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What Is a Film Set Photographer and How to Become One

Film Set Photographer

What Does a Film Set Photographer Do?

As a film set photographer, you work for a studio and shoot photos during the production process that can be used for marketing and other promotional activities. You capture still images of each actor and key crew members, help determine which images merit use in promotion or print, and turn complex ideas into compelling photographs. Film set photographers frequently use photo editing software to process images and turn them into content that marketing teams can further edit and adjust when creating advertising material. Film set photographers occasionally collect images for other purposes—for example, during a particularly dangerous stunt, film set photographers may take snapshots of safety preparations to help demonstrate compliance with safety regulations.

How to Become a Film Set Photographer

The primary qualifications for becoming a film set photographer are a bachelor's degree in a field like photography or film and several years of professional experience. This is a geographically-limited position—most films are produced in a few centralized studios, making it difficult to find steady work outside of areas like Hollywood, California. As such, you may need to move after getting this job. Most directors do not want to slow production except when necessary, so recognizing when to take images without disrupting others is essential to success in this role. Fulfilling the responsibilities and duties of a film set photographer requires communication skills, observational skills, attention to detail, and familiarity with a variety of types of cameras.