Career of the Week: Videographer

Nichola Brunelli talks to George Fairbairn, photographer and videographer at George Fairburn Photography about how to get into and stay in the business.

Why is it a good profession to get into?

If you like being creative, then this industry allows you to do that. It's fun, competitive, and challenging. Coming up with the ideas for a video, watching it all come together and then seeing the reactions of your clients is amazing.

I am mainly a photographer specialising in promotional photography for bands, but I also make music videos, as more and more bands are promoting themselves through the internet and social media.

What does the work involve?

Shooting a video takes a lot of planning and preparation, from the story, shot lists, lighting set-ups and timings, to making sure everything is ready to go the night before a shoot, such as making sure the batteries are charged, the lights work and the memory cards are clear.

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Working on a shoot involves explaining the plan for the day and what shots you are going to do. Then you would set up the lighting and get the camera settings done before you start rolling.

I work mostly on music videos, which can involve the band playing the song up to 40 times!

Busy periods seem to come in massive spurts, and when I am not busy I am doing things to make sure I get busy again. I use social networking to market myself, which is really important as most of my business comes through Twitter and Facebook.

What are the positives/negatives of this profession?

The main positive is seeing the reaction of your client when you have made them a video they love – it makes it all worthwhile. I also like getting involved in projects that allow me to push my creativity to the next level.

There isn't really anything I dislike about my job. However, there are occasions where I work with clients who have a very specific brief in mind with no room for creative input.

Is there much local demand for people trained in this area?

Personally, even though I am mostly self-taught, I think there is a lot to be said for getting good, quality training. If you come in with good training behind you, you stand a better chance of establishing yourself in the market and making something out of it.

What would employers look for in someone applying for a vacancy?

You definitely can't do this job if you don't have excellent people skills. I would say that having creativity and excellent people skills are the most important attributes to have.

Everything else is technical that you can be taught how to do. but you can't teach creativity and charisma.