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How do I become a professional photographer?

If you’ve ever wondered how to learn professional photography or how to pursue a career in photography then you’re in the right place! We’ve got a range of flexible and affordable photography courses to get you started on the career of your dreams.

Photography is a diverse and lucrative industry that champions skill and creativity above all. Once you’ve honed your skills and become an expert at working your camera, there are many different sectors to explore – from food photography to wildlife and journalism. You can go as broad as you like or become a niche portrait photographer who only photographs weddings or people’s pets (yes, it’s a thing!).

First, you need to get your skills to an advanced level and learn about all aspects of the business of photography to break into the industry. Here are the steps to take if you want to become a professional photographer.

How to learn professional photography

Becoming a professional photographer takes time, skill and a lot of practice to refine your technique and get to grips with your camera. The first step is to strengthen your skills and knowledge base through education and online courses in New Zealand. 

Having a passion for photography is certainly ideal, but upskilling with a course will open up more opportunities, secure higher-paying jobs in the industry and give employers confidence in your abilities. Courses give you the chance to learn new skills and techniques that you might not have discovered on your own. Plus, you can stay on top of industry trends to really get ahead!

Developing a portfolio is an excellent start but a qualification will help you stand out and attract the clients you want to work with. Don’t worry, you don’t need to go to university to get one!

The best way to learn professional photography is to study professionals successfully making it in the industry. That’s why we’ve created some of the top specialist online photography courses in New Zealand in partnership with leading industry professionals. They’ve been specifically designed from over 15 years of development to make sure you’re getting the best in the business. On top of that, you can do them at home and at your own pace. 

Our photography courses are a combination of video tutorials, workbooks and interactive exercises, so you can put what you learn into practice and see your skills develop. It’s the perfect opportunity to start building your portfolio too!

The best online photography courses

Choosing the best online photography course will help to put you on the right track and support you in achieving your dream of becoming a professional photographer. All you need to do is choose the right one for you. Here’s a quick overview below to help you get started. 

  • Professional photography and photography business courses

Designed to be the top photography business courses online, these courses have been in development for over 15 years and we’re pretty proud of them. The Professional Photography and Photography Business courses take photographers of all levels from beginner to professional to make sure you get all the skills you need. Plus, if you don’t have a DSLR camera then don’t stress! Our payment plan includes a DSLR camera when you sign up.  

They cover all the technicalities of digital photography, including lighting, aperture and shutter speed, so you know your way around a camera with confidence. From there, you learn post production skills using tools such as Lightroom and Photoshop. 

Once you have all the fundamentals covered, you’ll then move on to explore different kinds of photography such as wildlife, food, journalism and so much more! It’s such an exciting part of the course because it’s all about finding out what area of photography you love best. Then it’s time to learn how to put together a professional portfolio, negotiate your costs with clients and present your sales pitch!

  • Portrait photography certificate 

This specialist course has been designed from the ground up for those who want to learn how to take stunning portrait photos. Portrait photography is a lucrative industry as plenty of newlyweds, couples, families and more will pay a decent sum to have their special moments captured so they can treasure them forever. 

The Portrait Photography Certificate will help you prepare for your career as a professional photographer. Your specialist training will cover all the ins and outs of your camera and post production, so you can learn how to take beautiful shots and bring out your subject’s best qualities. Don’t have a DSLR? Don’t worry, once again our payment plan covers a DSLR camera when you sign up. 

  • Certificate in Wildlife photography 

Our Wildlife Photography course is perfect for those who adore animals and photography and want to create a career out of doing both. We’re proud to be the only specialised online Photography Certificate in New Zealand too!

During the course, you’ll learn all the skills you need from photography professionals with almost 20 years of experience. Photography students of all levels can join as it covers the basics all the way up to advanced levels. 

As a wildlife photographer, you’ll be working with all the elements and it’s unlikely your subjects will be willing to pose. That’s why the course teaches you how to take amazing photos in different weather conditions and how to take the perfect shot of a moving target, from native New Zealand animals to exotic creatures like elephants!

  • Photography

If you want to keep things simple but effective look no further than our Photography course. This course is ideal for beginners who want to take their photography skills to a more advanced level and one day pursue a career as a professional photographer. 

During the course, you’ll learn from top professional photographers and practice your skills through workbooks, video tutorials and exercises. You’ll also study the fundamentals of Digital Photography, including aperture, shutter speed and using different types of lighting to your advantage. Then we’ll teach you how to make your photographs come alive in Lightroom and Photoshop!

What to do while you’re studying

A great way to break into the industry as a professional photographer is to volunteer and get hands-on experience while you study, as it will give you a real chance to practice what you’ve learned. There are plenty of internships and volunteering opportunities for aspiring photographers. 

One way to get started is to network with professional photographers in your field. Or, you can visit your local photography studio to get on their radar. Offer to help out in any way you can whether it’s assisting a shoot or doing admin. You could even shadow a photographer for a day or two, to get valuable insight into what the role looks like on a daily basis.

Start your job search

Many of our students begin their job search while they’re still studying with us. This shows potential employers that you’re a proactive candidate who is serious about a career in photography. There are plenty of career opportunities in the industry but it will take a bit of time and research to find the perfect job. This is where networking and introducing yourself to photography studios will come in handy!

Alternatively, if you want to launch straight into running your own photography business, we’ve got you covered for that too. Our courses will give you the tools you need so you can set it all up and hit the ground running.

That’s a wrap

There are many different ways to become a professional photographer, but the best way is to do a course so you can give yourself an edge and stand out in a competitive industry.

Our beginner friendly photography courses are specially designed to be affordable with a variety of payment plans to spread the costs. With flexible 24 hour access, you can set the pace and study when it suits. You’re also supported every step of the way with our team of experienced tutors. Online study has never been easier in New Zealand!

Take your career into your own hands and do a course in professional photography today!


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