Videographers Increase Their Pay Ten Fold In A Few Months And Another Ten Fold In A Few Years

-John Casson, Charlotte Campus Director
Nov 20, 2015

How long will it take you to make 10 times more money than you earn today? Unlike most industries, creative fields compensate people based on their level of talent and professionalism. They do not generally take count seniority, prestigious degrees, or years of experience (although these attributes may contribute to a person's skill level).

A professional videographer can command ten times higher compensation than one who is merely proficient. And a proficient videographer can earn ten times more money than someone who is just getting started in the business. High end videographers can earn $5,000 each event, for example. Of course, the video has to be near perfect with lighting, sound, storyboarding, editing, turn time, and customer satisfaction. You also have to find customers willing to pay for that quality level. Nonetheless, 20 gigs a year is a six figure position!

An experienced videographer (much more commonplace) who does a proficient job can easily earn $500 for her time and effort per event - 10 times less than a professional, but still a decent paycheck for doing something you love. This is ideal for a person who routinely shoots on the weekends to earn extra money, but may not do it as a primary profession. At some point however, she may get really good and command professional level wages - thus actually making it her profession!

A newcomer works primarily for experience, but can sometimes be compensated a token amount, perhaps $50, for his trouble. That's 10 times less than the person who's proficient, and 100 times less than the professional. The goal is to ramp up through repetition and professional feedback, and to showcase your progress at each milestone.

It's been said that someone who is proficient does a task repeatedly until they get it right. But a professional does something repeatedly until they can't get it wrong (you only get one shot to video someone's wedding, for instance). Over time, your work can get progressively better - along with your paycheck. Typically, a person who knows how to use the right equipment will have to shoot a few dozen events over several months before they are considered proficient. But suddenly, they go from making a few dollars to a few hundred dollars - in months! And a proficient videographer can become professional in just a few years through routine activity and proper feedback.

"Learning what quality looks like and then getting started is the key", says Connecticut School of Broadcasting's John Casson. "You need to learn the basics and then get out there and continue to learn by doing". It wasn't surprising to hear that from a Connecticut School of Broadcasting official, because learn by doing is the school's motto since 1964. Students routinely sign out cameras, edit using the school's edit bays and software, and get feedback from experienced pros who do it for a living.

So, when you ask your boss how to get a pay increase that's ten times higher than your current wage, he'll probably tell you the truth - go find another profession.

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