10 Tips for Shooting a Video As You Mean It

Videography has become a fast-growing field of photography. The number of video-centric users on photo-sharing apps like Instagram has grown exponentially in the last few years. Video also happens to be the perfect medium for visual storytelling, which makes it an even more interesting field for photographers who want to experiment with new ways of conveying their message. If you have been itching to shoot some video, now is the time! But shooting a video is not as easy as snapping a photo. Several important considerations need to be made before you roll and cut — especially if you plan on uploading your finished product on social media or your portfolio. This article covers everything you need to know about shooting videos as you mean it: tips, tricks, and best practices from industry pros who know what they’re talking about. Keep reading for insider info that will take your video game to the next level — no pre-game required!

Research and Plan Ahead

You need to do your research before diving into any new medium of photography. This can be both an incredibly fun and equally stressful process. While researching, make sure you take note of what types of videos are currently trending and what kind of subjects they tend to focus on. In addition to trending subjects, it is important to know the different types of videos that are out there so that you can pick the right format for your message. When it comes to video formats, there are a few main types that you’re likely to come across:

– Documentary: This is a type of video that tells a story through the eyes of its subjects — oftentimes real people with real stories to tell. They’re unscripted and usually unedited.

– Educational: These are how-to videos that are typically shot in a studio setting to teach viewers how to do something. They typically feature an instructor or expert in the field of discussion.

– Explainer/Animation: This is a type of video that uses visuals, graphics, and animation to teach a concept. They’re usually scripted and edited.

– Interviews: These are a type of documentary video that uses on-camera interviews to get stories from important people in the field.

– Behind-the-Scenes: These are videos that show the making of something, like a film or music video. They’re similar to interviews in that they can be scripted or unscripted.

– Live: This is a type of video that is shot in real-time and broadcast in real-time. Think Periscope, Facebook Live, etc.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Pro

If you are hoping to get into the video game, there is no shame in starting at the pro level. The lower-end video equipment is surprisingly affordable and of great quality these days, so there is no reason to wait until you have the funds for high-end gear. Technically speaking, you can shoot a great video with just your smartphone. However, if you want to create a more professional-looking product, there are a few key items you should consider investing in. One of those items is a tripod. There are many different types of tripods on the market, and some are better suited to video than others. For example, a lightweight, portable tripod might be a better choice than something heavier, like a studio tripod.

Lighting is Everything

Without the proper lighting, your subjects will be in the dark. Not literally, but figuratively. Bad lighting can ruin an otherwise great video by making an otherwise awesome subject look unappealing and uninteresting. When shooting indoors, it’s important to be mindful of the type of light bulbs you’re using. Fluorescent bulbs typically cast an ugly, greenish hue on the subject and should be avoided at all costs. Lighting fixtures can be expensive and oftentimes aren’t worth their cost for the occasional video shoot. However, it’s possible to hack lower-end lights to improve their lighting power with gels and diffusion. Gels come in a wide variety of colors and can be easily applied to light fixtures to either cool or warm the lights. Diffusion is a fancy term for a material that’s placed over the lights to soften their light and reduce glare.

Know Your Framing Options

If you’ve ever watched a movie, you know that the directors and videographers have a lot of leeway in framing the scenes they decide to capture. While you don’t have the luxury of devoting hours to a single shot, you can still learn from their example.

Wide shots – These are shots that encompass a large amount of the scene. They’re great for capturing landscapes or large scenes where the subject is in the middle or toward the edge of the frame. They’re also useful for establishing shots, where the videographer wants to let the viewer know where the scene was shot.

Mid Shots – Mid shots are meant to capture the subject from the waist up. They’re great for setting the scene, but the videographer has less control over the viewer’s focus. Close-Up Shots – Close-up shots focus on a subject’s face and are best for capturing an emotional reaction.

High Angle Shots – High-angle shots are meant to look down on the subject and are often used in documentary settings where the videographer wants to let the viewer know they’re an outsider.

Low Angle Shots – Low-angle shots are meant to look up at the subject and are best used when the videographer wants to convey a feeling of dominance or power.

Lock in Your Camera Settings

The last thing you want is to get halfway through shooting a video and realize your camera’s ISO is too high or your shutter speed is off. Start by checking and double-checking your camera settings before you press record. You should know exactly what ISO, shutter speed, and aperture you’re shooting at. If you’re shooting on a DSLR, you’ll have to manually change your settings — but that’s a good thing. It forces you to be deliberate in your choices and think carefully about what they mean for your video. It also helps to write down your camera settings on a note card or have them programmed into an app like Cam ranger Camera Settings.

Don’t Forget the Mic/Audio Basics

Just as important as lighting is the audio that is being captured on the shoot. Bad audio can ruin the best shot in the world and make your video look amateur. You want to make sure that the mic is a few inches away from the subject’s mouth — especially if they’re eating or drinking during the shoot. You also want to make sure that it’s positioned at eye level so that the sound being captured doesn’t sound tinny or muffled. When it comes to mic placement, you also want to make sure that there isn’t any background noise that could spoil the shot. You can combat background noise by choosing a quiet shooting location and by keeping the windows and doors closed.

Final Thoughts

While shooting a video can seem daunting, it’s a great way to tell a story. With video, you can give a behind-the-scenes look at the way you work, show off your creative process, or highlight the story behind your work. It’s important to remember that video doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to have a huge budget or be following a strict production schedule to shoot a great video. You can start shooting videos with just your phone and a friend. The most important thing is to have fun, be creative, and let your story be told.

Sinema Films, a New York City video production company that produces TV commercials and social media content for both direct clients and agencies, is here. Sinema Films has been creating some of the most memorable commercials and social media content in the industry for over 10 years. You may contact Sinema Films to learn more about their services or schedule a meeting. Sinema Films delivers TV commercials and social media content, among other things. Why wait?

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