Become a Member

There are five categories of membership for which you may apply. We invite you to apply for the type of membership which is appropriate for your particular occupation and experience.


Membership Information

This section provides information about each category and the corresponding application materials. It is important to remember that after becoming a member, you can upgrade your category as your occupation or position within the industry changes.

Please contact the CSC administrative staff with any questions about membership via phone or email.

Membership Categories

Full Membership

Next deadline for Full Member submissions will be in fall 2023

Full CSC accreditation following a cinematographer’s name is a mark of distinction. It is the recognition of elite achievement in cinematography. As a diverse society, we are welcoming to everyone regardless of gender, race or heritage.

The following outlines the process for becoming an accredited Full Member of the CSC:

Twice a year, the Canadian Society of Cinematographers puts out the call for applications from working cinematographers who are at the top of their game. (See application for eligibility criteria) These applicants are asked to provide a résumé (with dates) and at least 5 long form (50+ minutes) samples of their work via Vimeo (as outlined in the Submission Checklist detailed below), and to fill out a form that details and describes the technical aspects of the work. When submitting complete short works, 2 shorts could replace 1 long form or 3 commercials could replace 1 long form. Show reels are not eligible works, but may be included if the applicant feels they add another dimension to the submission. Clips or other selectively edited pieces as well as unfinished projects will not be accepted. Any working cinematographer who has been a CSC Associate member for at least one year can apply but it is expected that the applicants have a significant body of work to their credit and have spent a significant period of time working as a professional cinematographer (10 years) and that they are fully qualified to take on the responsibilities of Director of Photography before they will be considered. This means that they are experienced in managing a crew of technicians at an international standard and producing work that is consistently excellent. It must rise above the average, above mere professional competence, and must demonstrate a sensitivity and creativity that services and elevates the material it illustrates. Three reference letters from current CSC members or other industry professionals are required. We also ask for details of any cinematography related activities involving volunteering, teaching or mentoring as well as any awards/nominations or published articles. The membership committee recognizes that excellence exists in every genre. Sometimes someone has a talent that shines through and should be recognized before the 10-year mark is reached. Not everyone has a truckload of lights and an army of film technicians to help them realize their visions. The interpretation of the material and how one deals with the opportunities one is given is of paramount importance. Composition, lighting, creative use of natural light, movement, and exposure are all important but most of all, evidence of an experienced, thoughtful and accomplished mind at work behind the images.

How is the story being told visually? What kind of experience is being brought to bear? Is a work derivative or visionary? These are the issues the jury will evaluate.

Twice a year, the CSC will convene a Membership Jury made up of Full members who volunteer to assess the submissions. Every effort is made to ensure that there is diverse representation. Each of those members brings with them their own preferences, experiences and aesthetics. It is the sum of those parts applied to our rules that decide who qualifies for Full membership. The jury views the work and all application materials provided. They are each given forms to assist in evaluating the work. They will assess technical mastery, artistic merit, control, consistency, complexity and range of experience. During the adjudication period, they may submit questions through the office to be forwarded to an applicant should the need arise. The applicant’s responses are then distributed to the jury. At the end of the adjudication period, there is a week to consider any final questions that the jury submitted. A meeting is then convened for the final jury deliberations. Each candidate’s application and work are discussed and finally a vote is taken. 80% approval is necessary for admission. Any jury member that votes no is required to write detailed, constructive reasons for their decision or else their vote will not be counted. In the event that a candidate is not accepted, it is hoped that these critiques will reveal to the applicant a constructive path towards re-applying in the future.

The final step of the process will be an orientation meeting (in person or online depending on circumstances) between the applicant and the President and all committee chairs to welcome the new Full Member to the CSC.

For more information contact:

Associate Membership

The applicant must be recognized as a working cinematographer, as defined in the terminology section of the CSC bylaws, for a period acceptable to the membership committee.

Please visit our store for application forms to apply for membership.

CSC Store

Affiliate Membership

The applicant must provide evidence that they have been employed as a camera Operator, camera Assistant, or Digital Imaging Technician with the on-set camera crew, for recognized cinematographers over a period acceptable to the membership committee. Less experienced motion picture camerapersons may also be accepted as an Affiliate member until they meet the guideline established by the membership committee for Associates.

The applicant may also qualify for Affiliate membership by successfully completing professional training as one of these three camera team roles via post-secondary educational programs acceptable to the membership committee.
This is outlined in the Affiliate membership section of the CSC bylaws.

Please visit our store for application forms to apply for membership.

CSC Store


Student Membership

The applicant must be enrolled in a program related to cinematography (as defined in the terminology section of the CSC bylaws) at a post-secondary educational institution in Canada. The Membership committee will determine whether the applicant’s program qualifies for acceptance under this class.

Please visit our store for application forms to apply for membership.

CSC Store

Companion Membership

The applicant must be professionally and actively employed in a position intrinsically related to cinematography as defined in the terminology section of the CSC bylaws, for a period acceptable to the membership committee. The Membership committee will be the sole arbiter for which applicants may be accepted under this class.

Please visit our store for application forms to apply for membership.

CSC Store