Certificate in Photographic Practice

Gain the skills to take professional photos. A foundation online course for serious photographers for professional development, to start a business or get a job.

Course CodeVPH004
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours

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Learn to be a Professional Photographer


  • Professional Development for anyone employed in related jobs
  • If you want to enter the profession
  • People that want to enhance their photography skills for pleasure, profit or as part of their work duties.


  • Change careers
  • Enhance your skills
  • Take professional photos
  • Learn to manipulate photos on a computer
  • Learn business skills
  • Learn photographic terminology
  •  Builds contacts

This course develops your understanding, builds your contacts, and improves your ability to produce professional photographs.
The ability to take and process good photographs is handy in most workplaces today.  
Photography is used on web sites, in brochures, in advertising, as a teaching tool, as an art form and much more.  People who understand photographic practice can find themselves employed in photo retailing, publishing, marketing.  They can work as wedding or portrait photographers, or in a whole range of other positions.

This is an in-depth course covering a number of different subjects including photographic technology and starting a small business.

  • Learn to take creative photographs
  • Manipulate images
  • Set the lights so that every wrinkle on your subject's face is highlighted or obscured, every glint in their eye is captured
  • Capture motion, emotion and moments in history
  • Gain experience
  • Sharpen your technical skills
  • Build contacts and opportunities for work


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate in Photographic Practice.
 Introduction To Photography BPH100
 Photographic Practice BPH101
 Starting A Small Business VBS101
 Photographic Technology BPH201
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 6 modules.
 Photographing People BPH102
 Digital Photography BPH202
 Graphic Design BIT205
 Photographic Lighting BPH204
 Photoshop CS - Beginner To Medium Level VIT202
 Wedding Photography BPH206

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


Photographic skills are valued in a wide range of jobs

Here are just a few examples of where graduates from this course may find employment opportunities:

  • Retailing -Selling photo supplies services and products
  • Marketing -Photos are used for brochures, web sites, posters, catalogues
  • Media -Electronic and print publications employ photographers
  • Tourism and Hospitality - Photographers can be found working with hotels, theme parks, restaurants, exhibition centres, reception centres
  • Photo Studios

How to Get a Job and Develop a Sustainable Career

A course is only the first step; but a necessary step. What you learn here can give you a valuable start and open up opportunities to enter the profession.

The world will however, continue to change; and areas of opportunity change too.  A good photography professional will develop and maintain an awareness of the industry, build networks (ie. contacts), and have a broad foundation knowledge that allows them to adapt and learn new things continuously throughout their working life.



Photographing any event correctly requires capturing lots of candid shots of people enjoying themselves, the crowd, and people working, performing and generally interacting with each other.  Candid photographs can be taken at any event from festivals, music concerts, and town fairs to sporting events. If you plan to work as a photojournalist, then it is good to practice with candid photography and be able to cover these events, telling the story with your photographs.

In order to cover an event you should aim for lots of variety in the content and plan in advance.


Preparation before an event is the key to a successful outcome, so have your equipment ready for your spontaneous shots.  Take plenty of memory cards, or film if required, and ensure your camera is fully charged.  

The more research of the event you do beforehand, the better equipped you are to capture the important elements of the day. It is important to research:

  • What time the event starts (so you can arrive early), and what time does it finish. 
  • What are the main events happening, so where will the people be.
  • What will the natural or artificial lighting be like.
  • Are there main acts you will want to capture.
  • Are there certain areas of the event which will be beneficial to be situated in.

If you are covering an outdoor event, go to the location it is being held a few days before and find the best possible vantage points to take your pictures and look where you might gain some height, for example a brick wall, a first storey balcony or a viewing tower.

Again if you are shooting indoors you need to research your venue and look for places where you can gain a height advantage.  Also look at where light is coming through windows and decide how you can use this light to your advantage. Think about how you can position yourself so that light will fall on people’s faces instead of behind them.

Whether the event is indoor, or outdoor, you will need to make sure you have permission to gain access to areas where important action will be taking place, and the areas where you will achieve the best shooting spots.  

Tips for candid photography at events:

  • Position is everything so be determined to obtain the best position you can. (You’ll probably be fighting for your spot with other keen photographers).
  • If the event is busy with people it is good to capture candid shots of subjects with other subjects in the frame.
  • If you find an uncluttered background stick with it, and use varying focal lengths to capture different elements within a scene.
  • Include onlookers in some of your images to capture the crowd’s reactions.
  • Stay alert. Sometimes a moment will occur after hours of watching.
  • For low light shots don’t spoil the ambient lighting with flash, instead increase the ISO.
  • If you are photographing something on stage e.g. a circus or dance performance, choose a seat a couple of rows back to show the audience in the foreground and to get a higher viewpoint. With dance shots choose a plain background that contrasts with the performers and be careful with contrast lighting.
  • Capture the audience, people in the crowd or the viewer’s reactions.
  • Behind the scene images are often engaging and give the viewer a more intimate insight into the event and the people behind it.  Take close up shots of performers getting ready.  It can also be good to capture those people behind the scenes setting up and packing away and while people are busy.  Within a series of images of the one event you should shoot different subject viewpoints and distance, to illustrate the event as a whole.

This Course Develops Your Capacity for a Sustainable Career

Some schools teach you to take good photos and stop there. At ACS, this is only the beginning.

We believe it is important to encourage and help you to develop contacts, communication skills, get a good CV and portfolio together, and stay current with developments and emerging opportunities. 



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John Mason

Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. J
John Edwards

Professional photographer. Experienced in Environmental and Water Services management. Has traveled extensively for photography projects. John has a BA (Hons) Photography, BSc (Hons) Env.Mgt, PGCE
Rachel Syers

Rachel has worked as a newspaper journalist for the past 15 years in a range of roles from sub-editor and social columnist to news reporter, covering rounds such as education, health, council, music, television, court, police, Aboriginal and Islander affa
Christine Todd

University lecturer, businesswoman, photographer, consultant and sustainability expert; with over 40 years industry experience B.A., M.Plan.Prac., M.A.(Social). An expert in planning, with years of practical experience in permaculture.