It's a more or less an agreeable concept today that everyone with a smartphone tends to take pictures of almost anything and everything that one fancies. So essentially everyone is a photographer, which is difficult to contest. With the democratisation of the tools and technology, one can also access the best of the photographic equipments available globally, and train oneself on how to operate the tool, and generate a desirable output through the use of 'apps' and numerous paid and free tutorials available online. So the fundamental question is why 'study' photography? What does one stand to gain by studying the medium in a design institute at the masters level? That too when the employability quotient remains to the South of what maybe desirable.
Photography Design is a unique programme that draws from NID's pioneering academic frameworks of Design Thinking and Interdisciplinary Approaches. The programme lays great emphasis on the learning and interpretations of history(ies), sociology, liberal arts, politics, philosophy, visual culture, and contemporary art practices. Critical Discourse is encouraged and practiced in all processes, and also in the review of final outcomes. Conformism and genre specific formulaic learning is discouraged, so there is no training provided on how to become an advertising, fashion, news, or any other 'kind' of photographer. The programme further aspires to unravel, and articulate historic visual-representation trajectories inherent to the Indian subcontinent.
The programme has several international partnerships with similar institutes in Asia, North America, and Europe, providing multiple opportunities to the students to travel on exchange, or collaborate on projects with students at other institutes. Within India, the department regularly collaborates with various curators, publishers, foundations, and agencies on student led projects. Photography Design students and alumni regularly receive competitive awards, commissions, and several opportunities to exhibit their work on various professional platforms.