Director of photography | Selby College
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Director of photography

Directors of photography (DoPs) manage lighting and camera crews on TV and film productions to create the right look and feel for images.

Potential salary


Employment by 2024


Working hours

39 to 41 irregular

  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • broadcasting and telecommunications knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

As part of your role, you will:

  • visit a location before filming, known as a 'recce', to check its suitability
  • hire filming and lighting equipment
  • test equipment before filming
  • manage all aspects of filming, sometimes operating a camera
  • supervise the camera crew to decide on any special camera moves
  • work closely with the lighting team to decide on lighting techniques
  • review film footage with the director

You could work on a film set, at a film studio or at a TV studio.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you'll travel often.

With experience, you could work on TV and film productions with bigger budgets, or become a director or producer.

You can get more advice about working as a director of photography from ScreenSkills.

You can also find out more about working in the creative industries from Discover Creative Careers.

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