Career Exploration

Creative Commons image Dictionary – career by Flazingo Photos at Flickr

Director of Photography

What is a DoP, or Director of Photography?

  • Creates the visual identity, or look, of the film
  • Works with the Director, camera crew and lighting department
  • Manages all aspects of filming: from ordering and overseeing to recces to reviewing footage

What does a DoP do?

  • Must discover photographic heart of the screenplay
  • Create the desired look using lighting, framing, camera movement, etc.
  • Works with Director to discuss visual style of film
  • Prepare lists of all camera equipment needed
  • On each day of the principal photography they come early with camera crews on set to prepare the equipment
  • During rehearsals Director and DoP block the shots and discuss special camera movements or lighting with crew

What skills are needed?

  • Have good technical knowledge of photo-chemical and digital processes
  • Know about camera equipment
  • Know about lighting techniques and how to achieve them
  • Make decisions quickly
  • Be flexible
  • Be creative
  • Have artistic vision
  • Be detail oriented
  • Be able to give and accept direction
  • Have good communication skills

Are there any qualifications needed?

  • Take a degree in stills photography for knowledge on understanding of composition
  • Drama, art or film degree is good place to start

Where do I start?

  • Start your career in a junior capacity, like as 2nd Assistant Camera to progress through the camera department
  • Go through either camera or lighting department
  • Work on a camera crew to fully learn the on-set hierarchy and traditions of working

More information at:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *