The ACS caters for many different levels of industry involvement.
Full, Active, Associate, Student and CineKids are the most common levels of membership.

If you wish to join, please click on the “Join the ACS” image link to the RIGHT of this page (or at the bottom if on mobile) for the Application Form. → → → →

CineKids Membership has its own special Application Form. See below.

If you need further assistance regarding your membership application please contact the President in your State via the Contact Us link on the right side of this page.

To choose your Membership Category, refer to the quick guide below or read the Membership Categories listed.

Which is the correct Membership Category for me?

Students and young people


  • Aged between 10 and 15 years old

I am really interested in cinematography and want to learn more. I also want to be part of a society that specialises in the art and technique of cinematography.

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  • A student aged 16 years or older

I am enrolled in either a secondary school, tertiary institution, academy or college and I am studying aspects of film, television and screen production, or visual arts, or I am passionate about cinematography, or I am gaining work experience with an industry company.

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Working in industry


  • NOT in the Camera Department however my work relates to cinematography

I may be a Sponsor or invitee of the ACS. I may work in a department allied to the Camera Department such as those listed below.

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  • Cinematographer with less than 3 years experience.

I may be a Camera Operator, 1st AC (Focus Puller), 2nd AC (Clapper/Loader), DIT, Data Wrangler, Video Assist Operator or starting my career as a cinematographer. I may also work in other roles in addition to cinematographer.

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  • My primary form of employment has been as cinematographer during the last 5 years.

I work professionally as a cinematographer and am at least 21 years old.

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  • I have worked professionally as a cinematographer for at least 8 years. 

I am a Full Member of the ACS and have been for at least 3 years.

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Other membership types


  • I no longer work as a cinematographer or in the camera department.

I am aged over 50 and have remained either a Full or Active Member for at least 10 years consecutively. I no longer work as a cinematographer or in the camera department due to age or health and am no longer employed.

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  • Bestowed at the discretion of the ACS Hall of Fame Committee and cannot be voluntarily joined or applied for.

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  • Bestowed at the discretion of the ACS National Board and cannot be voluntarily joined or applied for.
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Please note that each level of Membership Category may require substantiation by the applicant to prove their eligibility to the ACS. This may be in the form of, for example, Student ID, CV, Employment History and Referees.

Membership Categories

ACS CineKids

A CineKids Member is a young person aged between 10 – 15 years, who has a passion for cameras and filmmaking. This membership category was created to encourage and foster interested kids to participate and take an active hands on approach to Cinematography.

CineKids is divided into two age groups: 10 – 12 years old and 13 – 15 years old. When entering into the Awards, CineKids will need to enter under the appropriate age group which is based on the age they were when they filmed the entry.

When CineKids members turn 16 years old they need to upgrade to a Student Member.

ACS CineKids may enter their work into the ACS Annual Awards for Cinematography held in October/November each year. Submissions to be entered in August.

ACS CineKids will receive a Welcome Pack with a membership certificate, membership card, notepad and pen, access to our eNews both National & Branch, and various screenings and workshops, along with mentoring from our ACS cinematographers.

There is a special ACS CineKids Membership Application form available via this link below.

Download an ACS CineKids Membership Application Form »


A Student Member is a person aged 16 years or older who is either:
Undertaking a course, recognised by the National Executive in film, television and screen production techniques in a college, university or academy
Gaining work experience with an industry company or production
A Secondary student aged 16 years and older who is actively engaged and has a keen interest in cinematography.
**When a CineKid turns 16 years old they may be upgraded to a student member.
Existing ACS Members who are undertaking further education are not considered Students.


An Associate Member is a person who is involved in cinematography, but is NOT a member of the Camera Department on set.
An Associate Member may be a Sponsor or dignitary who is invited by the ACS to join the Society.

An Associate Member may be a person who is not in the Camera Department on set but is working in the allied Departments of Lighting, Gripping, Art, SFX, VFX, Visual Post-Production, Camera Equipment Supply and Preparation, Camera and Lens Technician and/or Consultant.


An Active Member is a person who is working in the Camera Department but does not meet the eligibility for Full Member status.

An Active Member may be a novice cinematographer (less than 3 years experience) or a cinematographer not working professionally, or a cinematographer who also works in other roles and capacities in the industry.

An Active Member may be a Camera Operator, 1st AC (Focus Puller), 2nd AC (Clapper Loader), Data Wrangler, DIT, Video Assist Operator or on-set camera/lens technician.


A Full member is a person aged 21 years or older who is working as a professional cinematographer as their primary form of employment and they have been shooting professionally for at least the past 5 years consecutively. A person may join the ACS as a Full member provided they meet the eligibility criteria.

If considering ACS Accreditation, a person must have been a professional Cinematographer for 8 years or longer including at least 3 years as a Full Member of the ACS. This is the only path into Accreditation. Student, Associate or Active Members may NOT apply for Accreditation regardless of the number of years of ACS membership nor their body of work.


To gain ACS Accreditation, a Full Member must have been a professional Cinematographer for 8 years including at least 3 years as a Full member and must submit a representational body of their work to the Accreditation Panel for appraisal. This specially convened group makes assessments on the standard of lighting, composition, operating and camera movement. Consideration is also given to the cinematic approach in relation to the script and subject matter. This body of work must show more than just professional competence, it must clearly demonstrate creativity and aesthetic innovation. To receive Accreditation is the highest honour, and it is the intention of the Society to ensure that any cinematographer so honoured, and thus entitled to use the letters ACS after their name, will be capable of performing work of an international standard. The use of the ACS letters after a person’s name is exclusively reserved for those who have received an Accredited membership. Eligible Full Members wishing to apply for ACS Accreditation should contact their Branch President.

Learn about applying for ACS Accreditation.


A Retired Member is a member, aged over 50, with ten years’ standing or more who has been a Full or Active member and due to age or illness has retired from active participation in cinematography and is no longer employed in any capacity. Approved Retired Members are not liable for membership fees.


A Life Member is a Full, Active or Retired Member who, due to long and distinguished service to the Society, has been recommended and nominated to the ACS Hall of Fame Committee, and then approved by them at their Annual meeting. A Life Member is not liable for membership fees.


An Honorary Member is a person upon whom honorary membership has been bestowed at the discretion of an ACS committee. An Honorary Member is not liable for membership fees.

Membership fees

2023 – 2024 annual membership fees are listed below. They are in Australian Dollars and are inclusive of GST.

  • Accredited: $270 – Accreditation application fee $330
  • Full: $220
  • Active: $170
  • Associate: $145
  • Student: $85
  • CineKids: $25

The ACS membership year runs concurrently with the financial year, July 1 – June 30.

Pro Rata fees will apply if you join later in the financial year.

Special Dispensation

If a member of any category is undergoing financial hardship they can apply to have their relevant fee downgraded until their financial position changes. Members are therefore able to retain all of their membership benefits.

Each case is dealt with on an individual basis and must be approved by the National Executive.

Application forms

Need some assistance?

If you need assistance with your membership application please contact the Branch President in your State or Territory. Contact us