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Best Cinematography Tips

Best Cinematography Tips To Know Without Going To Film School

Get these top tips without the need for film school.

Aspiring cinematographers need to know the best cinematography tips in order to see themselves and their dreams come true. It is a hard profession and for those at the top of their game, they know just what it takes to succeed on a massive level. Film school can be helpful for some people, but for others, it might not be needed. Maybe it just isn’t in your life plans, or maybe you have chosen this path after already graduating. Whatever your deal is, embrace it and chase this passion for cinematography head on to make the best video production.

Why cinematography matters is because it is the actual filming process and camera work of a film or video production. Without it, there is no visual product. A movie, and subsequently anything on screen is a moving motion picture. Having a cinematographer that understands this movement and how to best piece this together will only help create a top of the line product.

Let’s take a closer look at cinematography and see what it takes to be a cinematographer. Knowing the role and how best to approach it will make you someone others will most certainly want to work with.

Best Cinematography Tips

What Is Cinematography?

Cinematography is a way of capturing everything to do with the camera. This could include things like actual visuals and movements, any still images, lighting, and other components captured by the camera. A cinematographer on a film set or some other video production will be responsible for the camera and anything to do with it. Working closely with the director, a cinematographer will help create the vision from page to screen.

Best Cinematography Tips

Best Cinematography Tips Without Film School

While film school can be great for some people, others may find a different approach. Knowing the right tips without going to film school can set you up for success no matter what path you have taken.

Know Your Way Around A Screenplay

The screenplay or script is so important to a film or video production. It is the blueprint of what will happen and knowing how to read and understand it will put you ahead of the game. The formatting style and definitions, like what a slug line is, what actions look like, and plenty more, gives you insight into what the writer and director are looking for out of the camera work.

Writing a screenplay can be challenging and as a cinematographer, you don’t necessarily need to know how to write one, although it is helpful and can add to your experience, but knowing your way around one lends credence to you as a filmmaker and a fan of film.

Stay Up To Date With Technology

Knowing how to use certain equipment and staying up to date on the latest equipment is important so you don’t fall behind. The best lenses and other components of the camera are crucial for in order to make a great film, you need great equipment. Your role in cinematography and as a cinematographer is to stay up to date with the latest technology and how to use it.

Know Shot Lists

Shot lists are important for they lay out the entire plan for the shoot. Planning ahead of time saves you time to have a more efficient and smoother shoot. Knowing how to create a shot list and read it will prove to be effective in the long run as you begin your career in cinematography. Plus, you will only get better as time goes on.

Best Cinematography Tips

Know Certain Techniques

As you gain more experience, these techniques will be refined and you will learn new ones as well. What you will get out of knowing certain techniques, like shots and how to shoot from different angles, is a better creative process and more collaboration. If the director sees something one way, but you see it a different way, a healthy conversation can alleviate all the problem and lead to the best creative decision while following the steps of video production.

Various shots include things like a bird’s-eye shot, long shot, close-up, and medium shot, but there are some more intricate and technical ones as well. By knowing as much as possible, you will have a better experience playing around with different things on set and ultimately have a more dynamic final product.

Don’t Be Afraid To Be Creative

With that, don’t be afraid to be creative. Cameras, camera angles, shots list, and other aspects of this craft can seem rigid and analytical at times, but don’t let that get int the way of your creative process. Knowing the ins and outs of creativity and allowing yourself the joy in creating will give you the best chance at producing high-quality work, whether that be a film, effective TV commercial, or viral video.

This tip may seem obvious but at the end of the day, being creative can be hard. It is hard to think with so much going on in our lives. Allow yourself to be free and open up to what can happen when you really put your mind towards creativity as a priority.

Be Pleasant To Work With

Being someone others want to work with is important as well and don’t take this for granted. No film school, or any school for that matter, can teach this. It comes from you and your humility when working on a film set and doing what you love. Sure, tensions may rise, but that is part of the creative process. At the end of the day, being pleasant and working well with others will allow you the chance to work more and enjoy what you are doing.


Being a cinematographer is not easy, but knowing the best cinematography tips can go a long way. While film school works for some people, it is important to remember that this doesn’t work for all. If you are someone who didn’t go to film school, following these tips can take you a long way in starting your career. Keeping these in mind will better prepare you for what is to come and will help you create, film, and produce the best content around.

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