How to Become a Videographer

Entertainment


Like photography, videography can be very difficult to get into. The film industry is a very competitive field, and being a videographer requires a lot more than just ambition. Similar to being a cinematographer, you’ll have to be equipped with technical knowledge and natural creativity when it comes to creating what is essentially moving pictures and using them to tell a story.

behind the scenes of ongoing film project

After you’ve gained all the necessary knowledge and skill to successfully enter the field, then comes the bigger challenge of getting a job and eventually developing your own style. These may all sound overwhelming to you and every other person who’s hoping to kickstart a career in videography, but don’t worry—we’ll ease you in on the first steps to take and offer a handful of tips on how you can support your interest in this craft.

10 Tips on How to Become a Videographer

videographer and camera on clean white background
Image via Shutterstock

There’s no one way to becoming a videographer. Many successful videographers have unique stories on how they followed similar steps differently before they got their big breaks.

Depending on where you are in your journey to becoming a professional videographer, you can start off with any of these tips and simply turn to your burning passion for videography to guide you to success.

1. Attend workshops

film group during production
Image via Shutterstock

The usual first step to becoming a videographer is knowing how to operate a video camera properly. As a very lucrative career, videography obviously requires a whole lot of skill and technical knowledge that goes way beyond merely pressing the record button.

You can start your education way before college, as many middle schools already offer basic classes in film, art, broadcasting, journalism, and other subjects that are related to videography. Your school might even have a news program or audio-visual club that you can join to help you learn and practice your skills.

Once you’re ready for a more intensive class, you can enroll in videography workshops in your community or online. If possible, take follow-up classes that will also teach you about manual camera settings, filmmaking techniques, video editing techniques, lighting setups, and many more.

2. Get a good video camera

professional video camera on slider
Image via Shutterstock

As a beginner, you may find the DSLR or mirrorless camera to be easier to use than camcorders for your videography training. After attending several workshops, you will have probably gotten a good idea of the type of cinema camera that you prefer to work with.

Once you’ve made your decision on what type of camera you want to work with, you can start choosing from a wide variety of camera brands and models that meet your needs in versatility and ultra high-resolution video recording. Whatever you choose, it’s crucial that you learn how to use—and use it well.

You’ll learn along the way that a camera is only one of the many things you’ll have to learn how to operate. There will be sliders, cranes, camera rigs, and other technical gear that you’ll have to familiarize yourself with, but you should have already mastered the camera to make the most out of any set of video recording equipment.

3. Earn a related college degree

graduation
Image via Shutterstock

When you start applying for a videographer job, agencies and filmmaking companies will usually want to be assured of your education with a college degree that’s related to film or broadcasting. Fortunately, there are a handful of bachelor degrees that will provide you with valuable experiences and technical skills required in the field, such as the following:

  • Communications
  • Cinematography
  • Broadcasting
  • Video editing
  • Film theory
  • Screenwriting

4. Look for internships

silhouetted shot of film crew on dimly lit set
Image via Shutterstock

Some would say the secret to breaking into the film industry is to find ways to spend time on real film sets and get to know a lot of important people who can help you work your way up. Contact local television companies, film studios, and others that offer internships and look for opportunities to start out as an assistant.

But don’t spend any effort in trying to land a job just yet—the main objective would be to get a glimpse of how film crews and sets operate. You’ll be surprised to learn that there are a lot of lessons from your internships that workshops won’t/can’t teach you.

5. Find a mentor

mentoring videographer
Image via Shutterstock

During your internships, find a mentor (fellow videographer or professional cinematographer) and cultivate friendships. Aside from gaining valuable knowledge from someone who’s currently in the industry, this person can be a source of inspiration. Even if you’ve already found yourself a mentor early on, having more than one can be very beneficial for your career.

If possible, assist your mentor in some of their projects. Observe how they work, how they plan and execute their shots, and how they address problems that arise. Apprenticeship opens up the possibility of working as a second-shooter or getting referrals for job opportunities later on.

6. Create your own films

film crew recording outdoors
Image via Shutterstock

Spending time on real film sets with all of these creative people will strongly inspire you to create your own short film or movie to practice your hand at executing specific camera movements and filmmaking techniques. By all means, let yourself be driven to experiment and realize your own creative style. Call up your buddies and invite them to start a film project that you can all use for practice and to build your portfolios.

Let the director and/or cinematographer do their jobs of dictating the shot styles—just focus on executing them perfectly.

7. Market yourself

man holding professional video camera rig
Image via Shutterstock

Once you’ve amassed a collection of short films and clips, you’re ready to start cultivating yourself as a brand. Create a website or online portfolio where you can show off your best work and your creative filmmaking style. This is what will help you stand out from the rest and establish your creative filmmaking identity to directors.

Widen your horizons and take advantage of today’s access to mass media by sharing your website or content on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This way, you also increase your following and let others help promote your work through “Likes” and “Shares.” Don’t forget to leave your current contact details on your pages so interested companies and clients will know where to reach you!

8. Join a film organization

brainstorming session for next video project
Image via Shutterstock

Aside from internships, joining professional film organizations and associations is a great way to gain more experience and exposure in the field, build your network, and find job opportunities. Being able to label yourself a member of a known organization in your community adds to your credibility and may even help beef up your resume.

Some groups focus on certain types of videography, so you may want to first do a little research on the available organizations to check if any of them are aligned with your style and what you’re interested in working on.

9. Apply for jobs

female videographer behind camera
Image via Shutterstock

With both theoretical and technical knowledge, first-hand experience in films sets and in making your own films, an established identity and creative style, a few backers, and a pretty impressive portfolio, you can finally try to search for job opportunities. Search online for job openings, make a few calls to film companies, and send word out to family, friends, and colleagues.

If you’re lucky, work will find you without you even having to lift a finger. And when clients come knocking, don’t reject those that don’t pay as much as you’d hope. It may be a better idea to focus on learning and gaining more experience from your first few projects.

The film industry is pretty small; you wouldn’t want to be labeled an arrogant newbie long before catching your big break.

10. Further develop your skills and career

artistic shot of videographer’s camera
Image via Shutterstock

Learning doesn’t stop after your advanced filmmaking workshop. As the film industry develops new filmmaking techniques, manufacturing companies continue to come out with high-tech film equipment. These make it crucial to keep up with the latest trends, pursue extended education in filmmaking, and take on more challenging jobs that will help you achieve success and maintain your relevance in the field. Keep on learning and consider going for a cinematographer job when the opportunity presents it.

Good luck!

Adorama
Adorama

Advertisements

A Picture-Perfect Wedding in the Big Easy

Celebrity Gists, Church, News

amerlin_135823599_0e0de0ed-bc27-4770-a103-a8024c6f131f-superJumbo

Danielle Levitt and Harry Eelman, both photographers of celebrities, after their wedding at the Marigny Opera House March 17 in New Orleans.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

By David Lee Simmons

You could trace the courtship of Danielle Levitt and Harry Eelman by their photo shoots.

Their first meeting? The Amy Schumer shoot. The first real flirtation? TheChris Evans shoot. The first time they felt real chemistry? The Robert Pattinson shoot. First kiss? After the Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak shoot.

That’s the way it can play out for jet-setting portraiture photographers of fashion, culture and celebrity who live on opposite coasts. Ms. Levitt, 45, hails from Los Angeles but is based in New York, while Mr. Eelman, 34, (who has often served as her top assistant on these assignments) grew up on the East Coast and is based in Los Angeles.

All those flyover states couldn’t stop the electricity between the two, who found a middle ground in New Orleans at the Marigny Opera House for their March 17 wedding, which was the confirmation of a nearly four-year whirlwind built on making others look perfect.

The bride was accompanied down the aisle by her mother, Marie France Salaun, and her brother, Alain Levitt, and his children.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

On that first assignment together, in March 2014, Mr. Eelman recalled, he and the other assistants already were setting up when Ms. Levitt blew into the room, running late, and “the air changed. She had so much energy, and she’s like this whole personality. I just went, ‘Wow, what’s going on? This is wild.’”

She was fixated on the way he carried himself. “Obviously I’m a visual person and who the hell knows what happens with attraction? But there’s this guy with this red Volvo station wagon and this mustache and this long hair and he’s driving this car and, I don’t know. I don’t know, I don’t know. It just like, he just seemed unexpected to me, I guess, but now as much as I know him it makes sense.”

It might help at this point in their love story to explain what their close friends describe as one of your basic “fire and ice” dynamics that can be found in their work and personalities. 

Ms. Levitt is a live wire who, while perhaps not as famous as the celebrities she has captured on film, is just as charismatic. Her vibrant portraits, often saturated with colors that pop off the page, suggest a woman of strength behind the camera. Her personality confirms it; her friends talk of manic late-night texts, rambling phone calls where she often speaks in paragraph blocks and recounts crazy experiences.

Andy Harman, an artist and friend of the couple, performed the ceremony.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

Still, friends wondered if she’d ever really find Mr. Right. Harry Eelman didn’t seem like the one when he first showed up.

In person, Mr. Eelman is calm and reserved. And, his images feature sometimes detached subjects, not apathetic so much as quietly comfortable in their own skin.

Their styles, behind the camera and away from it, contrast in such a way that for the first time in a decade, Ms. Levitt was noticing someone who could finally tip the scales in her work-life balance. (Even as they remembered their romance, Ms. Levitt was scattershot, getting details wrong, laughing at everything, while Mr. Eelman remembered every detail, rarely raising the volume of his voice in the telling of their adventures.)

“I had focused so heavily on my work,” she said, “and because I love it, and because it brings me joy, and I like telling stories, and I like to hopefully do my part and give back to the world, and influence the world and change the world in any way through representation or through storytelling. I felt like I had to work extra hard because I was self-teaching myself along the way.”

And along came Mr. Eelman, with no agenda but to be open to whom she is.

“Harry surprised me,” she said. “It surprised me. I had been single for a very long time.”

From their first meeting and onward, it was just a matter of keeping an East Coast-West Coast relationship developing. Generally, it was done through photo assignments — the more exotic, the better. Ms. Levitt got plenty of work in Los Angeles to make frequent visits and stays with Mr. Eelman at his home in Echo Park. Traveling together as a couple didn’t happen often, though.

That’s when the actor Neil Patrick Harris helped give the couple the nudge they needed. Mr. Harris had met and bonded with Ms. Levitt on a 2008 photo shoot in Alaska. He asked her if she wouldn’t mind “dropping down four pegs” to photograph his 2014 wedding to his longtime partner,David Burtka, at a rented castle in Perugia, Italy. Ms. Levitt quickly agreed.

 

Mr. Burtka and Mr. Harris couldn’t help but chuckle about a weekend that was meant to seal their own bond and wound up sealing another in the process. As they remember it, at first Ms. Levitt had said she was bringing a particular assistant, but not Mr. Eelman.

Image

Mr. Harman’s robe was quite obviously made for the occasion.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

“And then she said, ‘I think I’m bringing a different assistant, and I’m not sure cause it’s a guy that I kind of like, and I don’t know … We’re gonna be in the same room,’” Mr. Harris recalled.

“And we were wondering,” Mr. Burtka said, “‘Should we get another room?’ She goes, ‘Nah, it’s all right. It’s fine, it’s fine. I’m a grown-up. You know, we’ll make it happen.’ And when I checked her into the room, I came into the room, I said, ‘Is this O.K.? There’s only one bed,’ and she goes, ‘Don’t worry about it, I got it covered.”

As Ms. Levitt said, looking back, “I took a risk.”

She marvels about how incredible the weekend was. “This sort of high level of romance. Like pasta, wine and Champagne and vistas and views. Harry thinks that I don’t like vistas, but it was amazing, stereotypical-like, textbook.”

She paused, “What does it mean to be on a romantic holiday?” She had found her answer. And for Mr. Burtka and Mr. Harris, it meant the obvious.

Guests were treated to “go cups,” which in New Orleans means being able to take your adult beverage outside an establishment.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

“I really think that our wedding was the time that they fell in love,” Mr. Burtka said.

Romance blossomed into love. Trips to Los Angeles became increasingly longer stays, and, after a steady stream of photo assignments and more exotic trips, he decided it was time.

On a trip to Provence, France, in summer 2017, outside their villa and taking in another lovely vista, Mr. Eelman knelt down and proposed. She said yes, and they both cried.

“I was so elated,” Mr. Eelman said.

For Ms. Levitt, New Orleans was an ideal location between their two home bases for a wedding. She had fallen hard for the city over the years, sparked in part from friendships she had forged during a 2008 assignment on the bounce music scene in New Orleans.

Very quickly, she turned Mr. Eelman into a fan of the city.

“It’s kind of a little lawless, a little fun,” he said. “You can just have a good time and the people are great, and the food’s amazing, and it doesn’t feel like anywhere else in America.”

Image

Guests feasted on a menu that included cochon de lait po-boys, red beans and rice, and étouffée-spiced shrimp skewers.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

The couple turned their days leading up to the March 17 ceremony as a kind of mini-vacation for their wedding party: traditional jazz at Preservation Hall, drinks at Vaughan’s Lounge, fried chicken at Willie Mae’s, Israeli food at Shaya, sandwiches at Turkey and the Wolf, Creole food at Neyow’s Creole Café, wine at Bacchanal, lunch at Commander’s Palace, a swamp tour, a cemetery tour — as with all things Danielle Levitt, it became a blur. (The day after the wedding, there was a drag brunch at the Country Club.)

Andy Harman, a New York artist and set designer, who became a Universal Life minister, showed up in a specially designed robe for the ceremony.

Ms. Levitt, who wore a silver lamé jersey gown designed by Rick Owens, sashayed down the aisle escorted by her mother, Marie-France Salaun, and her brother, Alain Levitt; her two nieces, Ludivine and Rima, tagged along as flower girls. As a gospel choir sang “Sea of Love,” Ms. Levitt did stutter steps to and fro, as the guests hooted their approval.

As they exchanged their vows, the couple fought back their tears.

“You broke down every wall I put up,” she said. “You’re my champion. I always feel I’m my best self with you. You inspire me to be the person I dream of becoming.”

Image

Neil Patrick Harris, who attended with his husband, David Burtka, and their children, gave a speech after the wedding.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

“I feel like I’ve lived more in the past three and a half years than the whole of my life,” he told her. “I promise you, Danielle, to always help carry your expanding collection of luggage, I promise to support and love you, be by your side through the good and bad, to be your champion and best friend.”

And with that, the couple marched out into the spring afternoon for drinks and chatter as the opera house was reconfigured into a reception hall.

In a sea of seersuckers, satin and plaid shorts with matching jackets, and crocheted dresses, one stylish guest in particular stood out: the casting director Shay Nielsen, with her long, flowing, black-and-white Art Deco-style dress.

“What a colorful group!” Mr. Burtka said as he and Mr. Harris managed their 7-year-old twins, Gideon and Harper. “I’ve never seen so many hipsters out of Brooklyn!”

Image

A captured kiss during the couple’s first dance.CreditGraham Walzer for The New York Times

Once the reception started, Ms. Levitt returned wearing a gown made of silk habotai fabrics that she codesigned with the Los Angeles-based Everybody.World. Guests feasted on a menu that included cochon de lait po’ boys, red beans and rice, and étouffée-spiced shrimp skewers.

After guests danced to the classic soul tunes played by the Essentials, and toasted for hours, the Hot 8 Brass Band showed up to lead the party out of the opera house and over to Mimi’s in the Marigny, a nearby bar, for more dancing.

As the procession made its turn from Dauphine Street onto Franklin Avenue, one bystander asked another, “Is that Neil Patrick Harris?”

“Yes.”

“I feel like such an idiot. I went up to him and said, ‘Has anyone told you you look like Neil Patrick Harris?’ And he just nodded. The woman looked back toward the procession, called the second-line in New Orleans parlance.

“So, this is a wedding and not a funeral?”

“Yup.”

“Cool.”

ON THIS DAY March 17, 2018.

New York Times

The World Press Photo of the Year 2018 goes to Venezuelan photographer Ronaldo Schemidt

Africa, international News
World Press Photo of the Year & first prize in the Spot News Single: Ronaldo Schemidt, Venezuela

cey

José Víctor Salazar Balza (28) catches fire amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against President.          Credit+Ronaldo Schemidt

Venezuela crisis: José Víctor Salazar Balza (28) catches fire amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against President Nicolás Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, May 3, 2017.
President Maduro had announced plans to revise Venezuela’€™s democratic system by forming a constituent assembly to replace the opposition-led National Assembly, in effect consolidating legislative powers for himself. Opposition leaders called for mass protests to demand early presidential elections. Clashes between protesters and the Venezuelan national guard broke out on 3 May, with protesters (many of whom wore hoods, masks or gas masks) lighting fires and hurling stones. Salazar was set alight when the gas tank of a motorbike exploded. He survived the incident with first- and second-degree burns. (Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP)

THE WORLD PRESS PHOTO OF THE YEAR 2018 GOES TO RONALDO SCHEMIDT 

The jury of the 61th World Press Photo Contest has selected an image by Venezuelan photographer Ronaldo Schemidt as the 2018 World Press Photo of the Year. Schemidt, a staff photographer for Agence France-Presse, based in Mexico, won with his image entitled ‘Venezuela Crisis,’ showing a protester on fire during clashes with police inCaracas, Venezuela.

Schemidt’s winning photo — which also won first prize in the Spot News Stories category — shows José Víctor Salazar Balza (28) on fire amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against President Nicolás Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela. Salazar was set alight when the gas tank of a motorbike exploded. He survived the incident with first- and second-degree burns. 

The 2018 Photo Contest drew entries from around the world: 4,548 photographers from 125 countries submitted 73,044 images. The jury gave prizes in eight categories to 42 photographers from 22 countries.

Jesco

Lagos Waterfronts under Threat Contemporary Issues, first prize singles- Jesco Denzel Germany

February 24, 2017

A boat with tourists from Lagos Marina is steered through the canals of the Makoko community—an ancient fishing village that has grown into an enormous informal settlement—on the shores of Lagos Lagoon, Lagos, Nigeria.

Makoko has a population of around 150,000 people, many of whose families have been there for generations. But Lagos is growing rapidly, and ground to build on is in high demand. Prime real estate along the lagoon waterfront is scarce, and there are moves to demolish communities such as Makoko and build apartment blocks: accommodation for the wealthy. Because the government considers the communities to be informal settlements, people may be evicted without provision of more housing. Displacement from the waterfront also deprives them of their livelihoods. The government denies that the settlements have been inhabited for generations and has given various reasons for evictions, including saying that the communities are hideouts for criminals. Court rulings against the government in 2017 declared the evictions unconstitutional and that residents should be compensated and rehoused, but the issue remains unresolved.

The prize-winning photographs are assembled into an exhibition that travels to 100 locations in 45 countries and is seen by more than 4 million people each year. The winning pictures are also published in the annual yearbook, which is available in multiple languages. The first World Press Photo Exhibition 2018 opens in De Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam, on April 14, 2018. For more information about the exhibition in Amsterdam, please follow this link.

Discover all of the winners and the awarded photos in an image gallery at theWorld Press Photo website.