With more people looking into a career in content creation the, ability to create and edit videos has become a sought-after skill.

Becoming a videographer is not an easy task though, especially since the industry has become over saturated with digital content creators that possess a variety of skills.

It has become imperative for videographers to find ways to stand out from their competitors.

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Calvin Fisher, a South African based filmmaker has shared a guide for those who are interested in making their mark in the videography industry.

Master the basics

The first step to becoming a videographer is knowing how to operate a video camera properly. You also have to acquire a whole lot of technical knowledge and skill that goes beyond merely knowing how to press the record button.

These days, a simple search on YouTube will uncover videos that will help you learn all you need to know. You will be surprised by how much you actually end up learning from the videos. Alternatively, you could also apply for an online course to learn everything you need to know about the trade.

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Get the right equipment

There’s always going to be the temptation to simply buy top-of-the-line equipment right out of the shop. But there are several issues with this approach. First, you’re just getting started and will need some extensive videographer training to learn the ins and outs of that technology.

Even if you’re a whiz at all the top-end technologies, it’s going to take you a while to get clued up on how to use everything. Generally, there are six main pieces of equipment you’ll need to keep in mind:

Camera: The best camera for taking videos varies significantly depending on the type of content you create. While nowadays mirrorless cameras seem to be an industry-favourite, some may benefit from investing in DSLRs or action cameras.

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Lens: If you choose to use an interchangeable lens camera, you need to understand that the lens you use will have a huge impact on the quality of your work. Many videographers tend to choose wider angles that enable you to fit more elements into the frame.

Microphone: Bad sound is one of the worst things for video content. Even if you plan to use royalty-free music with most of your content, you will need to have a microphone to record high-quality audio whenever needed.

Lighting: If you plan to record indoors, artificial lighting is an absolute must. If you plan to record strictly outdoors, artificial lighting would be a great addition to your gear. It will help you avoid camera noise and ensure your footage is always clear, as well as soften shadows for a more even look.

Editing software: You need the right tools to convert your footage in order to have great content. While professional editors can be quite expensive, there are free video editing software for your desktop that you could use.

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Find a mentor

Find a mentor that has experience in the industry and cultivate a friendship. Aside from gaining valuable information from someone who is currently in the industry, this person can be someone you look up to for inspiration.

If possible, offer your assistance on whatever projects your mentor is working on, observe how they go about their work and how they plan to shoot at the various scenes and, more importantly, how they address problems that arise.

Shoot your own films

As you spend more time with your mentor, you’ll quickly learn everything about what is needed on a film set. This alone will strongly inspire you to start creating your own films to practise all the techniques and skills you acquired.

You can then use this footage to build your portfolio.

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Market yourself

Once you have made a collection of short films and clips, you’re ready to start cultivating yourself as a brand. Create an online portfolio where you can showcase your best work and your creative filmmaking skills. This will allow you to stand out from the rest and establish your creative filmmaking talents to directors.

Once you’ve learned everything suggested, learning doesn’t stop there.

Always be on the lookout for new information in the industry: this way you will be ahead of the game when it comes to keeping up with the latest trends.

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Fischer is the founder of the digital production house, Pandabomb.