Careers Advice

FREELANCE TV NEWS CAMERAMAN: SOME CAREERS ADVICE.

Disclaimer: Don't go doing stuff just because i told you to do so... Do some more research and don't come running to me when it all goes tits up and you end up on the streets cold, wet and alone. Should you find yourself on the streets cold, wet and alone... You are probably a TV News Cameraman. Congratulations... you've made it..!

Golden Rules: Buy a good coat and waterproofs. Toughen up a little. Avoid petrol station food and dog poo on pavements.

The above advice is good advice, but this page is to show you how i made it into the TV News Industry, and the first year of working as a Freelance TV News Cameraman. It is by no means the definitive answer to your questions, nor a sure fire way of making it into this job, more an overview of what to expect should you be given the chance to film the news for a broadcaster.


It's cold, windy and wet ... Get out there.


First things first, i have had no formal training to be a cameraman. I taught myself. That is to say that i did not go to college or university, study the media industry in any way, nor did i take a short or long course in photography or camera skills. So, how did i get a job as a cameraman? Quite simply, i bought myself a camera, Beta SP at the time, and taught myself how to use it through trial and error. Mostly error. This took about six months or so of frustration, mistakes and the occasional delight of mastering the blindingly obvious.

Discovering what every little button and switch did, and why, took a great deal of time and reading of obscure pamphlets and books to understand the technicalities of it all, Most of which still eludes me even today.

Being a Cameraman ... It gets you off the streets.

You see, i am not at all interested in the why or how a camera works. Only the fact that if i do this or that, then an end result occurs. So long as my pictures are in focus, correctly colour balanced and framed the way the reporter wants or i feel is right, then i am happy. Sound recording on camera is also an important cosideration, but with the correct knowledge of your cameras functions and capabilities, then a good and correct end result will occur, it's as simple as that.

There is of course a great deal more to being a TV News Cameraman that what i have just described. A great deal more.

So, for those of you with a healthy interest in becoming a TV News Cameraman, i have written a series of articles on my website for you to read. I hope they will be of help to you, if not for the technical expertise, then for the insight into what it took to get in and get along in the world of TV News.

Part 1 : How did you get in?
Part 2 : Press the button stupid.
Part 3 : The first year part 1.
Part 4 : The first year part 2.
Part 5 : The first year part 3.
Part 6 : How much?
Part 7 : The tax man cometh.
Part 8 : Staying alive.
Part 9 : And finally.

Now, for those of you who are looking for work experience, or a day following a cameraman should read this article. There is nothing more i would like to do than take you guys out on a days experience. I would have killed for a chance when i started out. But these are the reasons why i can't do it. (And because i probably won't like you.)

Read this:  Why i can't take you with me. 

And for those of you just starting out and looking for work, i wrote this short article about how to start up as a freelance cameraman. Again, not the definitive answer, but it may help if you don't know where to go next.

Read this:  Freelance cameraman start up guide.

So, all in all, i hope that the above articles will help you find your way, and helpfully guide you in the right direction into what many have described as the best job in the world. Good luck.


Put wire A into socket 6.......
Some of the above articles may re appear on this blog in a slightly different format, or having been totally re written for blog purposes. If they do, i will link back to the original post.

Good luck, and if you ever see me on the streets, mines a coffee, 2 sugars and a doughnut.