• Diploma in Photography

    Do you want a rewarding creative career working as a professional photographer? South Seas prepares you for the industry, majoring in Photojournalism, Commercial photography or Creative Art photography.

  • Why Come to South Seas?

    • Practical, hands on Photography training
    • Cutting edge industry technology
    • Tutoring by established Photography professionals
    • Expansive facilities on Auckland North Shore
  • A button to easily access key student information about this qualification.


  • Photography Course Overview

    South Sea’s Photography course is a 43 week long, full time course resulting in a diploma in Photography. Students will receive the knowledge, understanding, appreciation and skills fundamental to a successful career in photography.

  • At South Seas Photography School, you will:

    • Master the technology of the digital image production.
    • Develop your skills through practical projects.
    • Explore the role of photography in new media.
    • Learn to analyse your own work and that of others.


  • Photography Course Aims

    • Provide graduates with a high level of practical, recognised professional photography skills.
    • Ensure that graduates are ready to enter the industry upon completing the course.
  • Photography Graduate Employment

    Graduates will be competent in their elective field of photography as well as a high level of overall photography skills. They will be qualified to obtain work independently as professional photographers or obtain trainee positions with photographic companies or other industries that require a high level of photographic knowledge and skills. They can also progress on to related studies at a degree level.


  • Photography Majoring Options

    In terms 1–3, the course will provide a comprehensive introduction to and practical experience in all essential skill requirements for the following major fields of photography:

    1. Photojournalism including News, Live Events, Documentary and Travel photography.
    2. Commercial photography, including Portrait, Fashion, Food, Product, Illustrative photography.
    3. Creative Art photography including Portrait, Landscape, Fine Art photography.

    This will prepare students to select which of the above fields of photography they wish to specialise in during Term 4.

    Students will then work exclusively within their elective field of digital photography to produce a high quality professional portfolio that they can use to obtain work in their chosen field.


  • Photography Course Content

    To prepare students for the challenges of professional photographic work, the course includes lectures, demonstrations, workshops, and training exercises in the following aspects of digital photography.

    • History of Photography – Overview of the technical and creative development of photography.
    • Science of Photography – Overview of the scientific basis of photography.
    • Introduction to Photographic Aesthetics – Composition, framing, camera angles, lighting, and extensive application of these concepts with practical assignments.
    • Photographic Equipment – Overview of all essential photographic equipment, accessories, materials and supplies.
    • Digital Cameras – Extensive hands on training in the practical use of essential digital photographic cameras, lenses, tethering digital cameras to computers and digital workflow.
    • Post Camera Digital Workflow – File formats, digital storage systems, and extensive practical experience in using these processes.
    • Digital Photo Post Production – Extensive practical use of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom.
      • Introduction to preparing photographic portfolios, curriculum vitae, researching, obtaining work, networking and developing photographic careers.
      • Introduction to scheduling, budgeting, bookkeeping and business management for commercial photography.
    • Planning and Production Skills –
      • Develop skills in planning photographic assignments, production bookings and scheduling for projects with practical experience in carrying out these tasks throughout the course.
    • Intro to Commercial Photography Art Direction –
    • Concept and style development, efficient communication with makeup artists and stylists etc.
    • Analysis and Feedback of Photographs – To enable continuing photographic improvements.
    • Studio Lighting – Develop professional lighting techniques, photographic styles and creative expression through the use of light. This is achieved with extensive training and hands on use of professional photographic lighting equipment, light modifiers, accessories and supplies.

2018 Calendar for Digital Photography Course

Term 1 (10 weeks)

Term 3 (10 weeks)

Term begins: Wed 31 Jan 2018 Term begins: Mon 09 Jul 2018
Term ends: Thurs 29 Mar 2018 Term ends: Fri 14 Sep 2018

Term 2 (10 weeks)

Term 4 (10 weeks)

Term begins: Mon 09 Apr 2018 Term begins: Mon 24 Sep 2018
Term ends: Fri 15 Jun 2018 Term ends: Fri 30 Nov 2018

2017 Calendar for Digital Photography Course

Term 1 (10 weeks)

Term 3 (10 weeks)

Term begins: Mon 23 Jan 2017 Term begins: Mon 10 Jul 2017
Term ends: Fri 31 Mar 2017 Term ends: Fri 15 Sep 2017

Term 2 (10 weeks)

Term 4 (10 weeks)

Term begins: Mon 10 Apr 2017 Term begins: Mon 25 Sep 2017
Term ends: Fri 16 Jun 2017 Term ends: Fri 01 Dec 2017


  • Challenging Photographic Assignments

    The course consists of a series of weekly, practical photographic exercises starting with basic but fundamental visual training. Photo shoots increase in scope and complexity throughout the year.

    By the end of the course, participants are able to independently complete complex photographic assignments with a professional level of competence in both creative and technical aspects.

  • Getting Ready for the Creative Industry

    Every lecture, workshop and shooting exercise is designed to fulfill industry requirements and prepare students for the demands of the industry.

    Our industry experienced staff and industry guest tutors deliver lectures, demonstrations and workshops as well as assisting students with their photo shoots and projects. Students complement this support and guidance with their own self directed photo shoots and reinforce their theoretical knowledge with the delivery of written reports.

Requirements & Fees

  • Photography Course Duration & Intake Details

    The course year is 43 weeks in duration and is divided into 4 Terms.  Each intake class limited to a maximum of 16 students in order to ensure that each student receives quality training.

  • Photography Course Entry Requirements

    • The Commercial Photography (CPC) course is open to all New Zealand and International students.
    • International applicants must be 18 years or older and have English language skills equivalent to IELT level 6.
    • All applicants must complete the course application form, including written requirements, as well as complete a formal interview. For international applicants this can be via telephone or Skype.
    • All applicants must submit a portfolio of at least 5 or more of their own photographs. These can be submitted, in digital or print form, relevant to the aims of the applicant. If submitted in digital for they should be sent as jpeg format, large picture size of 1280 x 1024 and a file size of approx. 280-380 KB. The files can best be sent to South Seas as email attachments.
    • Although South Seas supplies all the relevant studio facilities and equipment as well as computers, students should have their own DSLR camera kit and tripod to use throughout the course.

Photography Course Fees

Photography Diploma Course – Fees & Costs
Domestic Student Fees International Student Fees
Tuition Fees (GST Inc @ 15%) NZ$17,324.25 Tuition Fees (GST Inc @ 15%) NZ$19,450.00
Less Govt EFTS Subsidy NZ$ 7,124.25
NetDomestic Fees NZ$ 10,200.00 Total International Fees NZ$19,450.00


  • Application Requirements

    Please view the general application requirements before applying.

    Application Sections

    1. Basic information
    2. Education & work experience
    3. Aptitude (incl. 1 essay question)
    4. Course specific questions
    5. Additional information

    Prepare for Applying

    • Order the application questions to your email:

Photography Showcase