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Are you interested in storytelling? Do you dream of using your camera skills to create short films or videos? Do you want to make good money while doing it?
If you said yes to those questions, videography might be the perfect career path for you. The average professional videographer in the U.S. makes a salary of $50,584, but salaries can go much higher depending on location.
Videography can mean different things to different people, so no two videographers have the same career. Professionals in these field shoot commercials, music videos, weddings, corporate events, interviews, feature films, and much more.
If you dream of someday having the job title of Videographer, read on to find out what it takes to make this creative career yours.
How to Learn Videography Skills
Becoming a videographer demands creativity, technical skills, and a lot of hard work. It is a competitive career field, but with the right skills and ambition, you can make your goal a reality.
- Get a College Education
While a college degree is not technically required to be a videographer, the stronger your skill set is, the easier it will be to land a job. A college program is a structured and credible way to learn video skills.
Many videographers have bachelor’s degrees in programs related to film or television. A few of the degrees that provide a great foundation for jobs in this field include communications, broadcasting, film studies, and screenwriting.
Any classes or workshops that provide hands-on training, teach film theory, or filmmaking principles are also great courses to add to your program of study.
- Learn About Your Equipment Since the main component of a videographer’s job is operating a camera, you need to know your camera’s features and settings like the back of your hand. You should also know how to use basic editing software and incorporate microphones into your videos.
- Make Your Own Short Films
After you’ve learned the basics of using your equipment, get a few friends together and film something. This is an interactive way to practice what you’ve learned about your equipment. It’s one thing to read about the settings and features on your camera, but it’s another thing to actually use them.
You can then take the raw footage and edit it into a short film. If the video looks professional and you’re proud of it, add it to your portfolio. It might be enough to land you an internship.
- Get Hands-on Experience
An apprenticeship or internship is the best way to get hands-on experience using industry-quality equipment. Plus, working with people who are currently doing the job you want will show you what daily life is like in that career.
An internship is also a great place to find a mentor. You can learn a lot from a mentor just by watching how they work. They also might give helpful career guidance and be a reference for you in the future.
Starting a Career as a Professional Videographer
After you learn videography, the next step is to start your career and get paid for your work.
- Build a Resume and Portfolio Just like any other industry, you need to have a well-written resume to get a job. Be sure to highlight the equipment you own as well as internships, workshops, or courses you’ve completed.
You also need to have a portfolio to get jobs as a videographer because it shows potential clients and employers your style and abilities.
- Look for Jobs and Market Yourself Craigslist, job sites like Indeed and LinkedIn, freelancing websites, social media, and Facebook groups are all good places to search for work. You can also network face-to-face and ask friends and family to help promote you.
You can also market yourself by signing up as a vendor on a lead service app like Thumbtack. For example, to get hired for projects in Dallas, your potential clients would do a google search for “thumbtack Dallas videographer” and ideally see your listing. Keep in mind that Thumbtack might attract clients with lower budgets. But, it can be a good way to build a professional portfolio, especially if you’re open to filming events like weddings and birthday parties.
- Keep Learning The video industry relies on technology, so you’ll need to keep up with new trends or technology. Try building on your skill set by taking classes and workshops from a local university. It will keep you more marketable as your career progresses.
Consider joining a professional association for videography. These networks and associations are great for networking. You can make new connections, attend workshops and conferences, and more.
Participate in industry competitions. There are annual competitions and awards for videographers that provide a great creative outlet. If you win, it could help attract clients or website.
Pros and Cons of a Career in Videography
Videography is more than knowing how to creatively operate a camera. It’s a technical career with its own positives and negatives.
- It’s a versatile career. It depends on the client or your employer, but you might be working on very different kinds of projects. You’ll always be working on new projects.
- You get to be creative. There are always new ways to tell the same story, and always something universal in stories that seem different.
- The hours are long. If you are shooting an event like a wedding, you will be working for the entire event. It can be difficult to stay creative for long periods of time.
- It’s physically demanding. Videography involves a lot of heavy equipment, so when you have a long shoot, it can really take a toll.
Is This the Right Career for You?
Choosing the right career path can be a difficult decision. But if you make the right choice, you can have a fulfilling career.
If you’re willing to learn the technical skills, use your creativity, and work hard, then you can succeed as a professional videographer.
Videography is a flexible career path, so you can forge your own path. Professionals in this field go on to work at movie studios, in broadcast news, at media companies, as freelancers, and much more.
For more career inspiration, check out our job articles.