Offer video production services and you become a professional videographer. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. You not only need the skills to deliver, you also need the clients willing to pay for it. Although many videographers choose to freelance, there are also more steady jobs available in the field.
Whichever path you choose in video production services, there is a build-up period and the path is not always clear.
How to Get Your Start in Videography
Not sure how to get started? Here are our tips for how to become a professional videographer.
- Enroll in a Video Production Services Programme
Perhaps the most straightforward path into a career in videography is to enroll yourself in a formal education programme. Yes, film school.
Attending film school provides you with all the basic skills, the professional know-how, an eye for evaluating production quality and one foot in the door into the film industry. It may be a considerable investment but it is an investment that gives back a whole lot more.
Film school may not be the top choice for everyone but it is still worth considering. Production companies often seek out applicants with some form of formal education so if freelancing is not your dream, you may need that degree.
- Follow Video Production Workshops & Courses
The alternative to a formal education is following professional workshops or short-term courses in video production services. The advantage of going this route is that it is often more affordable, gives you practical experience and provides more flexibility in fitting it into your schedule.
The downside of this alternative is that it is more limited in content. Generally, these courses address only a single aspect of video production in a limited amount of time.
In other words, you have to find the discipline to learn on your own and keep practicing when you’re not following a course.
- Seek Out Internships and Mentorships
The dream path into videography is learning from the very best. Although approaching a Hollywood cinematographer may be a long shot, there may be professionals that you admire in your area.
Many production companies also offer internship programmes. After all, video production services can be expensive so hiring cheap interns is a popular way for companies to cut costs.
Many internship programmes have an affiliation with universities and colleges but there are exceptions. You can also muster up the courage to approach someone directly for a mentorship.
- Get a Day Job
Nothing prepares you for a career better than actually putting in the work. If you want a career in video production services you need to find a job in video production services.
You may not land your dream job at the very start of your career but this is all part of paying your dues. Getting your hands dirty not only offers you experience, it also lets you into the network.
Consider getting a job as a camera man, audio crew or production editor. At the very least, this steady paycheck lets you put some money into your own pet projects.
PS: Lots of videographers had their start shooting weddings. Even if this is not part of your long term plan, it remains a very lucrative business.
- Join the Club
No matter your field, a huge chunk of building a successful professional career is knowing the right people. Enjoying the fruits of your labor into this network may take a while but boy, is it juicy.
So, building a network of professionals and aspiring videographers is one of the first steps you need to take. Don’t worry about joining the high society of film right from the start, there are plenty of local film organizations you can join.
One of the perks of joining these organizations is that it helps you to develop your own niche. What kind of video production services are you most interested in? Join that association!
- Show Your Work
It can be nerve-wracking to have others see you video production work but there really is no other way to advance in the field. The more people that are familiar with your work, the more potential work you will receive.
You need to show your audience what you are capable of. In this visual industry, it is not enough to simply list your accreditations on your CV.
Showcase your work in every way possible: social media, a personal website, online portfolio, local film festivals and events. Consider joining video competitions and tap into the huge audience that these competitions reach. Even if you don’t win, you get the experience and the exposure.
- Practice, Experiment, Produce
Video production is a craft and you only get better by putting in the long hours. Keep practicing, keep experimenting and keep producing videos.
Yes, you need to find the time and budget to do this but there is some flexibility in it. Even if you still have a fulltime job, you can find opportunities to film in your personal time.
For example, family events, a trip or even just a night in with friends are chances for you to film. You are the storyteller of these occasions and can make anything look beautiful.
Spend a few nights or weekends crafting the story and share it on your social media. Your subjects will be more than happy to share and spread the word that you are an amazing videographer.
Becoming a professional videographer will take you more time than reading through this article. These 7 tips are just your source of inspiration and a little motivation into a career in video production services.
Again, everyone’s path is different and not every step will work for you. Simply knowing this already helps you outline a long term plan into cinematography.
What does apply to every aspiring videographer is that you need to put in the time. Mastering these skills does not happen overnight but you will have a lot of fun being creative along the way.