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Freelance Videographer: Job Description, Income & Salary, & How To Become

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Do you have the dream of providing a live, in-depth look into events and happenings for others to enjoy?

Do you possess a keen eye for capturing moments others will enjoy but don’t know where (or how) to get started?

If so, you’re in luck!

Freelance videographers are in high demand.

Businesses and organizations require talented, passionate video professionals who know their craft.

If you are looking for opportunities as a videographer in the freelance industry then you are not alone.

You too can begin a lucrative freelance videographing career with a little talent, luck, and hard work.

What Is a Freelance Videographer?

A freelance videographer live-streams or records events or things happening around them.

They then share their content with an audience online which they have built from their talent and reputation.

A client will typically hire them to capture specific content, such as performances, parties, or weddings.

Talented videographers understand the intricacies of video cameras, lighting, framing, and editing software.

A client may not require a freelance videographer to edit videos, but having this skill is a bonus.

Simply put, freelance videographers make their money recording and editing content, but they may end up doing a lot more, depending on the job.

What Does a Freelance Videographer Do?

Generally speaking, a videographer captures a particular event.

Freelance projects include recording wedding ceremonies and filming documentary or television scenes.

There are various other responsibilities a freelance videographer may complete, like post-production tasks and editing.

The client and the videographer will typically discuss these matters beforehand.

Freelance videographers are independent contractors.

As with any freelance worker, the job expectations mainly depend on the client.

It is common for one to meet and consult with clients before taking a job opportunity.

Freelance videographers are responsible for the footage they capture; any other special request from the client will be on an individual basis.

What Does a Freelance Videographer Usually Focus On?

Freelance videographer duties are wide-ranging.

The highest among those duties is the operation of the video camera.

Freelance videographers have a talent for capturing the right moment.

They are the skilled professional behind the camera capturing the scene.

Projects requiring a small crew are the responsibility of the freelance talent.

The videographer hires necessary technicians and manages operational duties.

They also pay hired assistants.

Expect to have a firm grasp on lighting, sound, and maintenance as a freelance videographer.

You are your boss, after all!

Freelance Videographer Job Description

Duties and expectations for this position are straightforward across industries.

Freelance videographers film at specific locations.

They film either on a set or in real-world environments.

They work with clients to create a vision of completion for a particular project.

Freelance videographers are also responsible for the setup and teardown of all equipment, lighting, and sound.

They may also provide “B” roll and post-production services.

Top Freelance Videographer Jobs and Careers

There are different types of freelance work you can do as a freelance videographer.

Here are just a few jobs your freelance video skills might help you capture.


Freelance videographers often offer many production services.

As mentioned, production jobs include camera setup, lighting, and sound operations.

Producers are responsible for the strategy and structure of a video project.


Videographers hired for editing duties take raw footage and assemble it to the client’s specifications.

Editing responsibilities include splicing film and enhancing video quality.

Editors also synchronize audio and video into a complete file.

Drone Pilot.

Aerial shots are breathtaking and bring an element of beauty incomparable to traditional filming. Freelance videographers who offer drone footage add another layer of skill that clients often appreciate.

Learn More: Everything you need to know about flying a drone as a side hustle

Where Can a Freelance Videographer Work?

After becoming a freelance videographer, work opportunities are available in a variety of industries and fields.

Videographers can shoot sporting events, lifetime events like anniversaries, and promotional videos.

What It’s Like To Be A Freelance Videographer

There are perks to working in the freelance market.

For starters, you get to be your own boss.

You can set your rates and select only the jobs you want to do.

However, working for yourself restricts access to clients and the protections that working for a company offers.

Is Being A Freelance Videographer Hard?

Working for yourself is very rewarding, but it will be hard in the beginning.

Understanding proper lighting placement and sound capture on your own takes time.

Freelance videographers also research and purchase gear on their own.

You will be on your own if your equipment fails and there will be no backup to relieve you if an emergency arises.

If you freelance, you should expect to work hard and passionately.

Building a customer base and capturing positive reviews are essential to your success.

Commitment is key.

Over time, the fruits of your labor will pay off.

Is A Freelance Videographer’s Job Stressful?

Finding new work is always stressful.

There are markets with no shortage of available freelance videographers for hire.

Competition is high, and getting noticed takes a lot of work.

Not bringing in job opportunities increases the stress of working by yourself. And it will require standing out.

Stay positive and confident in yourself, and the stress becomes less overwhelming.

Hard work and networking with potential clients also help.

Hone your craft and think of innovative ways to get noticed.

Having a plan and remaining positive improves the possibility of success.

Common Freelance Videographer Work Day

A freelance videographer’s tasks & duties include:

  • Meeting with the client to plan the shooting strategy.
  • Testing all equipment and setting up appropriate video, lighting, and sound.
  • Hiring any necessary members of the production team.
  • Recording video.
  • Editing raw footage in post-production and completing the project.

Like many other freelance careers, you will have a flexible schedule.

As your own boss, you decide on your hours.

However, freelance videographers work best with open availability, and many projects like weddings and life milestones take place on weekends.

Does This Career Field Embrace Work/Life Balance?

When you work for yourself you make your schedule.

This means how you balance your work and your life is completely up to you.

Some freelance videographers maintain a set schedule in the same way traditional jobs operate.

Others work in tune with their personal life.

The choice is yours.

Freelance Videographer Salary & Income

Recent statistics showed that the annual income of a freelance videographer is $114,149.

This amount varies from state to state.

The average hourly salary for this position is $55/per hour.

Unlike most common side hustles, you stand to make a good amount of money if you market yourself and your skills correctly.

Do Freelance Videographers Make Good Money?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median American earns about $54,132 annually.

The average income for a freelance videographer is twice this amount.

Considering the average American salary is roughly half of the average income of a freelance videographer, this position earns good money.

How Much Do Freelance Videographers Make?

Salaries for freelance videographers range.

Depending on the market and level of competition, freelance videographers could make as low as about $25,000 annually.

According to some reports, freelance videographers should expect to pay about 22% of their income in taxes.

How Do Freelance Videographers Get Paid?

Freelance videographers get paid primarily for shooting special events like weddings and other milestones.

They can also record company videos and real estate footage, sell stock footage and “B” roll footage, or rent out equipment and gear to other videographers.

Requirements, Skills, and Education Required for Freelance Videographers

If you are looking for hobbies that turn into money-making careers, photography and videography are great options.

Who Should Consider a Freelance Videographer Career Path?

If you are a visually creative person, then freelance videography might be a career path you should consider.

People with a passion for film and capturing moments are strong candidates for a career in freelance videography.

Freelance videographers have to put a lot of trust in themselves. You will be your own boss.

You will have to rely on your skills and commitment to a project to succeed.

People who have self-confidence and faith in their abilities also make successful freelance videographers.

Who Should NOT Consider a Freelance Videographer Career Path?

If you are not computer savvy, a career in freelance videography will be challenging.

However, freelance photography is a good-paying field that offers less tech knowledge.

People with poor communication skills may find it hard to capture clients.

In the early stages of the videography process, the freelance talents work directly with the client to understand the task.

Videographers who find communicating a challenge will not obtain or keep many jobs.

Freelance videographers also need a full understanding of how video and audio equipment works.

Capturing footage is one thing, but if the lighting is wrong or the sound fails, it may ruin the entire project.

In some cases, you only get one shot.

Ruining a gig is a definite way to lose future opportunities.

Is It Hard To Become a Freelance Videographer?

Becoming a freelance videographer takes hard work, but passionate videographers will enjoy it.

Finding opportunities may be hard as you establish yourself in the industry.

More often than not, there will be heavy competition.

Work hard to secure clients and communicate your skills effectively.

Getting noticed and generating revenue takes time and patience.

Learning software editing can be difficult at first.

Find the right software that works for you and practice capturing raw footage to edit in the post-production process.

Understand industry standards to capture film using proper lighting and angles.

Keep up-to-date on the latest advancements through regular research.

Becoming a freelance videographer may be hard at first, but as time goes on, you will see your hard work pay off.

What Do I Need to Become a Freelance Videographer?

There aren’t a lot of requirements for Becoming a Freelance Videographer, but you will need a few things to be successful in this career.  

  • Quality gear and equipment that professionally captures video, lighting, and sound
  • A firm grasp of the industry with an educational background or experience in the field
  • A strong online presence with either an interactive website or an easily accessible social media site

What Skills Does a Freelance Videographer Need?

The most important skill for good freelance videography is creativity.

Videographers must capture the essence of the project in a professional, quality manner.

Video editing skills are also essential for a freelance videographer to deliver a well-packaged finished product to a client.

Interpersonal communication skills are necessary for landing gigs and opportunities. Likable freelance videographers get clients.

What Education Does a Freelance Videographer Need?

Formal education is not required for a career as a freelance videographer.

However, taking online courses or earning certificates helps capture clients.

Approximately 75% of freelance videographers hold a Bachelor’s Degree in film or broadcasting.

What Experience Does a Freelance Videographer Need?

While you can start as a freelance videographer without a lot of practical experience, having photography and videography skills will help you get more job opportunities.

You may also need strong organizational, leadership, and artistry skills, as well as knowledge of video production and equipment.

How To Become a Freelance Videographer

Becoming a freelance videographer is not necessarily difficult, though it can be challenging at first.

You’ll have to find work opportunities and create a portfolio and client base to earn money regularly.

Where To Find Freelance Videographer Opportunities

There are several ways to find freelance videographer job opportunities.

  • Online: Websites provide freelance professionals with a free or cheap venue to promote their works and talents.
    Fiverr and UpWork are popular sites that clients visit to find freelance videographers.
  • Social Media: Marketing is affordable – and sometimes even free – on social media platforms.
    Facebook provides freelance videographers with marketing tools that directly pinpoint where their ad campaigns reach.
    Be sure not to overlook Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, or even TikTok when seeking clients.
  • Face-to-Face: Often, traditional strategies to find work yield the best results. Reaching out to businesses and leaving a card is a good way to find clients. Also, networking events help connect freelance videographers to potential clients.

Applying for the Gig(s)

Clients post for videography opportunities on hiring websites like Indeed and Snagajob.

Regularly check for available gigs on these and other hiring sites.

It might be good to scan unorthodox places like Reddit for potential gigs.

Interviewing for the Gig(s)

Dress for success, even if your job interview takes place on virtual calls like Zoom.

Prepare yourself for standard questions to impress your interviewer.

Common questions include “How do you plan for a shoot?” and “What’s your favorite project you’ve participated in?”

How Do I Prepare For Freelance Videographer Gigs?

Create a full and concise checklist with benchmarks once you have acquired a freelance videography opportunity.

Include preliminary objectives like meeting with the client and planning the shooting structure.

Add what you will need during the event; this includes what equipment to bring and what shots to get.

Conclude the meeting with post-production objectives like editing the raw footage and delivering the finished product to the client on time.

Similar Careers To Check Out

The great thing about freelance videography is that you may be able to use your experience to land similar gigs.

Here are three careers that share a skillset with freelance videography.

  • Freelance Photographer: A freelance photographer is a videographer with still photos.
    Job expectations include meeting the client’s shot list expectations and capturing important moments.
  • Freelance Digital Marketer: A freelance digital marketer creates content for social media campaigns.
    This job includes writing the content, but also includes producing, filming, and editing it the way a freelance videographer would.
  • Freelance Social Media Manager: Freelance social media managers execute a company’s social media strategy.
    Like freelance digital marketers and videographers, they incorporate video capture to enhance the client’s message.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about becoming a freelance videographer?

Check out these frequently asked questions for some more answers.

How much should a freelance videographer charge per hour?

To determine how much you should charge clients, stay up to date on current market trends.

Freelance videographers charge between $750 and $1000 for special events.

They also average from as low as $1000 to as high as $10,000 for every minute of finished footage.

What is a good budget for a videographer?

A $3000 equipment budget is a good place to start for freelance videographers beginning their careers.

This income purchases the basics like lighting, sound equipment, storage, and entry-level cameras.

As with anything, spending more on high-level equipment may lead to more career opportunities.

Wrapping Up

Starting a career as a freelance videographer can be scary at first.

Preparing yourself for the obstacles will help you achieve the freedom of being your own boss.

Familiarize yourself with the latest trends, products, techniques, and prices to entice clients to your services.

You can build your reputation by overdelivering with a quality product earlier than projected.

Consider starting out charging prices just a little lower than average if you live in a saturated market.

However, you should never sell yourself short.

If you have talent, let your price tag reflect your skill as a freelance videographer.

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