Self Makers Self Makers
How to have a self-made career as a cinematographer- Jass Foley

How to have a self-made career as a cinematographer- Jass Foley

Jass Foley – Cinematographer – Photographer – Entrepreneur

Self Makers Jass Foley - Cinematographer - Photographer - Entrepreneur

Career Profile

Jass Foley is a hugely talented freelance photographer and cinematographer. After 22 years of building his personal brand, Jass has worked at the highest level in advertising, online, TV, music videos, and documentaries. Jass’ technical mindset and love for the industry from a very young age has propelled him in his career, giving him an impressive client list of global brands.

Conor from Self Makers was lucky to hear about some of his exciting experiences within the film industry and his journey from making Bebo skins for Conor, to self-made success as a cinematographer! Here is some of his advice for those interested in working in the film industry as a cinematographer:

Leveraging technical and relationship skills

“First and foremost, you need to develop that skill set and master the technical aspects, keeping a mind that you will never [actually] master the technical aspects. There’s no end goal. There’s no point where you get to and you go ‘that’s it, I know everything there is to know’. You don’t get there. So you’re continually trying to improve your skillset. And then it comes to a point where you get a reputation that you’ve created work at a certain scale.

At that point, the technical goes out of the window. Then it comes down to your relationships. In terms of how that happens, for film, It’s going to film festivals, it’s going to industry events, it’s going to premiers. It’s going to different mediums. It’s being part of a member of the Irish Film and Television Academy.”

Being proactive

“Here’s the thing. Anyone who is working for themselves or someone working in a creative industry knows that there’s no way to just set up like ‘okay, I’ve put out a newspaper ad and a radio ad, and I will sit back and wait for the work to come in.’ Doesn’t work like that. You have to have so many different prongs of attack, so many hooks in the water. You have to have so many avenues open. It is a hustle.”

Owning your brand as a cinematographer

“You have to realise that you have full control over how you’re presenting your product. It might be simple where you might not think it’s a big thing – say your day to day social media posts. But maybe have a sit-down and have a think and plan, ‘how do we want our brand to be perceived?’. And maybe put together a little brief for whoever is doing your social media.”

Recommended Resources

“The one person that really was a big influence on me when I was starting out was Chase Jarvis, he’s a commercial photographer based in the States. He started a brilliant creative online resource book.

If you wanted to learn more about the film industry and look behind the curtain a little bit, look up some podcasts. Maybe the Team Deacons podcast, which is absolutely fantastic, and the Go Creative Show. Those two podcasts are absolutely fabulous for gaining insight into the world of film.“

What about you?

Throughout his career, Jass has ensured that he was always going the extra mile to gain the skills and experience that he needed to reach his idea of success. Are you clear on the skills you need to make it happen as a freelancer? Get in touch with Self Makers today.

Check out Jass’ website and Instagram.

If you have a question you would like Conor to answer on the Self Makers Show, send it to us here in audio.

Self Makers Show – Video

Self Makers Show – Podcast

Listen to the Self Makers show on Spotify or iTunes


Assess yourself and your business potential with the Self Makers Radar. Plus check out the Self Makers Workbooks to accelerate your career.

By Conor Lynch and Erin Gaiger


Free Careers eBook
  • "Conor is the real deal in creating digital businesses. Talk to him".

    Brendan Courtney Brendan Courtney TV Presenter - Fashion Designer - MC
  • "Conor, you are amazing. Thanks for everything".

    Roz Purcell Roz Purcell Natural Born Feeder
  • "I've studied international business for many years.
    I'd recommend Conor to support anyone creating a personal brand or a digital business."

    Dr. Domingo Sanchez Zarza Dr. Domingo Sanchez Zarza President & CEO ISAAAC

Free Self Makers
Case Studies Book

Register for your free sample book and receive email updates about future events and workshops.

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.