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Orange photographer and proud Wiradjuri woman Kristin Byrnes has launched a photography business, thanks to her ‘life-changing’ TAFE NSW experience.

Ms Byrnes developed her practical photography skills by studying a Certificate IV and a Diploma in Photography and Photo Imaging at TAFE NSW Orange. Her outstanding achievements earned her a TAFE NSW 2021 Gili Award, which recognises the achievements of Aboriginal students, a TAFE NSW Excellence Award, and a finalist status in the recent NSW Regional Training Awards.

Ms Byrnes said, “I started taking photos because I enjoyed it. I still enjoy it, but now I have the hands-on skills by studying at TAFE NSW to make it so much better. It has allowed me to change my career from working in the mines to something I love - operating a small photography business, Blackbird Studios capturing weddings, babies and more, with a friend from my course.”

“The supportive and flexible teachers at TAFE NSW along with the fun learning environment is what inspired me to keep going with my studies. I have gained so much confidence and strength from the courses as a person, to achieve my goals,” Ms Byrnes said.

“As a mother of three, it wasn’t easy making the decision to study, but I am so glad I did as the experience at TAFE NSW has really been life-changing for me and my family.”

During her studies, Ms Byrnes overcame a number of challenges including the death of her grandparents and having to adapt to changes due to COVID-19.

TAFE NSW Orange Photography Teacher, Alina Maclean said Kristin’s dedication to her studies meant that she gained relevant skills to excel in her career.

“Kristin brings a strong work ethic, as well as her personal attributes of drive, determination and positivity to her chosen career.

“She has learned exceptional technical skills in photography and imaging, and the collaboration and teamwork that was crucial to her course completion will stand Kristin in good stead as she enters the industry and progresses her business.

“Kristin is a perfect example of students coming to TAFE NSW to realise their dream, reinvent themselves, change careers or start their own business,” Ms Maclean said.

For more information about photography and imaging courses available at TAFE NSW, visit or phone 131 601.


Media contact: Emma Curtis, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist