We surveyed 495 cinematographers to better understand the work environment and required skills of a typical cinematographer. Here are the results.

How much intelligence is required as a cinematographer?

Low

High

Working as a cinematographer typically doesn’t require the use of high levels of intelligence in daily tasks.

Can I learn to become a cinematographer?

Intrinsic Talent

Acquired Talent

A career as a cinematographer typically depends predominantly on qualities you can gain through experience, with a small aspect of skills you are born with.

Is it easy to get a job as a cinematographer?

Easy

Hard

It’s typically quite difficult to find a job as a cinematographer.

Info

Do cinematographers work full-time or part-time?

29% of cinematographers work in full-time roles while 71% work part-time.

Is being a cinematographer stressful?

Low

High

Cinematographers tend not to find their jobs stressful, which likely contributes positively to career satisfaction.

Is being organized important as a cinematographer?

Low

High

Organization is not considered a particuarly important part of being a cinematographer.

How competitive is the workplace for cinematographers?

Low

High

Cinematographers tend to see lots of competition in the workplace, with desire to get ahead of co-workers being common.

Does being a cinematographer require frequent time pressure to complete tasks?

Low

High

Time pressure tends not to be a major contributor of stress for cinematographers.

Are cinematographers allowed to express themselves creatively?

Low

High

Creativity is intrinsic to being a cinematographer, and a highly valuable part of the career.

Do cinematographers have control over the direction of their work?

Low

High

While sometimes the direction is set, occasionally cinematographers will have some flexibility over the direction of their work.

Is being a cinematographer physically demanding?

Low

High

Being a cinematographer may occasionally require demanding physical activity, which may make it not a suitable career choice for everyone.

Are cinematographers exposed to a wide variety of work?

Low

High

Cinematographers tend to have a monotonous work routine, with little variety in their day-to-day tasks.

Does being a cinematographer require attention to detail?

Low

High

Attention to detail isn't necessarily required to be successful as a cinematographer.

Does being a good cinematographer require compassion and empathy?

Low

High

Being compassionate and empathetic is considered helpful to those looking to pursue careers as cinematographers.