Advanced Certificate in Photography

A very solid foundation for a new career in Photography; where you learn both technical and artistic elements of photography as well as applications in work and business.

Course CodeVPH017
Fee CodeAC
Duration (approx)900 hours
QualificationAdvanced Certificate

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Start your Career in Photography Here


  • ACS has been teaching professional photography for over 30 years

  • Mentoring from highly qualified and experienced professionals

  • Career development support during and after study 

Develop your photography skills

Improve your ability to present your work for maximum impact to the public, employers, clients, publishers, galleries and others.

Gain first-hand experience in photography, presentation, and publishing to prepare you to work in any aspect of photography.

This course provides an excellent and diverse basis on which to begin and build a career.

The photographic industry has changed dramatically over recent times, with new technologies and dramatically changing markets. Certain things have and almost certainly will always remain constant though:

  • People will always want a good photographic record of important events in their lives

  • Commerce will always require quality images to help market their products and services

  • Publishers will always require images to publish along side written words

This course develops not only your ability to deliver these needs, but it also builds an appreciation of the industry and starts you on a path to networking within this industry; something which is inescapable if you are to achieve long term success.



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Photography.
 Introduction To Photography BPH100
 Photographic Practice BPH101
 Digital Photography BPH202
 Photographic Lighting BPH204
 Photographic Technology BPH201
 Photographic Portfolio BPH301
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Research Project I BGN102
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 9 modules.
 Travel Photography VPH005
 Business Studies BBS101
 Photographing People BPH102
 Publishing I BWR107
 Workshop I BGN103
 Landscape Photography BPH203
 Photoshop CS - Beginner To Medium Level VIT202
 Wedding Photography BPH206
 Photojournalism Practice I BPH302

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Photography is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

What You Will Do

  • Make industry contacts
  • Develop your own style
  • Publish images in our online newsletter
  • Use a camera - film or digital – correctly to take good photographs.
  • Use different photographic equipment, and use it correctly to identify and correct problems when they occur.
  • Take photographs that capture and convey particular impressions about a place, its people, and their culture.
  • Develop a more than basic understanding of the effects that can be achieved by manipulating composition, lighting, and equipment, and how to achieve them.
  • Produce photographs and desired effects using digital technology (digital or conventional photography combined with computer software and hardware for processing the photographs).
  • Use different materials and equipment to achieve specific effects in landscape photos.
  • Set up a photo session – inside or outside a studio, to create different effects and convey the desired impression when photographing individuals or groups of people.
  • Use and manipulate light (natural or artificial) to create different photographic affects.
  • Create and manipulate images and artwork compositions for the web, email and print, using Adobe Photoshop, the software used commonly in business, publishing and the graphics industry.
  • Develop your understanding of publishing practices and concerns for self publishing, electronic and print publishing.
  • Develop essential skills for managing a small business.
  • Gain hands-on experience in illustrating a publication with photographic images, and working cooperatively in a publication team, through a guided student publication project.
  • Plan and conduct research into the current status of an aspect of the photography industry, and complete a descriptive report based on that research.
    • identify, select and apply knowledge and skills to appropriate perform workplace tasks in the workplace, and adapt them to photographic practice.
  • Prepare a portfolio of your photographic work in a way that reflects high standards of professionalism, and represents the range and quality of your experience and abilities.​

What is in Each Module?

This course is made up of 9 modules. Selected modules are listed below. Details can be seen on the relevant webpages.

Introduction to Photography

  • Discuss the principles those underpins photography and examine the evolution into digital technologies.
  • Explain how photographic images are able to be captured on film. This lesson will also explain how photographic images are able to be captured by digital cameras.
  • Provide you with a firm understanding of how you can work at improving your capabilities with respect to taking photographs. It provides a framework, upon which you will base your work in future lessons.
  • Determine appropriate application for a range of common items of photographic equipment and develop an understanding of how digital images can be transferred effectively from a digital camera
  • Explain how photographic film is developed.
  • Describe the process by which photographic film may be enlarged. Also explain techniques that can be used to process digital photographs within a computer to achieve improved or changed images.
  • Work more effectively with light when taking photographs.
  • To identify and avoid common faults in photographs

Photographic Technology

  • Describe in technical terms, how an image forms when a photograph is taken.
  • Explain the nature of light and how this relates to the finished photographic product.
  • Describe how sensitivity of a photo sensitive surface and its development affect the photographic image.
  • Explain sensitivity relates to development affect the photographic image.
  • Explain the composition and manipulation of white and coloured light to create different photographic images.
  • Discuss the chemical process that occurs in producing a colour film photograph.
  • Explain how the photographic image may be manipulated by using optical filters or other camera attachments, other than lenses.
  • Explain how the photographic image may be manipulated by using lenses.

Photographic Practice

  • Compose photographs in a way that matches a predetermined aim.
  • Explain a variety of ways to take better photographs of people.
  • Explain a variety of ways to take better photographs of landscapes or other natural subjects.
  • Differentiate between appropriate use of colour and black and white photography.
  • Create varied visual affects through the use of special techniques.
  • Explain a variety of ways to take better illustrative photographs.
  • Explain a variety of ways to take better photographs for use in print or electronic media.
  • Determine the nature and scope of business opportunities in photography.

Digital Photography

  • Describe the scope and nature of digital photography.
  • Select appropriate equipment for use in digital photography.
  • Explain how technology enables digital images to be captured.
  • Compare different digital cameras and select an appropriate camera for a particular application.
  • Control the effects created in a digital photograph which you take.
  • Describe techniques which can be used for digitally capturing images from film photographs, or graphics.
  • Explain how digital images can be transferred effectively from a camera (or scanner) onto another device (eg. a computer, video monitor, television set, etc).
  • Describe techniques that can be used to process digital photographs within a computer to achieve improved or changed images.
  • Explain how digital photos can be manipulated and changed to produce altered images.
  • Discuss the scope and nature of special effects that can be created with digital photographs.
  • Identify how and where digital photography can effectively be used.

Travel Photography

  • Identify the scope of travel photography, and the resources required to take travel photos
  • Explain how you can work at improving your capabilities with respect to taking travel photographs.
  • Apply camera techniques including framing, positioning, timing and borrowed landscapes to create various effects.
  • Photograph natural areas to make best use of their texture, or even give them human qualities.
  • Photograph streetscapes to create different moods, or capture elements of your choice.
  • Photograph indoor scenes making best use of available and artificial lighting.
  • Create a series of travel photographs which contain a single common feature that differentiates them from other photographs, and in doing so, provides an indication that they are likely to have been taken by the same person.

Landscape Photography

  • To know and understand the equipment and materials used in photography.
  • Create different affects photographing the same landscape.
  • Compose a well-balanced photo.
  • Utilise form to create a three dimensional affect.
  • Develop your own photographic style.

Photographing People

  • Identify resources that could improve your ability to photograph people, examining the principles of photography and also exploring the issues related to digital photography.
  • Discuss the preparation for a photo shoot by exploring the different equipment and materials needed for a successful shoot. Also examine lighting a subject within a studio setting and explores digital photography issues.
  • Discuss techniques used for taking photos of people.
  • Improve your ability to shoot better portraiture photographs.
  • Explain the issues and applications concerned with wedding photography.
  • Take better candid photos of people.
  • Describe how to take appropriate nude photos for different situations.
  • Describe how to take action photos of people.
  • Describe how to take better glamour and fashion photos.
  • Compile a folio of people photography.

Wedding Photography

  • Determine factors relevant to any particular wedding, that can impact upon the way in which a photographer will plan and conduct the shooting of photos for that wedding.
  • Learn how to plan what to do, where and when on the wedding day.
  • Select photographic equipment appropriate for use when photographing a wedding.
  • Determine an appropriate style for wedding photographs, according to the needs of the client.
  • Improving your photographic composition.
  • Shoot a Wedding Ceremony
  • Shoot a Wedding Reception
  • Process and present wedding photos to the clients, in a variety of formats
  • Successfully establish, market and manage a wedding photography business.

Photographic Lighting

  • Discuss the scope and nature of lighting as relevant to photography.
  • Describe how different light sources will affect different images in varying ways.
  • Describe how different filters can be used to create different lighting effects.
  • Identify the differences between different types of light meters.
  • Describe the range of equipment which can be used to help achieve more desirable light conditions for photography.
  • Explain contrast and how to compensate for imperfect light conditions.
  • Explain how to use tone to create the desired final image.
  • Distinguish between utilisation of light in a studio and on location.To view detailed outlines of each of the modules click on the modules above, one by one.


  • Open digital files using Photoshop.
  • Resize images and save them in multiple file formats.
  • Create original graphics using the Photoshop tools.
  • Manipulate individual elements of a graphic composition or image.
  • Improve the quality of an image (clean it up) by applying modifications.
  • Apply interesting filters and effects to images or compositions.
  • Prepare your files for the web, print or email.

Publishing I

  • Define the scope and nature of publishing today.
  • Describe some of the processes that are commonly used to perform work tasks in the publishing industry.
  • Identify a viable process to follow for desktop publishing of a small publication for printing on paper.
  • Identify a viable process to follow for desktop publishing of a small publication in an electronic format (eg. E book or web site).
  • Evaluate different types of illustration for ease and relevance for use in different publishing situations.
  • Determine photography appropriate for inclusion in a publication.
  • Determine research required appropriate to the needs of a publication.
  • Determine a marketing strategy appropriate to the needs of a publication.
  • Identify the impact of legal and ethical issues on a publisher.
  • Plan the production and marketing of a publication.
Photojournalism I

Participate in the production of a student publication

Portfolio Project
Prepare a portfolio of your photographic work

Business Studies

  • Select appropriate procedures for the establishment of a small business.
  • Select appropriate procedures for the management of a small business.
  • Develop procedures for communicating with suppliers and customers of a small business.
  • Develop procedures for addressing problems in a small business.
  • Plan the management of staff in a small business.
  • Develop strategies for managing production in a small business or department within a larger organisation.
  • Perform different financial management tasks used in small business or department within a larger organisation.
  • Evaluate marketing techniques used in business.

Research Project I

  • Develop your ability to collect, collate and interpret data and prepare reports in ways relevant to the work environment.
  • Monitor and evaluate one’s own work in order to develop a responsible attitude to workplace performance and quality assurance.
  • Develop awareness of areas where there is a valid need for research which are relevant to area of study.
  • Explain research methods, including experimental techniques, commonly used in the learner's area of study.
  • Understand of the basic statistical methods used for research.
  • Locate, collect and evaluate information for a specific research purpose.
  • Prepare a research report in a format which conforms to normal industry procedures.

Workshops I

There are 3 lessons in this module as follows:

1. Workplace Tools, Equipment and Materials: Identifying and describing the operation of tools and equipment used in the workplace; routine maintenance of tools and equipment; identifying and comparing materials used in the workplace; using different materials to perform workplace tasks.

2. Workplace Skills: Determining key practical skills in the workplace; identifying and comparing commonly-performed workplace tasks; determining acceptable standards for workplace tasks; implementing techniques for improving workplace efficiency.

3. Workplace Safety: Identifying health and safety risks in the workplace; complying with industry OH&S standards; developing safety guidelines for handling dangerous items.




    Photography offers a wide range of employment prospects and career paths.

    The industry is a dynamic one, but one that is also in the midst of upheaval as people move away from film photography and into digital photography.

    Developments in digital technology have had a huge impact on the photographic industry causing many large and well established employers to reduce job numbers. At the same time, new technologies have offered small businesses and freelance photographers an opportunity to compete more strongly than ever before with larger and more established businesses and professionals.

    In summary, photography offers lots of opportunity, but it is a rapidly changing industry, and to succeed, you need to stay up to date, and have the capacity to not only adapt quickly to new technology, but also be innovative in the way you apply it and the way you mover your career forward.

    Job Opportunities

    Freelance Photographers  Eg. Wedding or portrait photographers; Contract Advertising or PR photography

    Specialist Photo libraries   Often individual photographers who build up a collection of stock photos, which they sell to publishers, graphic artists, web site developers or anyone else seeking certain types of photos. Some will sell collections of stock photos on CD. Others may supply photos on request, or via a catalogue.

    House Photographer    Eg. Retained on a permanent contract or salary, by a business/organisation or business such as a newspaper or magazine publisher, advertising agency, tourist facility (eg. Theme park).

    Photographic Manufacturers/Suppliers     Large manufacturers or suppliers of photographic materials or equipment.

    Photo Retailer    Photo shops employ photographers in sales, for studio photography etc.

    Photo Artist     Some outstanding photographers have succeeded at developing a business selling their work through a gallery (retail outlet), or by developing a line of products such as greeting cards, posters, calendars etc.

    Some photography graduates may never succeed at achieving their ambitions and others do. This has nothing to do with your choice of course though!  Success is not just a matter of doing well in a course, or choosing the best course. It also requires persistence, an innate artistic ability and a creative free thinking personality.

    Most graduates can get work in the industry, if they are prepared to initially (at least) accept any job they can find; but that may mean simply taking photos at restaurants of an evening, or being a part time sales assistant on the photo counter at a chain store.

    Progression beyond such humble beginnings is a matter of both luck and ability. A qualification can help, but it is not always necessary.


    JOB TIPS for a Career in Photography

    • A qualification helps open doors, but it's only part of what you need
    • Get Experience, even if it is unpaid -Volunteering can be a great way to get a leg in the door
    • Networking is critical -We show you how and get you started in this course. Often it's who you know as much as what you know that gets you the job
    • Prepare a Folio, but keep it as a work in progress -keep adding and replacing contents with better contents
    • Be prepared to do anything to get started. Many successful professional photographers started out sweeping floors and making coffee.

    What Should You Study?

    Let us help you make the Best Decision for You!

    • Contact us and tell us about your passions and ambitions
    • Let us understand your situation so we can advise you properly
    • Then make a better unformed decision about what to study.

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