ve all heard the saying: Practice makes perfect. And that’s exactly what Amrita suggests. While learning skills are absolutely necessary, putting in the work is just as or even more important.
These were excerpts from a live session with Amrita on Instagram. Please watch the full session below to learn more about her journey as a photographer.
Making your mark as a professional photographer does not have to be complicated. Spend time to understand the skills needed and assess if that’s something that you can see yourself doing. Find a mentor, or if you can, work under a professional. Get started on honing your craft by practicing your skills as much as you can.