CINEMATOGRAPHERS film commercial motion pictures and documentary or industrial films. They also make films for television news, and film private ceremonies and special events. Some offer their services to the general public by recording important events or renting out their equipment. They produce pictures that capture a mood or tell a story with the use of light, lenses, film, filters, and camera settings. They work for local, network, and cable television stations and cover news events. They may capture and transmit live pictures to the television audience. Others specialize in filming cartoons or other optical effects for television and movies.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $48,500 average per year ($23.25 per hour)
- A small occupation (16,800 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (0.9% per year)
CINEMATOGRAPHERS generally obtain their skills through formal post-secondary training at colleges, photographic institutes, universities, or through on-the-job training. Employers usually look for applicants with a technical understanding of cinematography and certain personal traits, including imagination and creativity. Technical expertise can be obtained through practical experience. No special licensing or certification is required for cinematographers.