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Local TAFE NSW student droning his way to a media career

TAFE NSW Port Macquarie

Local TAFE NSW student droning his way to a media career

19 February 2019

At the age of 17, Cundletown teenager William (Will) Snape already runs his own photography business, is completing a diploma at TAFE NSW Port Macquarie and counts Ray White Manning Valley as a key client.

He was given his first career break last year when the local real estate agency contacted his TAFE NSW teacher, looking for a talented young photographer with a ‘fresh perspective’ to help the business take a different approach with property photos.

Will has done quite a bit of work there now and has welcomed other clients in recent times. He brings a range of equipment to his shoots and often utilises drone technology – something his TAFE NSW Diploma of Screen and Media course covers.

“Because I’m a contractor I can work my own schedule and map out what places I go too and in what order, I have the freedom to be my own boss to a large extent,” Mr Snape said.

“Most of my work is going into houses and showcasing the look and feel of it, taking photos of each room, making sure the colours and lighting look great. I also create walk-through videos and do some artistic work, depending on what the agent wants. It’s interesting work.

“Droning is a key tool in my arsenal, it’s one of the camera techniques we use at TAFE NSW. I fly it up from the property, showing the size and façade and then the surrounding area, such as the proximity to beaches. The trick to really good drone work is smooth motions and being in control. Normally when you fly there’s people who stand next to you, watching it and asking about it. There’s a lot of curiosity.

“It’s a new technology so it’s hard to say where it’s headed. It’s definitely a great way to showcase a property and I can see it being commercialised a lot more, such as in transport and delivery services.”

Ray White Manning Valley principal, Rob Chapman, said, “Will is a very enthusiastic young photographer. He listens to what the client wants and produces very good work.”

Will has taken a strategic approach to achieving his career goals so early in life.

“When I was a lot younger I watched videos of people doing action sports on YouTube and I found a real love of film and photography. There’s something about capturing the moment and being able to replay the moment to yourself and others – there’s something really satisfying about it,” Mr Snape said.

“I’m very interested in the combination of media and business. I wasn’t interested in doing the HSC because the subjects on offer didn’t suit me so I started researching TAFE NSW courses and discovered I can get to university quicker and easier by studying there. As soon as I found that pathway I took it.”

“Once I finish my diploma I plan to do a uni degree that my diploma gives me guaranteed entry into. It’s a double degree – creative industries and innovation and entrepreneurship. I’m really excited about it.”

The TAFE NSW Diploma of Screen and Media can also be studied online, when and where it suits students, via TAFE Digital. For more information visit or call 131 601.


Media contact: Kristy Sheppard, TAFE NSW Media & Communications Business Partner, 4923 7784 or 0407 450 860.