How to become a videographer

Videographers plan, film, develop, and edit videos for various projects. These include movies, shows, events, and advertisements. They direct other camera operators to capture specific actions and events. They set up and break down recording equipment before and after use. This includes taping down cables for safety. Furthermore, they keep all video and audio equipment in good working order, replacing pieces as necessary. Additionally, they negotiate rates with clients using the amount of time spent filming and editing video materials.

The educational requirement for this role varies by employers. While some seek candidates with a bachelor’s degree in videography or a related discipline, most require just experience. Essential skills include communication, attention to detail, time management, and multitasking. You must be an expert in using a camera, lighting, and audio equipment. You must be proficient in editing software. Videographers earn an average annual salary of $60,985. It varies from $31,000 to $120,000.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a videographer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $18.7 an hour? That’s $38,897 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 11,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Videographer Do

There are certain skills that many videographers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed manual dexterity, problem-solving skills and communication skills.

How To Become a Videographer

If you’re interested in becoming a videographer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We’ve determined that 72.5% of videographers have a bachelor’s degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 3.6% of videographers have master’s degrees. Even though most videographers have a college degree, it’s possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a videographer. When we researched the most common majors for a videographer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor’s degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on videographer resumes include high school diploma degrees or master’s degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a videographer. In fact, many videographer jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many videographers also have previous career experience in roles such as production assistant or freelance videographer/editor.

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Step 1: Understand the job description and responsibilities of a Videographer

What does a Videographer do?

A Videographer integrates video and audio capability to the e-Commerce site. Maintains and operates video equipment, edits select footage, and stays up-to-date with all new technological advances. Being a Videographer may require a bachelor's degree. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager. The Videographer gains exposure to some of the complex tasks within the job function. Occasionally directed in several aspects of the work. To be a Videographer typically requires 2 to 4 years of related experience.

Videographers focus on smaller productions like documentaries, live events, short films, legal depositions, weddings, birthday parties, sports events, commercials, and training videos.

For smaller productions, a videographer often works alone with a single-camera setup or with a small team of light technicians and sound technicians.

Videographers typically use some type of electronic media (streaming media, videotape, hard disk, etc.), compared to cinematographers who record on film and work on major motion pictures.

Videographers may also be accountable for repair and maintenance of equipment, lighting and sound, and editing.

Corporate videographers work for companies, and their responsibilities are basically limited to making videos that would promote the business.

Interested in a career in videography? You find that shooting local sports events for fun may be a viable career option for you, or you might be a young student considering a degree or job in videography.

No matter; everyone comes into their own on their own time and through different avenues. Follow these steps and you will be on your way to the career of your dreams as a videographer.

The first step is to get a formal education or training. You have many options when it comes to a formal education. You can get a four-year degree at a film school where there are often courses that focus on certain types of video producing or editing styles. Many large universities and colleges also offer coursework in video production and editing. Many two-year colleges and technical schools award certificates or two-year degrees in video production.

Those who work in video production or as camera operators must understand all aspects of filmmaking. From how to record sound, to how to operate a dolly grip. Courses you might take in video production include: lighting, storytelling, post production techniques, art direction, cinematography and production design. Unfortunately, no colleges or vocational schools that offer degrees or certificates in video editing though they do offer coursework on the subject. Video-editing courwork might include: Pre-production methods, media arts studies, multimedia studies, video production, audio recording, camera operations, film technology and animation.

The second step is to get involved. In order to find out what field of videography you will enjoy the most, you will need to get involved. If your university or college has an audio-visual club or a student-produced television show, volunteer your time and effort and learn the ins and outs of putting together a show. Subscribe to videography magazines and newsletters to get a heads up on the ins and outs of owning a videography business or working on staff as a videographer. You can also teach yourself by picking up a camera and offering to shoot video for friends and neighbors free of charge. If you are interested in working as an editor or on the set of a movie, watch a lot of movies. It may sound silly, but it is actually extremely helpful to watch and study the work or professionals.

Become a member of a local videographer association. City, state and regional videography organizations are often made up of different types of videographer and if you become a member you can network with these professionals and turn that into a possible internship.

How to become a videographer

Internships and apprenticeships are perhaps, the third step in becoming a videographer. There is one main major difference between an apprenticeship and an internship. During an apprenticeship, you will essentially work with a professional videographer with his own studio. This person usually assumes that you are coming from little to no formal education or experience in videography, so you will likely be ghosting him, or following him around and witnessing his daily tasks, before you are allowed to assist with any equipment-wrangling or software. An internship usually takes place during the junior or senior years of college and are usually worth a few course credits. Because you are coming from a formal education and some experience, a videography internship is much more hands-on and you will essentially work as an unpaid assistant on set or in a studio.
There are many large corporations throughout the country that hire interns into full-time positions upon graduation, so do not neglect the internship.

The fourth step in becoming a videographer is developing a portfolio, or demo reel. This will be the most important tool you have once you start looking for videography jobs. Your demo reel should, by now, reflect your career interests. If you are interested in a career as a wedding videographer, your demo reel will contain video of different weddings you have shot thus far. If you are interested in a career in sports videography, your demo-reel will reflect this as well.

Start a business and use the video you have done for free as way to get new paying customers and clients. And if you ever decide to work on staff as a videographer, then not only will have a nice, well-edited portfolio, you will also be more knowledgeable of the inner workings of running and operating a videography business or production. Later on in this career guide, you will learn why it is important to be versatile and adept in all phases of video-production now that you are a professional videographer.

A videographer records events like weddings and documentaries using video cameras. You could be working on your own as a freelance videographer or together with other members of a company production team that shoots commercials, short films and training videos, among others.

While your main task is capturing live action using your video camera and other equipment, you will also be assuming other roles especially if you are working freelance. You will also assume the director’s duties, determining the best angle for a shot and setting up video camera equipment. You will also work as a video editor. After taking the video footage, you will be using editing software to insert graphics and text as well as adding special effects if these are necessary to the footage. You will also be taking out scenes which are not anymore needed for the film’s final product.

Operating video cameras in a studio setting also entails using audio mixing equipment and setting audio microphones to control volume. If studio lighting interferes with the quality of the image produced by the video camera, you will work with the lighting director to make adjustments to the studio lights. When you’re working for a television channel, part of your work will be to prepare the background footage that will be used in the live reports. Thus, you may also be asked to get footage in the field where you will be responsible for setting up portable equipment to capture the needed scenes.

You must also possess technical knowledge about the video equipment you are operating because you will also be responsible for routine equipment maintenance. You should know how to take care of your digital hard drive, tape drive video, flash cards and other devices you use in your job. Because technology has also influenced how footages are taken these days, you should also be updated on the latest technological advancements in the field.

To succeed in this job requires excellent hand-eye coordination since you will not necessarily be staying steady when taking footages. You will be moving about so you need to have the ability to keep the camera steady even as you are running or walking in order to take a good shot. You also need to be able to visualize the kind of scene you want even before you make the recording so that you will know how to position the camera, make the necessary adjustments to lighting and do other preparatory tasks. You should also be keen about details since you will be in-charge of editing the videos and cutting out the portions that aren’t needed for the final production. Since you will be working with other members of the production team, you also need to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills so that the goals of the project are met.

Why Become A Videographer

One reason to become a videographer is that it combines your love for capturing scenes, live movement and people with the technical aspects of video production. You will have the opportunity to choose the best equipment to use for a particular scene, to edit the scenes that are not necessary and to ultimately put together all the footages so that they become one continuous whole. Since most videographers work freelance, you also get the opportunity to choose the kind of projects you can work on. Videographers also earn decent living wages.

Videographer Work Environment

Videographers, together with camera operators and cinematographers, are employed by motion picture and video industries. They also work with television channels. Around 24 percent of video editors are self-employed, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Work hours for videographers may be long and irregular. They may need to travel to various locations to do the filming and will have to bring their heavy equipment with them. When on location, they may have to work in inclement weather and dangerous conditions just to be able to capture the necessary footages. For self-employed videographers, part of their job is securing contracts to shoot documentaries, commercials and other events in order make their business thrive.

Videographer Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies videographers, studio camera operators and cinematographers as film and video editors and camera operators. The Occupational Employment and Wages report of the agency revealed that the mean annual wage of film and video editors where videographers are a part of is $69,490. This is a considerably higher than the $52,530 paid to television, video and motion picture camera operators. The mean annual wage of television, video, and motion picture camera operators and editors is $62,120.

Videographer Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a three percent employment rate of film and video editors and camera operators for the ten-year period covering 2012 to 2022. This rate is lower than the national average for all job types. While automatic camera systems will stifle the demand for camera operators in television stations, there will continue to be work for videographers because of new video platforms like mobile and online TV where their skills and expertise will be needed. Moreover, video editors will also be needed in the movie industry as the trend moves towards better special effects through the use of computer software programs. The best job opportunities for videographers can be found in New York and Los Angeles, although there will continue to be intense competition for available positions.

Videographer Degree

The entry point for this profession is typically a bachelor’s degree in digital media, video production and related fields. These programs typically include courses in video editing software and camera operation. These are usually on-campus programs since the students have to be trained at using hardware and software that they will be encountering on the job. They are also taught editing software since film outfits are now moving towards using this medium. In these programs, discussions in film theory are combined with practical hands-on training.

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

Still unsure if becoming a videographer is the right career path? Take the free CareerExplorer career test to find out if this career is in your top matches. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a videographer or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

How to become a Videographer

Four-year degrees at film schools and universities offer courses that focus on certain types of video producing or editing styles. Many colleges and technical schools award certificates or two-year degrees in video production.

Getting an internship or an apprenticeship is recommended. An apprenticeship is where individuals will work with a professional videographer, and will follow him/her around and watch daily tasks before being allowed to assist with any equipment or software. An internship is different, in that it usually takes place during the junior or senior years of university and is usually worth a few course credits. A videography internship is much more hands-on and one will be an unpaid assistant on set or in a studio. Many large corporations hire interns into full-time positions upon graduation.

Developing a portfolio, or demo reel, is one of the most important tools one can have when looking for videography jobs. The demo reel should reflect one’s career interests. For example, If a career as a sports event videographer is what you want, your demo reel will contain video of different sports events you have shot thus far.

How to become a videographer

Are you looking for a career that has the potential for you to potentially never work the same day twice? A career that won’t have you performing the same task with no uniqueness to your workday? If you have an eye for detail and are looking for an intriguing career, have you researched how to become a legal videographer?

Legal Videography Today

Technological advancements have made legal proceedings more efficient and legal practitioners who use legal videographers are becoming more effective in the capture of legal proceedings. This mean that there has been an increase in tech-centric legal support careers.

One of those careers is legal videographer. This individual, also known as a court videographer or a forensic videographer is charged with using video equipment to record digital images for court proceedings. There are times this individual will be called upon to replay the information they have recorded at trial.

A legal videographer is in the courtroom to capture video imagery used in wills, courtroom presentation, reconstructing incidents, documentaries, fraud evidence and more.

What are the steps you need to take to become a legal videographer in Phoenix, Arizona? Here are a few to consider.


It isn’t necessary to have a certificate in order to pursue a career as a legal videographer, but it never hurts to pursue one. The courses that a legal videographer takes will only serve to enhance his or her career.

Certificates and additional education to consider include: videography, editing, criminology and/or forensics; the last two will help you if you’re looking to specialize in a specific type of courtroom videography.


Let’s first dispel the notion that a legal videographer in Phoenix, Arizona or any part of the country can use a smart phone as his or her video equipment. You will need to show your professionalism by investing in a video-camera, film or digital, a tripod, handheld lighting, monitors, editing equipment and a high quality microphone. You will also need to invest in a computer that is equipped with video editing software so you are able to edit clips and footage.

Practice your technique by shooting short films on your own. Practice your editing skills. Interview friends and family in different settings so you can hone in on the lighting and the microphone quality you’re capturing.

Don’t feel you need to rush choosing your specialty.

If you want to specialize, many Phoenix, AZ legal videographers do, talk with others in your profession to see how they feel about their specialization. Do you have a particular interest in a legal field in which you’d like to become a legal videographer? Know your personality and that will also help you determine the types of cases you’d feel comfortable being in the courtroom recording.


Shooting a legal video is only a portion of the job of a legal videographer. You will need to edit clips or present raw video to whomever requests it. Remember, not everything you will be recording will be exciting, but you need to pay attention to whatever you’re recording so as to not miss any crucial nuances.

Always having a business mindset will keep you focused and will keep you in demand for your skills.

Legal videographers appear to be in high demand. If you’re looking for a career with growth potential and you love being behind the camera, pay attention to detail and are professional, this may be the career path you’ve been seeking.

For more information about how to become a legal videographer or court reporter, please contact Marty Herder at Herder and Associates in Phoenix, Arizona.

How to become a videographer

Whether you aspire to become a media videographer or just want to know how to shoot professional-looking videos, you need more than good equipment. Mastering several basic video tips will ease the frustration many videographers experience. Before long, the standard tricks will become so routine that you’ll be able to concentrate on creativity and not just the basics.

Shoot Steady Video

A tripod is an easy answer to producing steady video, but avoid becoming dependent on it. You can shoot steady video without lugging around a lot of gear.

Get your body in position so that every breath you take doesn't lead to unwanted camera motion. Use the ground, a wall, or another object to brace the camera and get interesting visual perspectives. By ditching the tripod, you have the freedom to move around a scene without being anchored in one spot.

Produce Creative Shots

If you don't want your videos to look as though they came from a surveillance camera, you've got to learn to play with angles and perspective. Producing interesting videos involves learning creative shooting techniques.

A beginner tends to shoot everything from the corner of a room or away from the action. By putting yourself in the middle of what's happening, you will get images that aren't possible from a distance. Experiment with different angles by shooting above and below your subjects.

Practice Widescreen Videos

With the prevalence of smartphone cameras, even home videos are trending toward widescreen formats, such as a 16 by 9 ratio. Think of how you can make this extra visual space work for you.

You can capture much more content in a single shot, but remember that widescreen video doesn't mean shooting all wide shots. Television is still an intimate medium. Close-ups of faces will convey more emotion than a group shot of a crowd.

Avoid Unnecessary Zooms and Pans

Picking up a camcorder for the first time has just about everyone wanting to hit the zoom button on every shot while panning across the horizon. The result can leave viewers seasick.

If you're recording an action scene, let the motion that's happening naturally dominate your video. Stop yourself from adding random zooms and pans, which distract from the action.

There are times to zoom or pan. At a sports event, professional videographers follow the action by following the ball. That's the motivation behind tilting the camera up when a baseball player hits a fly ball or panning during a double play. Let the action dictate the opportune—and infrequent—times to use these techniques.

Get Good Results When Shooting Outdoors

You'd think outdoor videography would be simple because the sun provides the lighting, but to get the best outdoor results, you have to watch the position of the sun closely.

Shoot with the sun at your back. If you're recording people, they may complain about looking directly into the sunlight, but tell them that the shots you'll get will be much better than if they were silhouetted against the sun.

Time of day and weather should also influence your shooting. Some types of shooting will be better on an overcast day, while others will be enhanced by the "golden hour." Sometimes you'll have to reschedule your outdoor shoots to wait for just the right conditions.

Prepare for Indoor Video Shooting

Ignoring lighting when shooting indoors can make your videos look dark. That's why indoor video shoots require additional preparation.

Adding lights is ideal. If that's not possible, check out the available lighting sources. If you're shooting video of people, get as much light in their faces as you can. But don't be fooled by overhead lights. While they may be bright, they only light the tops of people's heads, leaving their facial features shadowy.

Position Lights for the Look You Want

Using television lights will give your videos a crisper look. But good lighting involves more than blasting your subject with as much wattage as you can find.

Knowing where to position lights makes all the difference in achieving a natural effect instead of making people look as though they're about to undergo surgery.

Besides a standard 3-light setup—one directly on the subject, plus a backlight and a fill light—experiment to get dramatic effects. Turn out all the lights in a room and use only your equipment to highlight what you want.

Compose Creative Interviews

At some point, you’ll want to shoot video of a person talking into the camera. It could be a sit-down news interview or just a conversation with a person on the street. Plan the interview shoot to deliver professional results.

Consider the background. If you're talking to someone about traffic in their neighborhood, show cars in the distance. If you're interviewing a father about the day his child was born, put him in a cozy setting, like near a fireplace.

Then decide how tight you want to shoot the interview. There is the standard head-and-shoulders look, but you may want to interview a farmer on his tractor with much of the tractor in the shot. A highly emotional interview should be shot tight so that you can see into the person's eyes.

Remember to Capture Good Sound

Good audio is an essential complement to high-quality video. Without it, your video may turn out useless.

The two most common mistakes inexperienced videographers make are to forget to record audio and to fail to monitor the sound they're getting. Imagine capturing only silent video of a child's birthday party. You may be able to see the other children singing and laughing, but without hearing it, the video is ruined.

Monitoring the sound helps you avoid recording unwanted audio. That can happen when you interview someone and don't notice that you are standing near a loud air conditioner. When you watch the video later, all you hear is the hum of the AC unit, which drowns out what the person was saying.

Add a Green Screen for Special Effects

Using a chromakey green screen gives you a world of options. These are the same tools TV stations use to present the weather. A meteorologist stands in front of a green screen, which allows the weather maps to be superimposed behind him.

You can shoot a person remembering her high school graduation while video of the graduation plays behind her. It's an easy way to combine two video sources into one shot.

Becoming a great videographer isn't too difficult, but it does take a lot of time and practice. Learning these essential techniques will go a long way toward establishing you in your video career.

How to become a videographer

  • How to become a videographerBritton Perelman
  • Published April 3, 2018

Wondering how your favorite filmmakers create movie magic? Have an idea for a video project, but not sure if your skills can do it justice? In this series, we’re introducing you to the basics of videography. Quiet on the set — we’re rolling!

Lesson Three: Tips for Beginners

Thanks to innovations in technology, everyone can become an amateur videographer without breaking the bank on costly equipment. All smartphones have the ability to shoot video, and there are plenty of free software systems available for editing. It’s possible to film a movie whenever you want nowadays.

That being said, there are a few key things to keep in mind when you decide to start shooting your first film.

How to become a videographer

Photo by Angela Compagnone

Film Horizontal

First and foremost, always always always film horizontally. This may seem simple, but many beginner videographers hold their phone exactly as they would when shooting still photos — and switch from vertical to horizontal depending on what the subject matter calls for. But, with video, you cannot have a finished product that flips from one to the other and back again. If you’re wondering why, consider this: how many movies have you seen in theaters that use a vertical shot?

There are a few other important shooting techniques that can be helpful if you’ve never shot moving pictures before.

How to become a videographer

Photo by Chris Murray

Use A Tripod

That shaky camera effect that horror films use so often? It’s not as cool in other types of video work. For stable shots, use a tripod. If you’re planning a moving shot and want to reduce shakiness, craft yourself a dolly. A dolly is a small, wheeled platform meant for holding cameras while shooting movement. Professional cameramen have expensive dollys, but depending on your location, you can craft one yourself for the same effect. (I once used a book cart while shooting at my college library.)

In considering movement, it’s also good to keep in mind that you don’t need to zoom or pan in every shot of your video. It’s perfectly fine to set the camera up and let it film an entire scene from a single angle.

Think about your favorite videos or movies. Moving shots are used, yes, but more often than not, movement is implied through the use of differenttypes of shots. Filmmakers will transition from wide shots to medium, to close-up, to a different angle of the same close-up, and so on and so forth. You want to vary your shots to keep the audience engaged in your video.

How to become a videographer

Photo by Flavio Gasperini

Create a Shot list

Before starting, consider making a list of the types of shots you want to capture while filming — include some moving shots, but keep in mind that too much movement can be a bad thing.

How to become a videographer

Photo by Samule Sun

Setting Up Your Shot

If your subject matter contains other people, make sure to give them enough headspace. Not in the figurative sense, but in the actual literal sense when setting up your shot. Don’t frame your shot with too little space between the top of the frame and the top of your subject’s head. Editing software systems are all different, and some may zoom in slightly on your footage. If that happens and you didn’t think about headspace, you may end up with people whose foreheads are cut off — no one wants that.

When making the transition from photo to video, photographers often have to curb their instincts. While shooting stills, it’s possible to switch between apertures and shutter speeds without consequence. However, while shooting video, switching apertures and shutter speeds can cause the look of your footage to change abruptly. Find the best settings before you start, and stick to them with the entirety of your video’s footage.

But, you don’t want to ignore all of your photographic instincts. Techniques for composition and framing — like the Rule of Thirds — will apply in videography too.

How to become a videographer

Photo by Jakob Owens

Editing Your Footage

It’s always good to think about how you want to edit your video while you’re shooting. Being a few steps ahead will ensure that you get all the footage you need for the final product.

But, with that in mind, remember this important phrase: Shoot now; edit later.

Always film more footage than you think you’ll need. You never know exactly how something’s going to turn out once you start editing, and it’s better to have too much footage — too many options — than not enough. Stay flexible and innovative too. When filming, try new shots, experiment with angles, and be willing to shift gears depending on the situation. Unlike 20 years ago, there’s no way you’ll run out of film!