Underwater videographers and photographers require a great deal of technical expertise and creativity. It is the perfect, dream job for anyone that loves photography or videography and diving.
Imagine using your amazing skills to capture moments in an underwater world that a very small percentage of the world will ever see for themselves. Working underwater is a dream for many, but bringing photos and videos that paint pictures, tell stories, record events, create memories, and bring an almost alien world to the masses is a job that is unique, challenging, and entirely satisfying.
If you’re interested in working with video cameras and photo cameras underwater, you probably have a basic interest in these hobbies on land. In case you don’t, the major dive organizations, like PADI or SSI, have courses in underwater photography. This is a great, inexpensive way to see if underwater videography and photography is for you. It’s also a great way to bring your hobby underwater even if you don’t intend to make it a career.
You should be warned that underwater videography and photography requires a lot of equipment that is expensive and delicate. The most important items are a camera that you are familiar with and an underwater housing. An underwater housing is a contraption designed to seal your camera from the water. They are camera specific and use O-rings to seal out the water.
Along with equipment, you’ll need to have other skills too. Diving skills are critical to underwater success. Buoyancy control is critical to capture good shots. An innate sense of where the sun is in location to you is crucial to capture a scene’s true colors. The ability to know and find sea creatures is important too.
You need to understand the ocean, underwater life, camera equipment, and the theories behind shooting film and photos underwater. It is a hard job, but one that is very rewarding.
Becoming an underwater photographer or videographer takes time, experience, and skill. It is a challenge planning dives and composing scenes and shots. But the ocean is your playground and your get to dive a lot. Underwater photographer and videographer jobs are becoming easier to come by. Several operations worldwide now offer internships that help build your resume and portfolio. As you build your portfolio, you can start contributing your photos and videos to magazines and TV stations.
The next step is to find a job as an assistant. As an assistant you can help professionals plan and compose their photos and videos. After you have a solid resume, the ideal places to work are at a TV channel like National Geographic, Discovery Channel, or Animal Planet or a dive magazine like Sport Diver or SCUBA. These jobs are highly coveted and hard to get. Working for these companies is like being a rock star – lots of people want the jobs, but only a few actually make it. If you do make it, you’ll be living the dream and making around $1,500 a day for some of the riskier photos, like when you work with sharks. You can also look for jobs at dive shops, where you dive with recreational divers and sell them diving memories. While this may be satisfying, it is not as lucrative.
Underwater photography and videography is an incredibly cool job that will make people very jealous of you and your lifestyle. You are guaranteed to see some amazing things underwater and you’ll be able to relive those experiences forever through your art and you’ll be able to share it with the world.