What Qualities Do You Need To Become A Good Cameraman?


A question many young people are asking themselves when they aspire to become a cameraman is what qualities do they need to have. There are many examples of good cameramen that learned everything merely by doing, and not by following a relevant education. Among the best approaches to learn to be a cameraman would be to simply start carrying it out.

Of course, a good cameraman needs to know about television technology, and how to operate a camera. He also knows what is a good composition, and he has to have a feeling for good shots. But there are also other qualities that a cameraman should have that are less obvious.

Motivation and Commitment

Cameramen who use their full entitlement of sick days are unlikely to become very popular. There are stories of operators who got knocked out in a car crash, but get out of a hospital bed the next day to film their shots. Without using painkillers. After everything is filmed, they can deal with getting better. There is nothing worse for them to miss the shot for which they've so far.

There are cases where you'll have to work for fourteen days with little sleep, but you'll still manage because of the adrenalin running through your body. You won't even have time to become hungry, only after you're done you suddenly notice how hungry you are!

Don't worry though, there are also the shoots on location where there is time for a beer and a conversation with your correspondent when you've finished shooting for that day.

Being social

You will be required to work with many different people, often in high-stress situations. You need to be able to get on with people who are grieving, under stress, in trouble. You will have to make people comfortable when appearing on camera. Almost everyone is scared by a big camera.

You will have to talk to the people who work on a location that regulate business, because they know more then you about it. Elicit information from reluctant sources, police officers, secretaries, guards, officials. People may not realise it, but talking is a really important part of the job of a cameraman.

Manage contacts

Having contacts in the industry is very important. You need to make friends and connections with individuals who could help you to get a shooting job. This applies not only to new entrants, but for any career move at any stage. Be sure to cultivate and maintain good contacts.

Be very flexible

There will be many cases where you will have to be flexible when challenges arise. For example, when you have to relocate to a nearby building when you can't shoot outside because it starts to rain. As a Cameraman you will continuously come across problems that need to be solved. You will have to think together with your correspondent, be in the right place at the right time.

You also need to know how to fix almost everything, from a wireless microphone that starts to behave weird, to a gel filter that keeps falling down. You will have to be creative when looking for solutions to problems, as many times you will be on your own.

You will also have to be flexible in your working hours, including weekends. This can be the most frustrating part of the job, as you will never know when you suddenly have to leave. But some people love this part, as they would never work in a 9 to 5 job.

Related posts

Read 'The 7 Steps To Becoming A Professional Cameraman'.

About the author
Joseph de Meij

I am Joseph de Meij, 25 years old and I am a freelance cameraman who loves to travel. I'm currently trying to find different ways to overcome my toxic career syndrome and find out what my goals are in life.

This article was first published at www.askthecameraman.net.

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thofe
4 months ago
hi!!!

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