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What does a Director Of Photography do?

Learn all about Director Of Photography duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Director Of Photography.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A director of photography (DP) is responsible for the look of a film. They work closely with the director to ensure that the visual style of the film matches the director's vision. The DP is responsible for choosing the right cameras and lenses for each shot, as well as lighting each scene.

Director Of Photography job duties include:

  • Work with the director to determine the overall look of the film
  • Operate cameras and other technical equipment
  • Select camera angles and positions
  • Set up and light scenes
  • Ensure that the images are in focus and properly exposed
  • Develop film or digital negatives
  • Create positive prints from negatives
  • Supervise the work of assistant camerapersons and other crew members
  • Maintain records and logs of all footage shot

Director Of Photography Job Requirements

A Director of Photography (DP) is responsible for the look and feel of a film or television production. They work closely with the director to ensure that the vision for the project is realized on screen. A DP must have a strong understanding of lighting, composition, and camera operation. They should also be able to work well under pressure and maintain a calm demeanor on set.

Education requirements for a DP vary depending on the production they are working on. For example, feature films typically require a DP to have a bachelor's degree in cinematography or a related field. Television productions may be less stringent when it comes to education requirements, but most DPs still have some formal training. Certification is not typically required to work as a DP, but many DPs choose to become certified through organizations like the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).

Experience is one of the most important requirements for becoming a DP. Many DPs start out working as camera operators or assistant camera operators before moving up to the position of DP. It is important for DPs to have experience working with different types of cameras and equipment, as well as experience in various genres of filmmaking.

Director Of Photography Skills

  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Budgeting
  • Project Management
  • Pre-production
  • Camera Operation
  • Lighting
  • Grip
  • Electrical
  • Sound
  • Post-production

Related: Top Director Of Photography Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Director Of Photography

There is no one specific path to becoming a Director of Photography (DP), but there are a few things that will help you on the way. First and foremost, you need to have a passion for photography and cinematography. This passion will help you stand out from the crowd and give you the drive to continue learning and improving your craft. Secondly, it is important to have a strong technical understanding of both photography and cinematography. This will allow you to capture the images you want and get the most out of your equipment. Finally, it is helpful to have a good network of contacts in the industry. These contacts can provide you with opportunities and help you get your foot in the door.

If you have a passion for photography and cinematography and are willing to put in the hard work, then becoming a DP may be the right career path for you.

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