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Diploma in Professional Photography

SAQA Code: 48452


Starting with the basics, this course will guide you to develop your own visual language and communication skills. These skills include Visual Literacy, Darkroom Skills, Photojournalism, Studio Lighting, Software Applications and Visual Design.


  • Technical proficiency and experience shooting on different camera formats, digital and analogue
  • A photographic portfolio
  • An online portfolio in the form of a website
  • Internship / job shadowing experience
  • Experience in image management and post-production
  • Exhibition experience
  • Experience in producing a personal body of work
  • The necessary theory, critical thinking and discursive skills



Technical theory

  • Camera anatomy
  • Theory of film
  • Theory and practice of darkroom
  • Pinhole photography.
  • Creative darkroom.
  • Enlarging
  • Flash
  • Digital crossover

Applied photography

  • Portraiture in environment
  • Intimate portraiture
  • Directions of light
  • Landscape photography
  • Event photography
  • Photojournalism

Studio photography

  • Various light set ups
  • Use of reflectors and other studio equipment
  • Portraiture
  • Still-life
  • Pack shots
  • Fashion
  • Beauty

Visual communication

  • Visual literacy
  • History of art
  • History of photography
  • Live history

Digital media

  • Photoshop
  • The digital darkroom, learning the tools.
  • Enhancement of regular images.
  • Saving and filing visual images. Learning about file types, quality, resolution and compatibility.
  • Manipulating images, changing and creating new forms out of the old.


Applied photography

  • Architectural photography
  • Night photography
  • Fine art photography
  • Photojournalism
  • Darkroom theory and practice (optional)

Studio photography

  • Various advanced light set ups
  • Advanced uses of reflectors and other studio equipment
  • Creative portraiture
  • Conceptual work
  • Still-life
  • Pack shots
  • Fashion
  • Beauty


  • The business of photography

Visual communication

  • History of art
  • History of photography
  • Contemporary theory

Digital media

  • Advanced Photoshop
  • Photo retouching
  • Web design for portfolio and personal marketing

Work integrated learning

  • Placed internships where the student works in studio, gallery, magazine shadowing an industry professional
  • Social responsibility project, students liaise with NGO or appropriate external company and provide photographs and a marketing product.
  • Joint liaison with drama/art department to photograph make up for student portfolios.
  • CityVarsity joint film project, on set film stills providing images for marketing materials.

Career preparation

  • Building a portfolio
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Website of personal portfolio
  • Hard cover portfolio (optional)

Final graduate exhibition

An overview and application of the processes involved in curating a photographic exhibition.


Diploma in Professional Photography


2 years