What Does Director of Photography Mean-

What Does Director of Photography Mean?

The Director of Photography represents one of the most important roles on the film set. This individual is responsible for ensuring that the Director’s vision is perfectly captured on the camera. They direct the camera crew actions, to ensure that the resulting footage is exactly as the vision had depicted. In fact, there are many different film positions and roles when working on a set, the Director of Photography being one of them. Many wonder, “What does director of photography mean?”

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What is the Director of Photography?

This is the individual that is responsible for working very closely in conjunction with the Director to ensure that the creative vision of the film is carried out in everything that happens on the set. They are responsible for creating the look and style of the film.

Essentially, the Director of Photography (DP) works with the director on the vision and then takes the Director’s vision for the film and builds upon that to produce the ideas and concepts that will truly see that vision brought to life.

Often times, the work between a Director and a DP is long-term. Many work together for several years.

The DP is in control of the camera affects, operation, and everything that happens on the set to bring the creative vision to life including the lighting, camera movements, filters, and exposure.

Acting as the lead for the camera and lighting crews, the DP is responsible for equipment selection and visual conception of filmmaking.

What Does Director of Photography Mean?

Essentially, Director of Photography means that this individual directs the camera and all equipment that works with the camera to procure the vision of the film on the set.

Therefore the DP is responsible for the lighting crew and works closely to ensure that the visual look of the film is carried out in every shot, scene, and take. 

The DP will work with the production designer, and with various other department heads during the early phases of brainstorming the production to ensure that the look, style, colors, and visual effects of the film are carried out just as the Director’s original vision had intended or better.

Most times, the DP will elevate the vision of the Director to come up with ideas and creative inputs that go above and beyond what the Director could have imagined. It’s a very close working relationship between these two.

Top DP Skills

To get an idea of what the DP will do to carry out these visions and to ensure that the film is just right, check out these top DP skills:

  • Eye for composition
  • Understanding of telling a story through camera movements, techniques, and effects
  • Technical understanding of camera equipment
  • Technical understanding of lighting equipment
  • Knowledge of the post-production workflow and editing procedures
  • Ability to make swift decisions under pressure
  • Strong organization and ability to manage a crew
  • Great communication and a team player

So, what does director of photography mean?

It means that this individual directs the camera crew and lighting crews to ensure that the captured footage is exactly what the Director envisions. 

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