Camera Operator

If you’re a storyteller with excellent hand-eye coordination, then this might be the job for you. Use your love of working behind a camera to start a career as a camera operator.

Job Responsibilities

Working in the studio as a camera operator means you will most likely have a designated position where you will be working from. Say you’re filming a news anchor. Your job will be to focus on her solely and just await instructions from the director. This is a great entry job you could take before branching out in wider, more complex roles.

Here you will be capturing live sports. Just like being in the studio, you will have a specific angle you will have to maintain while also focusing on the director for any changes and instructions. You will need to be very attentive and alert in this role because all the best moments will be captured by you for the people watching at home as well the fans in the stadium. 

These kinds of Camera Operators are what you’d call field cameraman. This is because they often work on the field,following newsworthy events as they happen, filming interviews or filming adverts. They then edit the shots and send them to the studio to be aired. 

What to Study

Digital Photography: Comprehensive Certificate Course

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Digital Photography: Certificate Course

Photographers can make moments even more special. This is by knowing their equipment well and by having an eye for the right moment, lighting and so on.

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Digital Photography: Short Course Certificate

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What is a Camera Operator?

Say you are watching your favorite sitcom or film. Notice how the camera follows every step of the characters, how it captures the emotions displayed on their faces or even a little detail in a corner? That is the magical work of a Camera Operator also known as a Cameraman. You will be the most important part of any film or TV production. Often, you will be operating multiple cameras and other video equipment at the same time.

Perks of Being a Camera Operator

This exciting job carries with it some more equally exciting opportunities and perks. You will be working with all kinds of talented and creative people. Anything from actors, models, film directors, writers to producers. You will also get an opportunity to travel all around the world, going wherever the job takes you!

Above all, this is an extremely satisfying job. Because telling a gripping story and capturing moments of awe that last forever is a superpower! Who would say no to an opportunity to gain a superpower?

Have you always dreamed of being your own boss?

Being a Camera Operator will give you the freedom to work for yourself as a freelancer. Though you may still need to work on the schedule of the production you will be working for, you will be answering to no one.

Thinking of becoming a Camera Operator? Sign up for a course at Skills Academy and kickstart your career.

Do you need a Qualification to be a Camera Operator?

Getting an official education for anything increases your credibility. Not only that, it also increases your employability. The same applies if you want to be a Camera Operator. On top of the skills you will need to do this job well, having a tertiary training will be beneficial. Skills Academy offers a course you can do that will get your foot in the door for this job.

The best part about studying with Skills Academy is that you will be able to work while studying, giving you a head start. You will also learn valuable skills like time management as you will be juggling your personal life and your academic life on your own terms.

How Much do Camera Operators Earn

On average, a Camera Operator can earn about R12,245 monthly.

The earning potential for Camera Operators varies depending on where they work and the level of experience they have. This is a job driven mostly by how much experience you have. As a result, it is important to polish your skills while you study.

What Does a Camera Operator do?

A Camera Operator works behind the scenes of motion picture productions. These could be film productions, advertisements, television etc. They capture every single moment and every detail that they think will tell the story best. They do this by using the different camera equipment they are working with.

This is not a one man job so expect to be working with a lot of different people at all times. One of those people would be a director to produce exactly what the director had in mind. You will also be expected to discuss how a scene should shot for best results.

Types of Camera Operators

As with many different professions, Camera Operators can have specialities. Though the key roles may be similar, they work in different environments. Take a look at the different types below:

Studio Camera Operator

Working in the studio as a camera operator means you will most likely have a designated position where you will be working from. Say you’re filming a news anchor. Your job will be to focus on her solely and just await instructions from the director. This is a great entry job you could take before branching out in wider, more complex roles.

Live Sports Production Camera Operator

Here you will be capturing live sports. Just like being in the studio, you will have a specific angle you will have to maintain while also focusing on the director for any changes and instructions. You will need to be very attentive and alert in this role because all the best moments will be captured by you for the people watching at home as well the fans in the stadium.

Electronic News Gathering Camera Operator (ENG)

These kinds of Camera Operators are what you’d call field cameraman. This is because they often work on the field,following newsworthy events as they happen, filming interviews or filming adverts. They then edit the shots and send them to the studio to be aired.

Skills Needed to be a Camera Operator

This job can be quite demanding. Not everyone is able to do it. But with these  skills you will excel above and beyond. Let’s have a look at the following set of skills you will need for this job:

  • Creativity. As a Camera Operator, your whole career will revolve around how creative you are. Your creativity will allow you to be able to capture images that tell the best story.
  • Attention to detail. It’s the little details that bring out the life in a creative project. You need to be able to have this skill on top of the creativity.
  • Excellent listening skills. Because you will be working with different people towards the same goal. You will need to be able to listen carefully to the instructions.
  • Technical abilities. As Camera Operator, you’ll use various software to edit and refine your work. You need to know how to use these software.

Think this is a career for you? Get in touch with us now!

Contact one of our agents to sign up for our photography courses and fast track your career. What are you waiting for? Enrol now!

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Author: Ncebakazi Stoto

Last Updated: May 7, 2020

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