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Director of Photography


A cinematographer also sometimes known as camera operations director or Director of photography is the chief personnel over the camera and light crew that are working in a film, live actions, TV show production and commercials pieces and is responsible for making artistic and technical decisions related to the pictures and images and videos used in the production. These individuals have to study and practice cinematography in order to work in this field. They are the leader in the creative aspects during the video production process. Director of photography is a very important position with a lot of responsibilities and hence also requires proper skills and knowledge about camera, lighting and creativity.

Interested in building a career as a director of photography?

If you wish to make your career as a director of photography, you must know its daily responsibilities and profile.

This blog gives you an idea of what working as a director of photography is like.

Job Description

The Camera Operations Director Coordinates and works closely along with the product’s director in efforts to bring the vision of the movie to life. During the production period and post production period the director of photography works closely with the lighting crew, the Costume Designer, and Hair and Makeup in order to make the project creation process smooth. The Director of photography is an important part of the executive team that gets the projects from conception to the finished product. The camera operations director is responsible for  coordinating the camera crew, making sure equipment is all working, and testing out special lenses and filters. They are the leaders of the other photographers working on the movie project.

Job Responsibility and Duties


To work as a Director of photography you need to have a bachelor’s degree in Film, art or photography. 

Before getting the gig you may also require to show a Director of Photography Portfolio to assure that you are capable of your job.

You should also have prior experience in the field and working knowledge of the basic operation of digital cameras.


If you are a fresher who is looking to make a career as a DoP, then here are some of the best online certifications that you will definitely need to look out for to take your knowledge and expertise to a higher level.

Now, let’s view some of those certifications which you can opt for:

1. Introduction to Digital Cinematography (Berklee Online

This course helps you learn about what a single image can convey, the different camera position and movements, techniques to work with a creative team and the camera workings and lens that you will require based on the genre you shoot and much more.

2.Cinematography Course: Shoot Better Video with Any Camera (Udemy)

This course is perfect for beginners as it explains the art of cinematography from the ground up. You will learn the camera settings and various lighting techniques used while taking cinematic shots

3. Online Cinematography Classes (Skill Share)

This course will take you through the different cinematography lessons from various experts as per your area of interest, teach you the techniques and settings needed to operate any device (DSLR or smartphone) as well as help you learn video editing tools that shall make a pro out of you at what you do.

4.Camera: Cinematography by Werner Herzog (MasterClass)

This course taught by Werner Herzog (Director) will walk you through how to explore scene decompositions to understand every aspect that forms a stunning scene, bring your set alive via cinematic vision by working with lights and understand the core concepts of filmmaking.

5.Cinematography Masterclass: The Complete Videography Guide (Udemy)

This course will help you learn the foundations of filmmaking by studying how to use your camera settings, lenses, and props creatively. It will also cover how to record sounds for various types of videos to produce high-impacting content along with taking advantage of exposures through light kits to balance your scenes and shoot like a pro.

To get a successful career in any profession, opt for courses with a government certificate from

Skills Required

If you wish to be a Lighting artist then you require to have some soft skills, abilities and personality traits, along with your formal education. Here is a list of accompanying skills that you would require to prevail in an organization.

1.Analytical and Decision Making Skill

The Director of photography needs to understand the scope and art style of the production and has to be able to determine what types of equipment and settings are needed.

2.Organization Skills

The Directors of productions are required to be highly organized as they are supposed to lead a team of photographers during the production and have control of the image capturing process.

3. Team work Skills

The director of photography works with the leads of other departments involved in the production to create the video film

4.Communication Skills

As the DOP works closely with other departmental heads and along with this team it is essential to have good Communication skills.

5.Camera Operation Skills

As they primarily work with a camera they must know the working of  video camera operation and dslr camera operation.

You can opt for Free Basic Skill Computer Courses needed for your Job Profile at

Work Environment

The Director of photography is usually recommended or recruited by the Film’s director. Some high end production companies have their own director of photography but almost all directors of photographs work as independent freelancers.

Most DoP move to metro cities where there is more availability of job opportunities. They work in commercial films, movies and TV shows.

The work schedule is not fixed and there are unscheduled call ins and many over time shifts.

Salary Package

The average salary or The Director of Photography in India is About 25,000 INR.


The Individual who knows how to operate cameras and have a visual of the finished image before completing the project can be the Best directors of photography. To be a DoP you must be consistent and begin as a director of photography assistant to understand the business from inside out.

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