Photographers use cameras and lighting equipment to take photographs of people, places, products and other subjects. Areas of specialisation in photography include photojournalism, food or fashion. 

Where photographers are employed

Most photographers are self-employed and receive work on commission from advertising agencies, graphic design studios and from retail, manufacturing and service companies. They also receive commissions from printing houses, architects and the public for weddings and portraiture. A small number work as press photographers. 

They may also work at special events such as weddings or graduations.


Full-time photographers in South Australia generally earn less than $600 per week.

Graph of pay scales for Photographer

Job prospects

The amount of work available is generally related to the level of economic activity. Success is directly related to the quality of work the photographer displays and promotions. Although photography is a competitive field there are usually opportunities available for innovative photographers.

In 2011 there were 323 people employed full-time as photographers in South Australia compared with 304 in 2006.

How to become one

You can work as a photographer without formal qualifications. You may like to consider a vocational education and training (VET) qualification in photography, photo imaging or visual art.

See courses related to this occupation.

You can also do a degree in communication, design, visual arts or photoimaging. At school consider doing art, chemistry, geography and history.

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT)

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Useful links


Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information. 

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