High-quality videography used to be the purview of trained professionals. But with advances in video technology and the increasing accessibility of professional equipment for amateurs, anyone can create an impressive movie or YouTube video!
If you’re a beginner in the movie-making space, remember these videography dos and don’ts to guide you as you improve your skills.
Do: Use a Tripod
Even if you believe that you have steady hands, your handheld camera or smartphone will still pick up even the smallest movements. Familiarize yourself with your tripod and get used to bringing it with you to every shoot. That extra stability will make your footage look crisper and more professional than if you held the camera in your hand.
Don’t: Over-Rely on Equipment
You may have a few fancy pieces of professional video equipment at your disposal, but even the most high-tech accessories are no substitute for proper technique. You need to learn how to use that equipment to get your desired effect! In addition, ignoring elements like lighting and production design can render even the latest and greatest video equipment useless.
Do: Prioritize Your Audience
What is your intended effect in making videos? Think about the audience you’re trying to reach and why you want them to watch your video. Ultimately, it’s more for them than it is for you.
For example, if you’re shooting a cooking video, make sure the recipe’s instructions are clear and that viewers can easily follow what the host is doing. You want your audience to try the recipe for themselves, so make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
Don’t: Leave Too Much Open Space
To increase audience interest and engagement, use all available space in your frame to convey information and context. Shooting from too far away fills your frame with empty space, which can quickly bore audiences and encourage them to click away.
Do: Tell a Story
When used correctly, your camera can be a powerful storyteller in its own right. Before you start shooting, determine the narrative you want your video to tell. Incorporate angles and techniques that help you achieve that goal, and trim any fluff that isn’t necessary to the story.
Don’t: Let Your Camera Get Restless
As you learn different shooting techniques and experiment with artistic ideas, resist the temptation to cram your video full of Dutch angles and dolly shots. Too much adventurous camera movement can induce nausea in your audience! If you want to use unique camera movements or angles, make sure you’ve got a compelling reason to do so.
If you’re a beginner in the world of videography, take some time every day to experiment with your equipment and learn how to use it effectively. These dos and don’ts can shape your filmmaking experience and provide a solid foundation of knowledge that you’ll use in the future.