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How to become a Photographer

Photographers are skilled, technical artists who are trained in the use of various kinds of equipment and techniques to produce high quality images of people, landscapes, animals, products, and other subjects.

If you’re creative with a great eye for composition, and are prepared to put in long hours to obtain a single perfect image, this career could be picture perfect for you.

About you:

  • Creative and imaginative with an eye for detail and good communication skills
  • Passionate, patient and flexible, with great people skills
  • Technically skilled with attention to detail and a desire to keep learning

The job:

  • Work with clients to find out what they want and provide ideas
  • Set up and complete photo shoots in studios or on location
  • Select the right equipment to complete the job and adjust settings to suit the job and conditions
  • Critically review and cull photographs, edit and enhance selected images to produce high quality and high resolutions images that meet client specifications

Lifestyle Impact: Moderate

  • Part Time opportunities: High – around 58% of Photographers work part-time (source:
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 46 hours a week, which is above average (source:
  • Photographers’ salary (median) $30,000* per year (source: *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Stable (source:
  • Depending on the specific type of photography you specialise in, you can work in a huge variety of environments, from indoor studios to shooting on location. There is lots of opportunity for flexible working hours and travel.
  • It can be hard to maintain a steady stream of clients and income, and many photographers may do other work on the side.

Photographers are most in demand in these locations:

Demand for Photographers is spread evenly across Australia. Most Photographers work in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industry.

How to become a Photographer in Australia

Formal qualifications aren’t essential but could help you get ahead faster and make you eligible to apply some positions. VET and university are both common study pathways for Photographers.

Step 1 – Study English, Arts, or Design and Technology at school.

Step 2 – Volunteer in as many school, community or private projects as possible, find work experience within the field (and network while you’re there), enter competitions, and build a portfolio of works. Take online courses and attend workshops to enhance your skills and knowledge.

Step 3 – Complete VET qualifications or a university degree – look for opportunities where on the job training or internships are offered.

Step 4 – If you want to freelance, you’ll need to advertise and market yourself, and continue to network and showcase your work. Qualifications or skills in marketing and business may come in handy.

Step 5 – Obtain recognised accreditation, e.g. through the AIPP.

Find out more here –

Similar Careers to Photographer


Camera Operator

Film and Video Editor

Graphic Designer

Sound Engineering Technician

Fine Artist

Photograph Processing Worker

Makeup Artist

Find out more about alternative careers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What skills do you need to become a photographer? 

Creativity, technical photography skills, patience and concentration, attention to detail, strong networking skills, and team working skills.

Where do photographers work?

With photographers working in so many different fields you could be working in a variety of settings, from newspaper publishing companies, laboratories (clinical or scientific), in the field (which could be anywhere on land, up in the air or under water), and in professional studios.

Do I need a degree to work as a Photographer in Australia?

A degree is not necessarily a requirement to become a photographer; a high school certificate and a willingness to learn could get you started. However, qualifications will increase your technical skills and abilities and may make you more appealing to potential clients and employers.


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