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Professional Photography for Beginners


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Australian College Diploma of Professional Photography has been designed to introduce the key skills required to work as a professional photographer. This course is perfect for a beginner looking to learn about all aspects of good photography — depth of field, exposure, viewpoint colour correction, movement, composition, image management, studio lighting, day, and night shots, and so much more.

Throughout this professional development course you will learn:

  • the different parts of the camera
  • what makes a technically good shot
  • how to adjust your approach
  • the advantages and disadvantages of digital versus film
  • How to work with both digital and film

This course will develop the required skills to work as a Portrait photographer, photojournalist, Wedding, fashion, product photographer, or to simply expand on a creative interest in photography.

At Australian College, we offer an online learning experience. You can complete your course online in your own time and at your own pace.

Course summary

Qualification gained
Australian College Diploma of Photography (Professional Photography)
Course code
Study mode
Flexible delivery (including online with some projects / activities and/or skills-based training)
Flexible duration (with an option to extend)
Up to 12 months
Study load
Start date
Start anytime
Assessment method
Short answer questions
Nationally recognised
Career Opportunities
  • Professional Photographer
  • Photojournalist
  • Photographic Processor
  • Photo Lab Assistant
  • Photo Technician

Course fees

Payment Option 1 - $2,000.00 upfront*
Payment Option 2 - $300.00 Deposit then 20 x $100.00 Weekly = $2,300.00*
Payment Option 3 - Completely customise your own payment plan here.

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Course units

Module 1: Camera Functions and Terminology

Reading 1: Essential Photography: Film and Digital

Topic 1: Getting Started in Professional Photography
Topic 2: The Language of Professional Photography
Topic 3: The Difference Between Film and Digital Cameras
Topic 4: Understanding Exposure and Depth of Field
Topic 5: Understanding Shutter Speed
Topic 6: Discover Your Creativity
Topic 7: Tips From the Professionals
Topic 8: Looking After Your Camera
Topic 9: Camera Accessories
Topic 10: Keeping a Photography Journal

Reading 2: Light, Night and Exposure

Topic 1: Controlling Exposure & Aperture
Topic 2: Night Photography
Topic 3: When To Shoot Black and White
Topic 4: Buying a Tripod
Topic 5: Trouble Shooting Common Errors
Topic 6: Choosing a Filter
Topic 7: A Photographer at Work
Topic 8: Capturing a Sense of Place

Reading 3: Portrait Photography and Light Meters

Topic 1: Spot Metering and Matrix Metering
Topic 2: Focusing and Bracketing
Topic 3: Lenses and the Rule of Thirds
Topic 4: Using Flash and Fixing 'Red Eye'
Topic 5: Avoiding Lighting Mistakes
Topic 6: Cropping Your Pictures
Topic 7: Portrait Photography

Reading 4: Weddings, Fashion, Beauty

Topic 1: Photography Genres
Topic 2: Wedding Photography
Topic 3: The Wedding Photographer Do's and Don'ts
Topic 4: Working With Models
Topic 5: Getting a Model Release
Topic 6: Fashion Photography
Topic 7: Beauty Photography
Topic 8: Working With Props

Module 2: Genres and Marketing Your Photographs

Reading 1: Still Life Photography

Topic 1: Still Life Photography and Composition
Topic 2: Food Photography
Topic 3: More on Flash Photography
Topic 4: Managing Digital Files

Reading 2: Photojournalism, Action and Travel Photography

Topic 1: Exploring Photojournalism
Topic 2: How To Take Action Photos
Topic 3: Photographing Water Sports
Topic 4: Travel Photography
Topic 5: Photography Etiquette
Topic 6: Processing Photos

Reading 3: Selling Your Photographs

Topic 1: Building Your Portfolio
Topic 2: Aerial Photography
Topic 3: Markets, Fetes and Festivals
Topic 4: Calendars, Posters and Merchandise
Topic 5: Submitting Your Work to Publications
Topic 6: Exhibiting Your Work
Topic 7: Stock Library Photographs

Reading 4: The Business of Professional Photography

Topic 1: Working in the Industry
Topic 2: Starting a Freelance Business
Topic 3: Invoicing for Your Work
Topic 4: Marketing Yourself as a Photographer
Topic 5: Your Portfolio
Topic 6: Writing Your CV

Entry requirements

  • Access to a computer with word processing, PDF reader capabilities and an internet connection
  • A Good Command of Written English
  • Ability to Allocate Appropriate Study Hours Per Week
  • Access to a DSLR Camera

If you have these essential requirements, then you can get started immediately.


What are good camera models for beginners?

There are many excellent camera models for beginners on the market. However, as a prerequisite for the course, you will be required to have access to a DLSR camera. This is a professional-grade model which will be appropriate for both personal and professional use after graduation, should you decide to pursue a career in photography

Will there be written and/or practical exams?

Assessment for this course is spread across short answer questions and submission of your photographic work. You will be required to complete these to a standard that your instructor deems appropriate. Re-submission may be required if your work is not of the required standard; your instructor will be able to discuss more specific details with you as relevant.

What are the course's requirements for graduation?

Graduation from this course is contingent on the submission of all required assessments and photographic materials to an acceptable standard. The course is self-paced over a twelve-month period (with the option to extend if required). However, you will have the best chance at successfully completing the course if you space it over the entire study period, rather than attempting to complete all of the assessments towards the end.

Do I need to travel to the campus to complete any of my requirements?

No. This course is designed to be suitable for people who are looking to study while still working full-time. Delivery and assessment are handled entirely remotely. You are not required to visit the campus, though you are free to do so for administrative purposes such as registering, making payments etc.

What payment options are available?

We offer three different payment options for students. Upfront payment is the cheapest option overall. However, we understand that this option is not practical for every student, and accordingly, we offer a number of options to enable as many students as possible to participate.

  1. Upfront payment — You can make payment in full, prior to beginning the course.
  2. Deposit + instalments — A deposit is required upfront, with subsequent payments broken down into instalments over the course of the next 20 weeks.
  3. Custom payments — You are also able to devise an entirely custom payment scheme that suits your specific needs. To find out more, visit our page about custom payment plans.

Student reviews

"During the course I was working full-time and even had a baby! I would recommend the college to anyone who needs to study at their own pace, not the at the pace of the college!"

Yvonne Clarke

Combine employment and training in order to gain a nationally recognised qualification.
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