Turning your passion into a career

Chris Murphy has loved astronomy and photography since he was very young. In his teens he combined these passions - venturing out after dark to capture images of the night sky.

What he didn’t realise is that he could get paid for it.

“I was on Trade Me one day and saw a job for an Astrophotographer. I thought it was a joke or a scam, I didn’t think there was any way you could get paid for astrophotography,” says Chris.

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The job was legit and two weeks later Chris was working for Dark Sky Project, an astro tourism business based in Tekapo and owned by Ngai Tahu Tourism.

Dark Sky Project shows thousands of tourists from around the world the wonders of the universe with guided tours and experiences from their bases at Lake Tekapo and Mt John.

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Tourists learn about the night sky from experienced guides and get the chance to get some incredible images of their own to take home.

“As an Astrophotographer I take our customers’ cameras and set them up on our specialised equipment so they have photos of their own to take home, and maybe claim as their own.

“I get paid to play with my toys and give people something cool to take home with them.

“It’s awesome to be able to do what I love for a living. Framing up a galaxy that is 100 million light-years away sends chills up your spine.”

Chris’ advice for anyone looking to pursue their passion is simple, “Take a look around online, you never know what you’ll find. You don’t have to be a starving artist to pursue your art - there are opportunities out there.”

Find your next role on Trade Me Jobs now.

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