Course Description

You’ll learn to use specialist programs currently in use in the industry and receive the latest, most modern digital materials that will cover new, necessary skills to create a compelling portfolio or for publication through social media. Learn the tricks and tools that will allow you to reach your audience and get your name “out there”.

If you’re a creative person who wants to enhance the professionalism of your photographs, the Certificate in Digital Photography will allow you to gain the skills you want in the most flexible and accessible way. Use this course to begin a journey into the world of photography or to enhance your creative skill set.

Equipped with a Digital SLR camera, you can start on the path to freelance photography by learning digital imaging skills that will make your photos stand out. Shape your imagination and discover your true potential.

This comprehensive course will teach you specialist skills in camera use and operation, image editing using Adobe Lightroom and file management. You'll learn about the different styles of photography, including street photography, landscapes and portraits. This course will also teach you how to publish your images and how to create a folio.

In the final modules you'll learn about optimising lighting and what steps to take next in your career or study journey.

Lots of the course material is in video format – with practical, easily digestible topics. This video content has been created in-house by expert professional photographers, who are there to guide through every step on the way.

This online course could provide a pathway to a career in photography or simply to give you the skills to create and share stunning images.

At the conclusion of this course, you may want to progress to accredited courses such as the Certificate IV in Design (Specialising in Photography), which could see you develop your professional photography skills even further.

Course number E0161
Course name Certificate in Digital Photography
Course duration Maximum 12 months
Delivery Method Online
Assessments Activities, Multiple choice questions, Portfolio, Quizzes
Awarded by
  • Open Colleges (Provider number: 90796)


There are no formal education entry requirements for this course.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 16 years old. If you are under 18 your enrolment form will need to be signed by a parent or guardian.


This course involves reading and undertaking a range of written assessments, as well as engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 10 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 10 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate II level or higher; or
  • 2 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to by Open Colleges.


Hardware and software requirements:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2013 or equivalent
  • Broadband Internet Connection
  • 4GB of Ram (recommended for use with Adobe suite)
  • Adobe Reader XI or equivalent


  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher recommended
  • 2 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor (4GHz or faster recommended)

Mac OS:

  • Mac OS X v 10.6 or higher recommended
  • 2 gigahertz (GHz) or faster Intel processor (4GHz or faster recommended)

You will also need access to Macromedia Flash player and you are advised to have access to Skype and sufficient internet bandwidth to view online videos, such as those available from YouTube.

You will need access to software to view online videos and images, such as Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Viewer, which are available as a download from the internet.


You will require access to a DSLR Camera with either a zoom lens or interchangeable lenses and camera software. You may choose to use a tripod; however, this is not essential.

You might also choose to hire specialised lighting and/or studio equipment to take superior quality photographs for their portfolio.


To successfully complete this course, you will need to have proficient computing skills.

  • This includes the ability to:
  • Use the computer, mouse and keyboard with proficiency, save files and search the Internet.
  • Attach and use peripheral devices such as scanners, digital cameras, media storage (e.g., flash drive for photo storage).
  • Save a compressed file (.zip)
  • Save a PDF File
  • Navigate the Internet to specific websites

Open Colleges will advise you of these requirements and will rely on your declaration that you have these basic skills.


Adobe Creative Cloud

You will require the use of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software.

If you do not have already access to Lightroom, Open Colleges recommends that you subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan which will provide all software, technical support and training material for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.


You will be required to create a social media account on Pinterest to display and share your work with other students. This account is free.


Towards the end of the course, you will be required to create a Facebook page to promote your work. This is free of charge

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.

  • Introduction to DSLR camera operation
  • Shooting in auto mode
  • Shooting in semi-automatic modes
  • Lighting and composition 
  • The virtual darkroom: Lightroom
  • Shooting in program mode
  • Shooting in manual mode
  • Lighting and composition 
  • The virtual darkroom: Lightroom
  • Photojournalism
  • Street photography
  • Family activities and sports
  • Nature and landscapes
  • Night events and special occasions
  • Interiors 
  • Product, food and macro
  • Portrait: colour and black and white
  • Wedding: colour and black and white
  • Creating a portfolio
  • Promoting your work
  • The next step: freelancing



What are my payment options?

Pay in full

If you pay your course fees up-front in full, you’ll benefit from a discount. When you pay in full, we don’t have to spend extra money on administration for tasks such as payment plan processing. Instead, we get to pass this saving onto you in the form of a discount.

Payment Plan

Pay for you course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

ZipMoney Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility in your finances, and want to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, you can switch to a zipMoney payment plan. Essentially, zipMoney pays your course fees for you, and you pay this loan back over 24, 36 or 48 months. As long as you are eligible, you can switch to a zipMoney plan at any time.

Find out more

Antony Cirocco

Antony Cirocco MA BA has worked as a photographer for over 18 years. He has worked with clients in both state government and the private sector. Antony has also produced feature length broadcast documentaries, music videos and over 300 TV commercials. He has successfully managed short course education programs at AFTRS and served as the Film and Television Head of Department for JMC Academy in South Melbourne. Antony has also worked as a contract lecturer, course and program designer for the Academy of Information Technology, The International Film School Sydney, CATC Design School and Think Education. Antony began his teaching career in Japan over a decade ago.

Leah Jeanes

Awarded the Photo Marketing Associations (PMA) 2007 NSW Young Achiever of the Year, Leah has always found her passion lies in telling her client’s story through her lens. With a belief in imagination and capturing connections and moments, Leah's focus is ensuring everyone can be documented and leave their story for the next generation. Leah currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication (Photography and Digital Imaging), a Diploma of Graphic Design and Business, a Certificate IV in Small Business Management, a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and has over 12 years of portrait and wedding sessions under her belt, all undertaken with the drive to grow her home studio.

Patricia Casey

Patricia is a photographic artist currently represented by Janet Clayton Gallery in Sydney and Stephanie Hoppen Gallery in London. She has completed a Master of Visual Arts (Research) from Sydney University and has exhibited internationally and throughout Australia. Patricia has received a number of awards and was a finalist in the Chippendale New World Art Prize 2014, winner of the Head On Photographic Portrait Prize in 2006, a finalist in the National Photography Prize in 2010 and finalist in the Sir John Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW in both 2002 and 2005. Patricia has taught photography at TAFE, worked extensively with young people and also within the community and disability sectors. Her teaching philosophy is one of respect, encouragement and support, which builds confidence within her student enabling them to gain the skills to translate their ideas and interests into photographs that are meaningful for both themselves and others.
Those who enrol in the Certificate in Digital Photography will get access to all the online learning materials, including our in-house instructional videos, discussion forums where you can interact with your trainer and other students, and additional photography readings and resources.

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Click Enrol Now and choose a payment plan or call an Education Advisor on 1300 161 345 for more details.