Photography Courses in New Zealand

It's natural to consider landscape photography when looking for photography courses in New Zealand. After all, the magnificent scenery is one of the primary attractions of this country in the Southern Hemisphere.

As we provide details on some of the opportunities for photography study in New Zealand, please keep in mind that we are not recommending or reviewing schools or courses. We present the information as representative of the great opportunities available.

Photography courses New Zealand - female photographer Female photographer


Queenstown Centre for Creative Photography

For example, Jackie Ranken and Mike Langford, both known as Canon EOS Master Photographers, offer photographic study opportunities

"from the rugged West Coast Glacier Country to awe-inspiring Fiordland and the spectacular autumn colors of Arrowtown and Macetown."

Workshops are also travel/scenery experiences so the instructors encourage students to be energized and creative. The master photographers use such terms as "inspired," "expressive," "passion" and "commitment" when talking about their workshops and short courses.

To find out more - please visit Queenstown Centre for Creative Photography.


The Photo Access program...

A program called Photo Access is available for those interested in a full-time program that results in a certificate in professional photography. The program lasts 39 weeks over the course of a calendar year, with 30 hours of participation per week.

The mission for the instructors is "To provide a sound base for students to enter the photographic profession or to engage in a higher level of study." Course designers also hope to advance the overall concept of photography courses in New Zealand.

Photo Access is a

"private photographic training facility located in Christchurch, New Zealand. Established in 1989, Photo Access has offered a professional course in photography since 1993."

There are really just a few requirements for this program (and most quality photography programs). A student must be able to pay the fees, of course. But the folks at Photo Access are just as interested in students who can supply their own good 35mm camera, and students who are really enthusiastic about growing and expanding their photographic boundaries.


With this full-time, year-long course it is essential for the student to have some vision of a career path. According to the program information this helps students to focus on the future while experiencing the present.

Course developers include four specific categories in the full-time program:

  • Compulsory photographic skills - about 20 percent of the course

  • Optional photographic skills - about 40 percent of the course

  • Assignments - about 20 percent of the course

  • Portfolio - about 20 percent of the course


As the course material explains,

"In addition, tuition is also provided in all main subject areas such as portrait, fashion, still life, landscape, alternative techniques, documentary, digital and presentation as well as contact with and tuition by industry professionals."

University Level Education in Photography

One other representative example of photography courses in New Zealand takes us to the university level of instruction. At the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch (the largest city of New Zealand's south island), students have access to a world-class research and teaching institution.

Photography studies at the university begin with

"a comprehensive introduction to photographic principles, an exploration of photography as a device for communicating information, ideas and personal insights, and an introduction to the basic materials and processes of photographic practice."

But that, of course, is only the beginning. Advanced study includes documentary techniques and skills as well as artistic expression. Programs are designed for each individual, with projects that take them toward their professional and photographic vision.

Beyond the introductory course already described, programs range from 200 and 300 level courses that explore

"photography as a device for communicating information, ideas and personal insights" to 600 level courses that are available "Subject to approval of the Head of Department."

Enrollment in most programs is strictly limited, with 24 as a maximum. Fees for New Zealand residents are quite a bit less expensive than for students from outside the country.


Photography courses in New Zealand - cost example

For example, an international student might pay $18,000 tuition while a resident of New Zealand might pay approximately $4,000. Fees vary depending on whether the program is a whole year plan or a "start any time" plan, as might the case with students who want to take an individual class.


Whether you choose a workshop, a private school or a university program, photography courses in New Zealand offer the best of instruction and experience.