How to become a Cinematographer

Jun 04, 2018 Written by Megha Bhadola Cinematography Appreciation


How to become a Cinematographer


A cinematographer or Director of Photography (DP), is responsible for all the visual elements of a film; in other words, this professional is literally, the eye behind the camera. 


There are a certain skills that is required by a cinematographer like – should be a visionary, should have good listening skills, knowledge of interior and exterior lights, adaptable to locations and challenges, should know when and how to meet deadlines.


The skills mentioned above, are few that a person can learn in the course of their lives but few are those they can only learn by proper education of the field you are interested in.


There is no hard and fast rule on how to become a cinematographer, few don’t go for professional courses and start working with a established film maker and learn in the process whereas some go for proper courses or at least one year diploma courses so that they get a basic knowledge and heads up about the industry.


A few things that can be of use, when one wants to become a cinematographer are –


  1. Learn and be clear with basics of cinematography, this is the first and the most essential part on your way towards becoming a cinematographer.
  2. Go for higher education and learn more and more about cinematography.
  3. Seek opportunities and internship and work with established people in the industry



One should also try and learn about different jobs that are related to camera and expand their knowledge of various camera related professions, so that they are able to work in different fields in the industry.

Some people start straight as a cinematographer and some take time and initially start as a cameraman/videographer and later work as a cinematographer.


Experience plays a great role in the process of becoming a cinematographer; the more you work the more you learn. Make films even when you are studying cinematography, intern at places that will help you gain more knowledge and also help you gain more perspective over the field.


There are various collages in India and abroad that offer cinematography courses, one can never stop learning and training in cinematography, the more you train the more you shall gain in term of work and success.


Interest in cinematography is the first step towards becoming a cinematographer, but interest is only the first step, one should enroll in a professional course and learn more about the technicality of cinematography and keep learning and increasing the horizon of their vision. Learn to be humble and listen to others as in this profession you shall work with a director who has a vision and you as cinematographer have yours you should know how to combine both and present something great to your audience.