What they do

Photographers take pictures of people, places, products and other subjects for a variety of reasons and uses. The subjects they photograph are as varied as the ways their work is used.

Some photographers take pictures of families, school groups or wedding parties for people that want a lasting reminder of a particularly significant time or event in their lives. They use all kinds of equipment and technology to create the right 'mood.' Other photographers take pictures to record particular scientific processes or to provide evidence in police enquiries. Here the ability to capture the 'reality' of the subject being photographed is more important than creating a certain mood.

Specialisations include: Landscape Photographer, News Photographer, Photographic Artist, Portrait Photographer, Sports Photographer, Technical Photographer

Working conditions

Photography is a competitive industry and many photographers work freelance. They tend to work in studios and darkrooms, but may also work outdoors in all kinds of weather conditions. Frequently clients dictate the work environment, especially for work involving weddings, birthdays or other large events. You will invariably find a wedding party in King's Park, for example, with a photographer hard at work!

Photographers may be required to travel and should be prepared to constantly be moving heavy equipment. Photographers that work in darkrooms handle chemicals during the developing process and must be aware of health and safety practices.

Tools and technologies

Photographers use cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, tripods and stands to take pictures, and computers, scanners, photographic paper and darkroom chemicals for processing. They also use specialised photographic software to modify and enhance photographs and often transfer pictures onto CDs or USB drives as well as printing photos. It can be helpful for photographers to have easy access to a car for transporting heavy equipment, especially if they freelance or take pictures offsite.

How do I become one?

Education and training

It is possible to work as a photographer without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in photography or a related area.

The Diploma of Photography and Photo Imaging, Advanced Diploma of Photography and Advanced Diploma of Creative Product Development (Photography) are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

You can also complete a degree in photography or photo media. Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses.

Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Learn more about your study options.




Required registration and licensing