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Is photography right for you?

For a successful career in the photography industry, you’ll need more than just a keen eye for pictures. Photographers are artistic, creative thinkers and problem-solvers. As a professional photographer, you’ll be working with clients to determine and understand their needs for each assignment, so you’ll need to be an effective communicator.

It’s also important to have good computer skills to help you edit and prepare photos, and if you’re planning on becoming a freelance photographer, it’s a bonus if you’re a whiz with social media to help you drum up business.

It’s also worth noting that most photographers own their own gear – cameras, lenses, tripods, editing software and so on. This can be expensive to purchase, so you’ll want to be fairly certain this is the career for you before you fork out for all the necessary equipment.

Job opportunities

Photography is a medium-sized industry in Australia, but has experienced strong growth in recent years. Here are a few facts and figures about photography careers in Australia:

  • In the period up to 2022, more than 10,000 job openings are expected.
  • Part-time work is common, but more than half of all photographers work full-time.
  • Salaries range from $38,000 to $82,0000, with the average salary for a photographer being around $53,000.

Types of courses

No matter what your current level of knowledge and skill in photography, there are courses available to help you advance your career. From short courses ideal for beginners to more comprehensive TAFE courses, there’s a course for someone at every stage of their photography career. Let’s take a look at the different types of photography courses available to you in Australia.

Short courses

There are a range of photography short courses that can help you get started with the basic skills and knowledge you need to pursue this line of work. There are also short courses designed for established photographers who wish to specialise in a particular area or style of photography. Available from a number of providers, these courses are usually flexible and often available online.

Certificate II

A Certificate II course, while usually not specific to photography, will often include units on digital imaging, as well as general visual arts knowledge and skills that can be useful for budding photographers.

Certificate III

There are a number of Certificate III courses that incorporate photography skills amongst general visual arts and design skills. These courses will help give you a general skillset for use in the industry and prepare you to pursue more specific photography education.

Certificate IV

Certificate IV courses provide a comprehensive overview of key photography skills and concepts, such as lighting, colour theory, photo manipulation, digital imaging, styling, design briefs and more.

Career Outcomes

Photography is a diverse career path, with professionally trained photographers employed in a range of industries, from fashion to weddings to news and media. Some potential job titles include:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Photojournalist
  • Art Photographer
  • Fashion Photographer
  • Sports Photographer
  • Wedding Photographer
  • Property Photographer
  • Stylist

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