Videographer, Camera Operator

"A lot of technical work occurs in the “gig economy,” which is fine by me. I am constantly working, but not for one employer. My income comes from a series of contracts, some lasting a few days, some go on for many months. I spent a number of years shooting news for a local TV station, but I prefer the variety I now get from news, sports and live event media production. In the past year I have spent a month working for the host broadcaster at the Olympic Winter Games, spent more than 50 nights doing ice-level camera work at NHL games, and provided the live images for national awards shows, political conventions and occasional news programming. I have also filmed with documentary crews. I have been at the forefront of a lot of important moments in history, watching it all through a viewfinder, but experiencing it much closer than just about anyone else."

Salary Range:

$55,000 - $80,000

The Tip

Famous Second World War photojournalist Robert Capa once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” The advice applies to moving images too. A videographer who’s willing to get close to the action is very much in demand.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Expert
  • Visual and audio recording and editing

  • Ability to develop a compelling narrative

  • Ability to generate new approaches to familiar stories

  • Research

Great at
  • Production planning & design

  • Manage projects

  • Data analytics

Good at
  • Expertise in verbal and written use of language

  • Link content with a specific audience

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Communication (journalism) with a minor in film studies

 

"I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do when I enrolled in a journalism program, but my first photography course changed everything. When I presented my portfolio to my professor she said, “I’ve really been looking forward to this.” I discovered I have a good eye."

 

Employment Experiences:
  • I provided both still photos and videos for the student newspaper when I was in university

  • A stop-motion animation project I did for a capstone visual media production course won an international student award

  • I started working as a casual video editor at a local TV station part-time. I lobbied to go out and shoot video with reporters, and was eventually offered a position as a staff videographer.

  • Four years ago I took a package in a round of layoffs and began freelancing

 

"I learned early on that you can’t compromise on the basics; everything has to be properly lit, focused and framed, the audio clear and well-recorded. I try to stand out by being creative, and finding new approaches to standard shots. I don’t aspire to be a manager in this business, but I’d like to be known for my work."

 

Community Experiences:
  • I’m part of a group of amateur wildlife photographers in the region. We try to raise awareness for conservation and the environment by sharing our images online and through social media.

 

"Wildlife photography allows me to experiment with notions of capturing images, and to share my passion with other likeminded individuals."

Contextual Experiences:
  • I’m a frequent guest speaker at the local poly-technical school

 

"It’s really useful for me to articulate what I do for my own self-reflection, but it also helps budding videographers in their development in the craft."

Relationships:
  • I belong to a creative group of friends interested in film, music, writing, design and art

 

"My friends, colleagues and neighbours are endless sources of inspiration, knowledge, stories and creative exploration."