How to become a Photographer in Australia

How to become a Photographer in Australia

A Photographer is a professional artist who uses digital or film cameras to produce images for use in a variety of settings. Using a mixture of technical and artistic skills to take pictures of places, people, food and products; Photographers produce and edit images that paint a picture, tell a story, or record an event.

Photographers use artificial and/or natural lighting to capture the ideal picture of their subject. Some photographers work primarily in studios, while others explore the natural, outside world. As a Photographer you may choose to specialise in a particular part of the industry, focussing on event work, such as weddings, sporting events and concerts; or more corporate jobs like studio shoots of products, food or models for use on websites and other promotional media.

Feel like sharing your eye for detail and composition with the world? Follow these steps and make your name as a Photographer!

Step 1: Study the principles and skills.
Although a degree in photography is not essential, you will need training in order to master the methods and technical aspects involved in taking commercial quality pictures. There are many different courses that can teach you the principles and techniques used in photography, from basic courses covering equipment and processes to artistic courses teaching design and composition.
These days it is also helpful to have a good understanding of photo editing software used to edit and enhance your images. There are many such programs available and courses in photo editing will help you give your pictures the final touches they need to stand out above the norm.

Step 2: Get a camera and start shooting.
You don’t need a studio and expensive equipment to get started. Whether with your smartphone or a digital SLR, you can start taking pictures, working out what you like to photograph and what your style is right away. Don’t be afraid to post your pictures on social media, you never know who might see them!

Step 3: Build a portfolio.
Once you have a few different pictures that you like, start to compile them into a portfolio. The portfolio is the most important thing a photographer can have, as it shows potential clients exactly what you are capable of. These days portfolios are expected to be digital, there are a number of websites that will help you create an online portfolio, or you could buy a domain and build your own site to showcase your work.

Step 4: Advertise yourself and expand your network.
Last but not least, you need people to see your work! There are many ways to promote your work and the power of social media in this respect, can not be overstated. There are numerous sites that you can use to show off your photographs and connect with wide audiences and potential clients.
You can also develop contacts by subscribing to online photography groups and blogs, joining camera clubs seeking work in camera stores, photo studios or newspapers.

What does a Photographer do?
Photographers utilise their technical expertise and creative ability to generate artistic or commercial-quality images for use in a variety of settings. They select and present a subject in order to achieve a particular effect, tell a story or record an event. A Photographer employs many techniques in order to produce the right effect, from selecting the right camera and lens to manipulating natural or artificial light to enhance their subject. They use their artistic vision to shoot a subject from an interesting angle, draw attention to a specific part of the subject by blurring the background and use various lenses and effects to enhance particular details and create depth.
Photographers also enhance and manipulate their images using digital photo-editing software, altering brightness and contrast, augmenting colours, cropping and combining pictures to create the best possible result.


  • Working with clients to determine the purpose of a shoot.
  • Choosing the correct equipment and settings for each subject.
  • Setting up and shooting in a studio setting.
  • Capturing photographs on location.
  • Manipulating natural or artificial light to enhance a subject.
  • Reviewing and digitally editing photographs to present the best results.

Skills for Success.
As a Photographer, you will need good eyesight, artistic ability, hand-eye coordination and some technical proficiency. Photographers should be detail oriented, accurate and patient, sometimes it is all about waiting for that perfect moment before triggering the shutter. You will need to be able to communicate and work well with others as you will often be dealing with clients, designers and advertising professionals. A portrait Photographer needs to be able to help people relax in front of the camera, commercial and artistic photographers must be creative and inventive, while news and journalism photographers need to understand the story being told in order to take pictures that support a narrative.
Beyond these skills, a Photographer also needs to be able to use computer software to edit, enhance and deliver their images to the client.

Skills & Attributes

  • Good communication skills.
  • Ability to work to deadlines and under pressure.
  • An artistic eye for lighting, composition and colour.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Patience and perseverance.
  • Basic technological proficiency.

Average Salaries

How much can you earn as a Photographer?
The average Photographer earns about $53,350. There is a huge range in what a Photographer can make, depending on their experience and abilities, this is an indicator only according to Payscale 02/18

min $39 K
max $104 K
av $53 K