These days you don’t need a $5000 camera, a selection of lenses the size of Uluru and flexible tripods to be a photographer. All you need is your cell phone. Perhaps that is an exaggeration. All you need is your cell phone (with at least a 2MP camera) to take fairly good pictures. If you want to take fantastic pictures you’ll need a digital camera, experience with Photoshop and a photography course or two.
There are a range of photography courses in Australia and they don’t just have to do with the art of taking photos. For example, if you fancy your photography skills but don’t want to give up your day job as a motor mechanic you could take some courses on how to set yourself up as a freelance photographer. These courses include small business management and networking and marketing skills, as well as tips on how to take the perfect landscape of Sydney Harbour, or get an action shot of the chaps at Melbourne Cricket Club, or how to practice your wildlife photography skills at Adelaide Zoo.
If you take photography more seriously, however, there are courses that cater to you and your tastes too. There are courses that allow you to specialise in black and white wedding photography, or high-tech digital SLR photography or even macro photography which allows you to take outstanding close up pictures of bees and water droplets.
You can also opt to take combination courses, such as digital photography and travel writing to set you on a whole new career path as you travel Australia, from Swan River in Perth and the untamed bush in Canberra to the colourful people of Queensland and the beauty of the Gold Coast.
Most photography courses (online and school classes) cover some of the more technical aspects of photography such as lighting, composition, and photo development, so not only will you be able to take the perfect picture of the Sydney Opera House at sunset or of Melbourne University in the rain, but you’ll be able to develop them properly and even make some aesthetic tweaks (if you used a digital camera).
Really serious photographers can study photography at university or specialist art schools, such as the Institute Sydney TAFE NSW, and walk away with a diploma in digital photography or a degree of fine arts that consists largely of photography courses.
Australian Photography Associations
- The Australian Photography Association aims to promote professionalism, photographic excellence and the photographic industry in Australia as a whole. It also promotes photographers individually (on merit) and offers programs for continuous development.
- The Australian Institute of Professional Photography, which operates a reputable accreditation program to assure the public of the quality of Institute members. It also promotes continuous development through online courses and regional and national photography competitions and events.
- Australian Accredited Professional Photographers is an association that caters specifically to wedding and portrait photographers in Australia and which provides ongoing education through workshops and courses and also offers accredited status to its members.
- Australian Commercial and Media Photographers aims to promote and develop the field of photography as a respected profession and encourages members to learn more about related issues such as copyright re-usage, digital imaging insurance, sales, contracts and tax through workshops and courses.
- Federation of Camera Clubs (NSW) is especially for amateur photographers in Sydney who want to develop their photography skills (digital and other) through courses, competitions, presentations and lessons and who also want to meet and share tips with other amateur photographers in the region.