What is a videographer

Vloggers are a new aristocracy. Online influencers gain a fortune and live the lives of celebrities, but what is behind all this? Months of painstaking work and mastering essential skills. For example, videography.

The official definition of videography is the following: it’s the process of creating a video product with the help of modern digital tools. In the wider sense, it also includes preparation and post-shooting activities, but some videographers have a crew of specialists, who take care of video editing.

So, answering the question "What do videographers do" we can sum up: they shoot videos, mostly, for commercial use (sometimes from a long-term perspective, but still).

It’s essential not to mistake videography for cinematography. While the latter is all about art and storytelling, the former is more about fact and event reporting, shooting live actions without a prior script, and acting.

Professional videographer

Videography skills

Videographers need to be good at many things. The so-called "hard videographer skills" include:

  • Mastering professional video recording gear, such as DSLR cameras, etc. Before having a shot in videography it would be useful to pick up some video basics, such as exposure, aperture, ISO, shutter speed, etc.
  • Post-production editing. Yes, some professionals can outsource it, but not aspiring newbies at the very beginning of their career path.

As for the soft skills, it will always pay out to be:

  • Patient. Sometimes, you have to wait long hours.
  • Communicative. Otherwise, people will not tell you their stories.
  • Creative. No need to comment.
  • Stress-resistant. Not all clients are fluffy lambs.
  • Punctual. You have to always meet your deadlines.
  • Self-disciplined. Product videographers (as far as their colleagues from other videographer fields) are usually freelancers, so they have to organize their time efficiently.

When it comes to the skills, the most important is practice. You can learn videography for years, but until you take your first shot, theory means nothing.

Videography skills

Videography process

Nothing revolutionary here, the videography process is quite obvious, and it can be roughly divided into three phases:

  1. Pre-production activities. Such as honing the concept, creating an outline, and selecting and purchasing equipment.
  2. Shooting.
  3. Post-production activities. Looking through kilometers of raw footage and selecting the best shots, video editing.

The first and last steps may be outsourced, but the actual shooting is always performed by the videographer themself.

Videography equipment

A beginner can’t typically afford to buy top-notch gear, but no worries: even a modern smartphone with a high-resolution camera will do the job.

Here is a suggested list of must-have equipment.


Any camera, be it a DSLR, Go-Pro, iPhone, or whatever else. Just make sure that the output video will have at least full-HD resolution, preferably even higher.

External microphone

Quality sound is a key to popularity. Content is also important, of course, but it will be worth nothing with lousy sound, slurred speech, and background noises. Purchase a shotgun or a lapel mic, depending on your content type.


Another essential piece of equipment. Shaking videos look highly unprofessional, so some tripod or gimbal is a must-have.

Videography equipment

Lighting set

You can’t set up lighting while shooting live events, but if you record your episodes in a studio, a couple of additional light sources and reflectors will do no harm.


Your footage should be edited, no matter how brilliant it is. Period. The market offers myriads of editing apps and programs, starting with free online video editor solutions and up to costly professional software delivered with hundreds-page-long manuals and documentation.

Videography resources

Bad news: you can’t become a commercially successful videographer just by recording your clips and doing nothing more.

The good news: you don’t have to pay or enroll in courses "videography for beginners" to gain the necessary knowledge. There are plenty of YouTube channels and Reddit communities, where experienced colleagues share videography tips and help newbies learn the ropes.

For example:


What are the most important videography tools that beginners should have?

A camera :) It would be challenging to record a video without it. Strictly speaking, the rest is optional, but it’s highly recommended to invest in an external mic as well.

How much do videographers earn?

As much as they want. Videographers are usually freelancers, so they don’t depend on salary forks and can set any hourly rate they want. The exact sum depends on the region, even type, videographer’s experience, and other factors.

How long does it take to learn videography?

Live and learn, every day is a lesson. As videography is not only technical but also a creative process, there is no such a moment when you can say to yourself "Now I know everything". As for mastering the basics, we would say, it takes months, not years.


It is very tempting to believe that everybody can become a videographer in no time, just because they want to and have a couple of cams. Fortunately or unfortunately, it’s a myth. Videography is a complex of skills, some of them can be mastered pretty quickly, but others take time, patience, and help from more experienced mentors.

Luckily, you can avail of tons of online materials and resources, including this blog. And practice makes perfect!