Becoming a professional videographer or filmmaker isn’t easy, whether you’ve thought about it for a long time or are just realizing it’s your passion, you’ll need to prepare and plan accordingly. Videographers need to learn how to express an idea through moving images and master their equipment before they can aspire to gain any money from what they do.
Work on Your Experience
The first thing you need to do is acquire some experience. This will involve learning different techniques and working in different mediums. Shooting indoors won’t be the same as shooting outdoors and the sooner you know the difference, the better.
The same goes for shooting static objects versus shooting a sport or trying to work under low light conditions. When you’re first starting out, you should aim at learning how to shoot as many different conditions as you possibly can. If you can find a job -or even an internship- as a professional’s assistant, even better. Pros are usually more than willing to let you know everything they’ve learned throughout the years and you’ll get first-hand knowledge.
Get the Technical Aspect Down
Great equipment does not a great videographer make, but you should still know how to properly handle your camera, lights, and editing software. Technical dexterity really does make a difference between an amateur and a pro. While beginners need to take a couple of minutes to figure out how to set their cameras for shooting under different conditions, to professionals this becomes second nature.
If you really want a career as a professional videographer, really get to know your tools. This isn’t just knowing how to turn on your cameras and having a vague knowledge of where to put your lights. Familiarize yourself with how your camera works, how a certain light might bounce off a moving target, and how certain colours affect your end results. There’s absolutely no downside to becoming a technical master, you’ll be able to set everything up faster and it will give you more time to experiment.
Find Your Creative Voice
Once you know how to work your camera, it’ll be time to find your style and creative voice. You’re probably already drawn to shooting on specific angles and feel attracted to a certain aesthetic that speaks to you personally. Try to expand that to find your own voice within what you already know. You need to find something that sets you apart from other creative voices. It might be the way you frame your subjects, your editing, or your use of colour. Whatever it is, you’ll need to express yourself creatively and experiment in order to find it.
Look at the Pros
Find inspiration in those that have come before you. Look at the work of your favourite filmmakers but not just as entertainment, train yourself so that you can look at videos critically. Analyze the use of space, the composition, colour scheme, and the semantics within the frame. Learn to look beyond the form so that you can start recognizing what sets other videographers apart. Not only will this serve as references, but it can inspire you to experiment with your own ideas.