Blogs (Career Inspiration Articles)

An adventure for a career

Having a photo appear in National Geographic can be the pinnacle of a photographer’s career. With TAFE NSW education and connections, 22-year-old Aidan Williams has nailed that already.

An adventure for a career

Images by Aidan Williams

Shooting for career passion

Aidan decided to pursue his passion for photography by enrolling in the Diploma of Photo Imaging at TAFE NSW after he finished high school.

“The foundation photography skills I learned at TAFE NSW and the industry-professional teachers instilled a lot of confidence in my abilities to pursue a photographic career,” says Aidan.

The industry connections, contacts and networks he gained from TAFE NSW came as an unexpected, but crucial bonus.

“It is a really tough and competitive industry. TAFE NSW connected me in more ways that I originally thought. I felt prepared to enter the industry.

“It connected me with career opportunities and industry professionals. Through the staff and teachers at TAFE NSW, opportunities just become available.”

Experiencing the work for real

After graduating, Aidan sought out as much work experience and as many mentors as possible. He applied for internships, but it was not until a trip to Tasmania to watch the photographing of the extreme sport of slacklining, that he truly found his calling.

Aidan was hooked, and he did everything he could to research the sport and the athletes who competed in it. His research led him to a group of slacklining athletes in the Blue Mountains. Packing up his gear, he made the journey to where they were training, and he started taking photos.

“I became absolutely fascinated. I wanted to know more and more, so I booked a one way ticket to Europe where the sport is big, to pursue my dream.”

While in Europe, Aidan built on his TAFE NSW networks and gained experience by doing local shoots and attending as many events as possible. Soon, he was getting paid work.


Shooting around the world

An early highlight was attending The Moleson Extreme Highline Festival in Switzerland with some of the best athletes in the world.

“It was during a snow storm, when all the athletes had gone inside apart from one - Louise Lenoble – who was still out in the snow on a line that was 35m long, that I decided to stay and take photos. I was so emotionally involved in the experience and absolutely immersed in what was happening that I realised that I was so happy with what I was doing and wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Aidan’s dedication to photography, and to the sport of slacklining, has paid off, as he has had two photos published in National Geographic magazine – one taken in Zakynthos, and one in Portugal.

“Getting my photos published in such an iconic magazine has been a dream come true. It definitely drives me to continue to follow my passion."


Keeping career connections

His career adventure has also taken him to North and South America, but he still maintains regular contact with his TAFE NSW teachers.

“I feel like I can always get advice, wherever I am in the world.

“Maintaining connections between industry and TAFE NSW is incredibly important. Development and learning doesn't stop once you leave the classroom.

“For the individual to feel like they still have someone who they can get industry advice from has been incredibly valuable for my personal and professional growth.”

TAFE NSW offers more than 1,200 courses, including Degrees. All nationally recognised qualifications are based on the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF). There are also hundreds of short courses – many nationally recognised, all respected and industry-tuned.

Connect to a career