Qualification - Associate Diploma in Commercial Photography

Course CodeVPH012
Fee CodeAS
Duration (approx)1500 hours
QualificationAssociate Diploma

Do you dream of working in the world of professional photography? Start your career now with this practical course that is aimed at providing you with a broad skill base to work from.

This course blends skills and knowledge of photography with those of business marketing and entrepreneurship to create a mix that prepares you for career or business success in the photographic industry. The course consists of 10 core modules and 5 electives. Subjects covered include introduction to photography, photographic practice, photoshop, freelance writing, photographic technology, starting a small business, photographing people, travel photography, landscape photography and more.

Work in the Commercial World of Photography.

This course blends skills and knowledge of photography with those of business marketing and entrepreneurship to create a mix that prepares you for career or business success in the photographic industry.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Associate Diploma in Commercial Photography.
 Industry Project BIP000
 Freelance Writing BWR102
 Introduction To Photography BPH100
 Photographic Practice BPH101
 Photographing People BPH102
 Starting A Small Business VBS101
 Advertising and Promoting BBS202
 Photographic Technology BPH201
 Photoshop VIT202
 Project Management BBS201
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 5 of the following 17 modules.
 Travel Photography VPH005
 Bookkeeping Foundations BBS103
 Flash Programming BIT102
 Html - Writing An Internet Website VIT102
 Publishing I (Publishing Children's Literature) BWR107
 Research Project I BGN102
 Workshop I BGN103
 Entrepreneurship BBS204
 Ethics BPS217
 Graphic Design BIT205
 Landscape Photography BPH203
 Photographic Lighting BPH204
 Publishing II (Publishing Fiction) BWR202
 Workshop II BGN203
 Professional Practice For Consultants BBS301
 Publishing III (Non-Fiction Publishing) BWR303
 Technical Writing (Advanced) BWR301

Note that each module in the Qualification - Associate Diploma in Commercial Photography is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Learn to Work With Light Better

Light is the photographer’s medium and therefore a good understanding of lighting is very important. Lighting creates and affects the colour, dimensionality, and mood of a photograph.
Emphasising form and texture 
Your use of light can emphasise texture and shape. By positioning yourself or your light source so that light skims across the surface of your subject you can create highlight and shadow areas giving you detailed pattern and greater form.  
Positioning yourself so your light source is full frontal on your subject will negate shadow and highlights and therefore flatten the shape and texture of the subject.  Light directly behind will silhouette your subject and directly above will create harsh shadows (which are not flattering). Always think about where your light is coming from and how it is affecting your image.
Creating Mood and Controlling Colour
The colour in the photo sets the mood of the image and is often thought to be out of our control, which is not true. As a photographer, we can manipulate the affect of colour by our choice of lighting. By carefully selecting your camera angle and lighting you can accentuate some colours and subdue others. 
Soft diffused light created by overcast skies for example, reduces contrast and softens colour to create a more unified picture.  This lighting is particularly flattering for people photography because it eliminates harsh shadow and softens facial features.
Affects of Shooting in Different Lighting
Early morning  
Soft pastels and subdued colours, as the sun rises, colours become warmer and more golden.
Late afternoon
Suns rays angle obliquely across a scene which may be used to sidelight a subject, or backlight with the use of fill flash.  The colour of the light becomes warmer, from yellowish, to golden, then reddish and violet blue at twilight.
Seasons also change the quality of light (this is not so relevant if you live near the equator, as the length of the suns rays don’t change greatly from season to season). 
  • Summer light is generally unflattering most of the day – for example in Australia this is an issue.
  • Polarising filters can reduce glare and deepen blue skies etc. 
  • Make sure you shield your lens from direct sun using a lens hood or similar.  Avoid shooting in the middle of the day.
  • Winter light because of the low angle of the sun can emphasize shapes and texture; yet can produce soft hues due to a less intense sun.
  • Spring and autumn are usually the best times for daylight photography as the sun is lower in the sky and therefore less intense than summer and less subdued than winter.
Lighting with flash
It is important to understand flash lighting so you are not caught out in low lighting situations. 
If you can help it, avoid using the inbuilt flash on your camera as the close proximity to the lens is what causes red eyes.  Use a better quality flash that sits on the hot shoe of your camera, preferably one with a moveable flash head, which will eliminate red eyes and enable you to bounce flash off the ceiling, reflector board etc (adjust your exposure plus 2 stops approximately depending on the surface you are bouncing off). You can also diffuse the light coming from your flash by using a diffuser or taping diffusing acetate over your flash.  Remember to adjust your exposure approx. plus one-half stop.  


PHOTOGRAPHIC EBooks also Available!

ACS Distance Education also offers a wide range of eBooks to complete our courses. You may be particularly interested in our Photographic Techniques eBook.

Explore how to take better photos. This is a book packed full of practical tips, from the authors own experience, coupled with a solid introduction to well established and widely practiced photographic techniques. This is a well illustrated, excellent reference for students of photography; and an equally useful source of inspiration to the amateur photographer. 

Visit our School bookshop at www.acsebook.com

  • Downloadable ebooks that can be read on ipads, PC’s, Laptops, or readers like a Kindle.
  • Titles are written by our principal and staff.
  • Anyone can purchase books –ACS students are offered a student discount

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