Camera Training Guide for Volunteers


Before launching [twelve:thirty]media full-time, I had the privilege of serving two of the fastest growing churches in the country- Pinelake Church in Brandon, MS, and the Newspring Church based in Anderson, SC. At both of these churches, we produced training material for every volunteer position on our media production team.

Below is a look inside my toolbox of training material for all of our stationary and roaming stage camera positions. This was my Training Guide for these positions- short lists designed for our veteran volunteers to know exactly which topics to cover when training a new volunteer. That’s right, I didn’t train everyone- our veteran volunteers trained new volunteers. I defined a Veteran Volunteer as someone who had been serving for about 3 months on a consistent basis.


Feel free to take and copy this material. You can modify or change this list based on your gear or the needs of your team.


PDF IconYou can download a free PDF Version of this Training Guide here.



Stationary Camera Operator
Operates a stationary camera in the Auditorium or Sanctuary. In this position, you will lead worship through the lens of your camera. You will use “pushes” and “pulls” along with static shots to help create a seamless video experience for our guests.


  1. How to use your Clear Comm.
  2. How to turn on the camera and the monitor.
  3. How to remove the lens cap and where to store it.
  4. Locking and unlocking the tripod and camera.
  5. How to operate the camera handles.
  6. How to focus your camera.
  7. How to use your camera zoom and adjust the zoom speed.
  8. How to frame your shots.
  9. Knowing and understanding the appropriate amount of headroom. Adjust headroom based on the head of your subject, not their feet. You want a gap about the size of the person’s forehead above their head.



Stage Camera Operator
Stage Camera Operators lead worship on stage with the band. In this position creativity and a keen knowledge of camera operation is key. You will be responsible for getting close up shots of instruments, along with vocals. This position is important because it adds creativity and energy to the worship experience.


    1. How to use your Clear Comm.
    2. Getting your camera and batteries.
    3. How to turn on your camera.
    4. Camera Settings: iris, gain, white balance, zoom (handle and body zoom).
    5. Framing: Rule of Thirds, how to move the camera while on a subject, knowing a begin and end point for your shots.
    6. Knowing the tempo: knowing how to create energy for fast songs vs. slow songs.
    7. Cable management.
    8. Dress code: Black T-Shirt, belt, comfortable shoes, dark pants, no hats.
    9. Stage etiquette: stairs, getting too close to musicians, not tripping anyone.

What other items do you include in your position Training Guides for your volunteer camera positions? Sound off in the comments below.

Has this article been helpful to you and your church? 

Share it with other churches! 

The stage camera operator position is important because it adds creativity & energy to the worship experience. Click To Tweet

About the Author_02

Author Photo

Creative Director / Owner
[twelve:thirty]media | Columbia, SC

Carl Barnhill has served on staff at some of the largest churches and organizations in the country. He served as Media Director at Precept Ministries International, directing the television and radio program Precepts for Life with Kay Arthur, broadcasted to over 98 million homes around the world. He served as Video Production Director at Pinelake Church in Brandon, MS, where he produced media content for four campuses, as well as led volunteer teams.

He most recently served as Video Coordinator for Newspring Church in South Carolina. Newspring has 10 campuses across the state with a weekly attendance of over 35,000. At one campus alone, the number of consistent volunteers serving in media production tripled, under his leadership.

He currently serves as Creative Director and Owner of [twelve:thirty]media, a company that serves churches and ministries all over the world through motion graphics content and church media coaching.

View all Articles by CARLFollow CARL