Photography Courses

Our Photography studies will teach you all the technical skills needed to have full control over your camera. We’ll show you the best techniques in this field today.

Available Courses

Digital Photography: Short Course Certificate

Skills Academy offers three courses in Photography Studies, all designed to help improve your knowledge and skills in the world of Photography. Sign Up Now!

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Digital Photography: Certificate Course

Photographers can make moments even more special. This is by knowing their equipment well and by having an eye for the right moment, lighting and so on.

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Digital Photography: Comprehensive Certificate Course

This comprehensive course will teach you how to get the most out of your photographic equipment. You will learn how to take the best photos you can imagine.

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The History of Photography

In today’s world, we are bombarded by photos. We can’t get away from them. From old family photos, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, 9Gag, magazines and more, there are photos all around us. It can be difficult to imagine a world without photos. So where did this start?

When you take a photo now, it’s a simple click and you have your photo ready. However, back in 1829 when Nicéphore Niépce created the first photographic process. For this process, it took several days for a single photo to be created. 

In 1939 the first film negatives were created. This allowed more than one copy of a photo to be made. Also in 1939, John Herschell created the liquid that photos are developed in. This was the beginning of more modern photography.

By 1841 it took only a few seconds to take a photo instead of days like it did in 1829. This was also because of the invention of the first short focal lenses, similar to the ones used today. 

Colour photography went through many stages of development before two Americans perfected the process in 1935 and sold it to Kodak. Digital photography was invented in the 1970’s but only became a common thing for people to have in mid to late 1990’s. 

Today we are so used to digital cameras that we cannot imagine life without them. Our phones have cameras that are more powerful than we ever imagined a camera could be only a few years ago. 


Is Photography Still Important?

Photography is as important in today’s society as it ever was. The reason for this is because of the power that a photo has. Photos let us capture a moment in history. There are many famous photos that capture a crucial moment in time. 

Photos are also a part of our legacy. They allow us to leave our mark in history. We all grew up looking at family photos of our parents and grandparents. Our photos will someday be seen by our children. We capture memories like our Matric dance, weddings, special moments with friends, and so much more. These memories are not only for us but for those who come after us. It gives them a glimpse into our lives, just as old photos let us see into the lives of people from the past.

Photos have the power to change the way people think and even motivate them to action. This is because a photo can make us feel a certain emotion. What makes a photo so powerful is that a single image can tell an entire story. As the saying goes, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. 

 Whether it is something special, terrible, or beautiful, photography lets us communicate and share things with other people. The language of photography can inspire people in many different ways.

Basics of Photography

A photographer weraing a yellow sweater and taking photosProbably the most important of all the basics that you will need to understand about taking photos is what is meant by ‘exposure’. Exposure simply means how light or dark a photo is, how much light is allowed into the camera. However, exposure is made up of three parts. These are aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.

Aperture is simply how wide the shutter is open. The bigger the aperture, the more light is allowed into the camera. A wider aperture also changes the way your photo will come out. When your aperture is wider or more open, things that are closer are more in focus than things further away. This makes it great for close-ups. A narrower aperture is better for getting everything into focus at the same time.

ISO is the light sensitivity setting. The higher the setting the more light it captures. The problem with this is that the more light you capture, the more digital noise you get. This means that the photo will become more and more grainy. 

Shutter speed is simply how fast the shutter closes when you take a photo. The slower the speed the more light is let in. This means you will get things like motion blur showing the direction something is moving in.

These are the three most basic things that affect the quality of your photo. Learning how to manage all three of these will be one of the biggest steps on the road to becoming an excellent photographer. 

Of course, you can’t just understand this. You will also need equipment so that you can practice. 


What Equipment do I Need to Become a Photographer?

There are several essential pieces of equipment that you will need or should invest in when you begin your journey into the world of photography. These items include:

  • Tripod
  • Remote Shutter Release
  • External Flash (Speedlight)
  • AA Batteries + Battery Charger
  • SD Memory Cards
  • Prime Lens
  • Camera Cleaning Kit
  • Camera Strap
  • Camera Bag


A camera tripod is an essential piece of equipment for any photographer. It allows you to level and stabilise your camera when you want to take a photo. It also allows you the ability to walk away from the camera and arrange your shot without losing the aim, focus, or framing of your photo. Tripods are often used for portrait or long exposure photography. 

Remote Shutter Release

This is a small attachment that lets you click the shutter without needing to touch the camera. The big advantage of this is that you don’t have to worry about moving or shaking the camera when you take the photo. This lets you avoid blur on your photos. 

External Flash (Speedlight)

Even if you don’t want to take photos in the dark, you will need a flash sometime. Buying an external flash is a good idea. This is because these kinds of flash (sometimes called a flash gun or Speedlight) are much better than any built-in flash.

AA Batteries + Battery Charger

Unfortunately, most external flash units require batteries, usually AA batteries. Buying batteries can become very expensive. This is why it is a good idea to buy two sets of rechargeable batteries and a battery charger. By doing that, you can always be sure of having one fully charged set of batteries on hand if the others fail.

SD Memory Cards

Of course, you need SD cards to replace traditional film. However, it is also a good idea to buy a few smaller SD (or in some cases Micro-SD) cards, rather than a single huge SD card. You might think is a strange idea or that it would be annoying to have many smaller cards, but it would be worse to have one big card. Losing the card or having the data become corrupted would mean that you lose all your photos and you won’t be able to use your camera at all. 

Prime Lens

A photographer carrying long lens cameraMore professional cameras have several interchangeable lenses. As you progress with your photography, you will probably collect many different kinds of lenses.

When you are starting out, however, it is best to have a single lens that cannot zoom.

This kind of lens is called a Prime Lens.

Camera Cleaning Kit

Like any profession, it is important to take good care of your tools. Cameras can be damaged by dust, moisture, and dirt. These things get inside your camera and can scratch, jam, or even break the fragile components inside your camera. 

You can have your camera professionally cleaned by specialists but that can be very expensive. The best thing to do is to learn how to properly clean your camera, and do it yourself. There are many great home camera cleaning kits that you can buy. These kits contain everything you need to give your camera a proper clean.

Camera Strap

Most cameras come with a camera strap when you buy them. Usually, the strap will be branded with the camera manufacturers name and logo. These camera straps are not always the best quality. This is why you want to buy yourself a new high-quality strap as soon as you can. 

Camera Bag

This is probably the most important piece of equipment that you can own. This bag is not only for your camera though. You will carry all your equipment in this bag. This is not only so that you can carry everything at the same time, but it also lets you protect your equipment. 

What Skills Does a Photographer Need?

There are many different skills that you would need as a photographer. You will need to have a very good knowledge of all the hardware and software that you will be using. This covers everything from your equipment, to photo editing, software and more.

Of course, one of the most important things you need is creativity. You need to be able to spot that perfect shot and the ability to know just how to make your photo look more interesting. 

If you do things like still life or portrait photography you will also need to have a good eye for composition. This is how you arrange things in the shot to make a pleasing photo. Combined with this is the ability to pay attention to detail.

Something that you might not think you need is a good knowledge of the law. This is because you will need to understand the laws and regulations around how you can use photos of people, who owns the copyright to your photo and more.

Are There Different Kinds of Photography Careers?

Yes, there are. There are many different photography careers you can go into. This is because you can specialise in the kind of photos that you take. Click on the Photography Careers and find out more.


In this field you use your creativity and skills to capture special moments. As a photographer you have the choice of being your own boss or working for a studio. Click the link and read more about this career and how it’s a good choice for you. 

Art Director

An art director is someone who oversees the overall creative project in films, advertisements, photoshoots, tv productions etc. They’re responsible for making the visual aspects of any art project look good and make sense. You can find all the information about an art director here

Camera Operator

A camera operator is also known as a cameraman or a camerawoman. It is someone who records images and makes videos to inform or entertain people, depending on the industry he works in. More information about a camera operator here


Interested in a career in Photography? Why not become a Photojournalist? Visit different locations and capture images that tell a story.

Can I Study a Photography Course?

While a lot of photography depends on you as a person, there are courses that you can study which will help to sharpen your skills. These courses will teach you how to use and care for your equipment, and tips on how to get the best out of your camera and how to take better photos. 


What Photography Courses are out There?

There are hundreds of courses out there that you can find. There are short courses, part-time, full-time, and even diploma courses. What is important to think about is what kind of course you can afford to do. This doesn’t only mean how much money it costs. Studying also takes time and commitment. You have to invest time, money, and effort into your studies. 

You might wish you could do a photography course but you have other responsibilities. Maybe you are already working full-time, or you have a family to take care of. This means that you don’t have the time to do a course right? Wrong. There is also the option of studying through distance learning. 

Distance learning courses let you schedule your studies yourself. You can study when and where it suits you. Another advantage of distance learning is that you can do it from anywhere in the world. 

We here at Skills Academy specialise in distance learning. All our courses are designed specially so that you can do it when suits you best. There are many courses available at Skills Academy, including digital photography courses.

Skills Academy’s Digital Photography Courses

We offer three different digital photography courses here at Skills Academy. The courses are the four-month Short Course Certificate in Digital Photography, the eight-month Proficiency Certificate in Digital Photography, and the 12-month Comprehensive Certificate in Digital Photography.

One of the things that makes these courses such a great option is the fact that you don’t need to do all three courses. Each course can be done by itself. Another advantage of these courses is that you only need to:

  • be 16 years or older, 
  • have Grade 10, and 
  • be able to write and read in English.

These courses are designed to give you the best information and skills in as short a space of time as possible. 

Another thing that makes our courses a great option to consider is our flexible payment methods


Short Course Certificate in Digital Photography

This course consists of only three subjects namely Introduction to Business English, Face-to-Face Communication, Digital Photography DP-101.

Business English is an essential skill for any professional person. It teaches you how to write professionally for business. This includes things like Presentations, Non-verbal communications, and more.

As a photographer, you will be dealing directly with all kinds of people. This is why it is important to have good Face-to-Face Communication skills. This includes learning listening skills, Non-verbal feedback, taking advantage of your voice, and dealing with your own fears. 

Digital Photography DP-101 gives you all the basics you need when it comes to doing our digital photography courses. This subject teaches you all about your camera, the different lenses and accessories as well as teaching you photo and basic digital techniques. It will also help you to develop ideas for your photography. 


Proficiency Certificate in Digital Photography

The intermediate course covers five different subjects. This course includes the three subjects that are studied in the Short Course Certificate and adds on to more subjects: Excellence in Service: Basic and Time Management.

Excellence in Service: Basic teaches you all the basic skills and knowledge that you need to know when dealing with customers and clients. This includes skills like, Customer Interaction, Customer Service Skills, Customer Management, and Customer Communication. You will also cover topics like Customer Service Fundamentals and Customer Expectations. 

Time Management is a skill that everyone needs. From our personal lives to our professional lives, we all have a lot of different things on our plates and it can be difficult to get around to everything. This is where Time Management skills come in to play.

In the Time Management subject, you will study the principles of Time Management, learn how to create Time Management plans, examine the factors that affect productivity, and discover Information Overload and how to prevent it. 


Comprehensive Certificate in Digital Photography

Our Comprehensive Certificate in Digital Photography covers all five subjects that you will study in the Short Course and Proficiency certificate courses. It also adds the Excellence in Service: Advanced and Digital Photography DP-102 subjects. 

Excellence in Service: Advanced adds to the skills you learn in Excellence in Service: Basic. You will gain new skills like selecting the right employees, conducting interviews, building customer service teams, and how to make your service memorable. There are many other skills covered in this subject too.

Digital Photography DP-102 teaches you more advanced digital photography techniques and principles as well as giving you some Master Classes in digital photography. 


Take the Next Step

If you are ready to explore the world of digital photography, contact us. You can fill in the form on this page and one of our consultants will call you back. If you don’t want to wait, you can call us toll-free on 0800 39 00 27 and speak to one of our consultants. They will be able to help you register or provide you with any information you might want. He who hesitates is lost so call us today!

Last Updated: May 04, 2020

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