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5 Beginner Tips to Improve Your Video Shooting

In today's video, Head Beard Bruce gives his 5 top tips to help business owners looking to improve their shooting.

Now, it doesn't matter what you're shooting with;- phone, camera or etch-a-sketch, these tips will help you get better videos.

So sit back and let’s crack on with this!

Point Your Lighting

Unless you’re running a top level camera, and even then, having a light source in front of the camera will pretty much guarantee you’re going to run into trouble when shooting. It’s likely that your subject is going to end up silhouetted.

So getting your lighting source - be it sun or artificial, to shine onto your subject is going to help your camera a lot. And this is especially true when you’re using phones and lower-level DSLR cameras to shoot.

So get that light to shine onto your subject to help you get a better image!



Diffuse Your Lighting

Where possible, you should look to diffuse your lighting so that you get a softer, and more flattering, light onto your subject.

You can diffuse light a lot of different ways;

  • If you’re using purchased lights then they’ll often come with a diffuser or softbox

  • If you don’t have a diffuser, you could look at bouncing the light off a wall or other reflective surface. Just remember that that surface will have an impact on your light - so if you use a red bounce or wall - you’ll likely end up with a red-ish light being reflected.

  • You can also look at photography diffusers. These can range in size, but basically they’re a thin, light material, usually in stretched over a round bendable piece of plastic tubing. These can be great for shooting outside

  • Go homemade - We’ve even seen lights diffused with a shower curtain and white t-shirts

  • Or go pro’s - they’ll often be seen using muslin in a wide range of sizes

Just remember that if you are creating your own that the thickness of the material will ‘suck’ out the light - so thick materials will need a more powerful light source to shine through… and a more powerful source will likely create more heat;- so that’s a great way to iron your t-shirt at the same time as lighting your scene, but it’s likely to end up in flames.

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Be a Director

Part of the role of shooting is to be the director. This means, if you’re in control of the talent, take 5 minutes to consider their position and move them around to suit the situation and get a better angle/setup.

I remember when I first started to shoot, I would worry that ‘not shooting’ meant it was unproductive time, when in fact having the strength to take that short period of time to make sure the shot looked good and worked as best it could, was in fact far more productive than just having the camera rolling and accepting the shot.



Microphones

We’ve discussed microphones a lot on this series, but I’m still going to mention them again. Using your on-camera microphone is a definite no-no. Its going to be the worse solution for capturing audio that you can possibly imagine. In fact, if you’re going to spend any money on your setup, it should be for getting a microphone.

The truth is that if no one can hear your business’s message, then there is little point in starting to record. Viewers will take a poor image with great sound over a great image and poor sound any day.

With regards to microphone choice - it’s about what works for the situation at the time - lapel, shotgun, I’m not going to make any specific recommendations in this article (follow the link for more info) other than invest in microphone for your business videos as soon as possible.



Shooting Outdoors

Lets face it, lighting setups aren’t cheap… and when there’s a big ball of light outside, why do you need to buy/use lights? And the truth is, we’re sort of in agreement. We light most of our work through natural light…. but its usually natural light through windows, or as controlled as we can make it.

If you are planning to shoot outside firstly consider the time of day that you’re shooting. Shooting at the peak of day, usually 11am to 2pm, is likely going to result in a few things - predominantly panda eyes - where the shadow around the eye accentuates under the eyes and chin, not forgetting that if you’re in Australia like us, it’s going to be pretty warm for your presenter.

So instead, try shooting in the morning or later in the afternoon. Not only will the temperature be lower, but the sun will too. A lower sun will be less powerful and its likely to provide a warmer, more visually pleasing light to work with. This then means you can get it behind your camera and lighting up your talent… and they won’t be sweating it out whilst you’re shooting.

As a final couple of side thoughts on shooting outside - overcast days actually work the best as you end up with the cloud diffusing the light and if you’re using a DSLR and you’re struggling to control light then looking into ND filters could be the way for you.



Let’s Wrap This Up

So there you have it, our 5 simple tips to help beginners improve their videos.

As ever - we would love to hear your thoughts down below, be it in relation to this, or to ask a different question.

If this topic has been of use/interest to you, we run a free Facebook Group: How to Shoot Video For Your Business - its specifically designed for business owners looking to learn how to shoot their own videos.

Annnndddd… we offer all the episodes in an audio format via our podcast. The How to Shoot Video For Your Business podcast is available through a range of platforms including Apple and Google.

And, of course, if you’re looking for a video production company in Perth to assist with your next marketing video project then we’d love to have a chat