Esther was listed as a New Wave DOP in the British Cinematographer Magazine Sept 2018. 


Esther grew up in an ex-mining village in the North East. She's worked hard to find her way into the industry to be now a Director of Photography. 


After gaining a First class Chemistry degree, Esther entered the world of media. She became a camera operator for factual and a self shooting Researcher, and on to Producing. Realising this had taken her away from her passion for camera work, handed in her notice, entered drama as a floor runner. The first time on a drama set she was promoted to 1st&2nd AD on second units. The next drama saw her finally start out as a camera trainee, leading on to loader to focus puller in drama and film.

"Looking back, I was the kid always holding a home camcorder, making my friends act out scenes, and also taking my 35mm stills camera everywhere with me. I got promoted with pay rises, but it wasn't enough, I knew I wanted to be a camera operator/DOP. So I gave it all up and started out again to get to do the thing I love."

"I’ve worked across many genres, Doco, live concert, studio etc. I felt it has been important to Dop/operate in many scenarios and styles. Whilst assisting in the drama world I noticed a lot of the earlier DPs and operators had come from cutting their teeth on operating for news and documentary." 

"I was a self taught camera op at the beginning, this was born from being a self shooting AP& PD on factual shows. Then I handed in my notice as I wanted to focus purely on cameras and learn a lot more and from the biggest largest scale possible, by assisting on dramas and feature films, working with digital and film. I grafted and worked hard as a camera assistant - trainee, to loading, and focus pulling. I learnt skills firstly by observing a wide variety of DPs and Operators. I’ve worked on many different sets, observing different techniques, and styles of shooting. Compared different DOP/operator’s method's of getting the most and best for a drama. ADing gave me a massive overview how to get results fast. This led me to put into practice and understand how a DOP can be the most supportive, fast and efficient, and additionally creative to get the best results."


Commercials - example list -  Adidas, Shreddies, PureGym,, Scottish Government, Manchester United Eaton, Gulf Oil, , Halfords etc.

Documentary - BBC3’s ‘The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca’ Directed by Maxine Peake, Venessa Stockley. Liam Gallengher Doco feature ‘As it Was'.

Short Films - DOP operator on “Time Away”and “Shattered” Director Maxine Peake. “Pebble and the Boy” Director Chris Green. 

Live concerts operator - Liam Gallagher, Pulp. The Courteeners. PINS, Tremonti

Music Videos - DOP Operator on ‘Inspiral carpet’s Let you Down’, Saint Etienne, Manic Street Preachers, LoneLady, Nancy Elizabeth. 

Factual Entertainment - example list - ITV’s ‘All Together Now’, BBC2 James Martin's 'Sweet Baby James', BBC2’s The underdog Show, Food show etc

With an unusual background and a career spanning a large range of roles, it has given Esther a unique full understanding of all the angles and disciplines required to make shooting a production run efficiently, and creatively.


She has a wealth of knowledge of cameras, having worked in the camera department on all the above productions and more. She was just asked to give a talk at the BVE conference industry show this month imparting her knowledge on new technology advancements and retro go to kit for cameras, lenses and lighting. "It's my tools and responsibility to know inside out new advancements such as HDR, new grip gear, to new cameras released, to the right lens pairing,."


Operated/DOP on formats of Documentaries, Factual, Drama, Entertainment, Commercials, Live Studio shows, Corporates, Music Promos, Concerts, films, interviews, promos.

© Esther Vardy 2020