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How do I Become a Cameraman?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 25 April 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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A person who wants to become a cameraman will need to complete an education in film and television production and also needs a good artistic eye. Operating a camera requires not just technical skill but the ability to compose visually dynamic and interesting images, whether one is filming a bat mitzvah or a feature film. Usually, people need to pay their dues by working hard in a variety of jobs before they can work as full-time camera operators.

The earlier a person starts exploring this career, the better. High school students who think that they might be interested in careers as cameramen should take photography and videography classes, if they are available. Learning to operate computer software is also recommended because many cameramen work with computers as well as cameras. This will lay the groundwork that can allow a student to get internships and jobs in film and television studios and on camera crews.

Someone who wants to become a cameraman can go to film school, a trade or technical school, or a college or university that has a film and television program. While in school, it is a good idea to take classes in lighting, postprocessing, and other aspects of film and television production. These classes provide the student with skills that he or she can use to become a cameraman. A cameraman who understands lighting, for example, will be more valuable on a set.

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If possible, a student should pursue employment or internships while he or she trains to become a cameraman. Educational institutions often have programs to connect students with job and internship opportunities, and people can also seek them out on their own. Working while in school provides a student with valuable experience and networking opportunities that can be used after graduation. These work opportunities can include filming with videographers, helping with film and television production, and working in facilities that process film.

Willingness to work long hours is critical for someone in training to become a cameraman. People who are willing to take on any shift and who work at odd hours without complaining are more likely to be hired again. Over time, individual contract jobs can lead to offers of full-time employment. This work experience can also be used when applying to production companies and studios for jobs. Working hard, being known as someone who is pleasant and easy to work with, and pursuing continuing education opportunities will mark a job candidate as a good prospect and will result in more employment offers.

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