How to Get Started in Videography
- An assortment of lenses with different focal lengths
- A reliable tripod
- An external microphone
- A portable external monitor
- Extra batteries and memory cards
- A lighting kit
photo by nemke via iStock
Whether your ultimate goal is to direct Hollywood blockbusters, create videos for YouTube, or document your next vacation, you’ve come to the right place! In this article I will share with you the five most important steps you need to take in order to start creating your very own videos.
You will learn what camera you need, what settings are critical to understand, what gear you need, and more. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about exactly how to get started in videography in this “videography how to” tutorial!
Start with a DSLR or Mirrorless Camera for Videography
photo by mixetto via iStock
It has never been easier to get your hands on a device that shoots video. In the past, you needed a specialized camera to record video, but lucky for us, that is no longer the case! Heck, today most smartphones produce amazing, high-quality content.
I know it can be tempting to buy a fancy high-end camera for videography, but I always recommend starting on a DSLR or mirrorless camera as the best cameras for videography. They all shoot at least HD video, with many of them capable of capturing 4k footage. Additionally, they are small, easy to use, and wonderful to learn on!
Sony, Canon, and Nikon are unquestionably the top brands to choose from. They can be bought new or used for very reasonable prices, and are without a doubt the perfect option for beginner videographers.
Learn the Basics of Videography
photo by RichLegg via iStock
When getting started in videography, it is extremely important to understand a few basic concepts. If you are already familiar with photography you are in luck, some of the principal elements (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO), also apply to video. However, if you are a complete beginner with a camera, you will want to start by learning about those three key elements.
On the other hand, there are many fundamental elements that are unique when working with video. Frame rate (24fps, 30fps, and 60fps are the most common), different types of shots (close up, medium, and wide), how to shoot moving images, and audio, are all things you will want to familiarize yourself with.
Workshops and courses are great ways to learn the basics. I have participated in many throughout the years, and I have never regretted a single one. Alternatively, YouTube, books, magazines, and online forums are all fantastic learning tools!
Invest in the Right Accessories
photo by MarioGuti via iStock
Just like in photography, or anything else for that matter, having the right gear will make your life so much easier with videography. There are an infinite number of accessories out there, and I know it can be overwhelming and confusing to decide which ones you really need. Here is a quick list of the most essential items you will want to have with you at all times.
As your career in videography progresses, you will undoubtedly pick up more gear along the way. The six items above will always form the core of your kit though, and the sooner you invest in them, the faster your videography skills will improve!
Purchase a Good Video Editing Software
photo by gorodenkoff via iStock
One of the most overlooked aspects of videography is the editing process. Many people think all you have to do to create an exceptional video is go out and shoot the footage, but that could not be farther from the truth.
Most filmmakers actually spend much more time in front of their computers, working inside their editing software, than they do behind the camera. That is why it is incredibly important to purchase a quality program that is up to date and easy to use from day one!
You may be tempted to use a free service, but the features in these programs are very limited and you will quickly be forced to change. Why spend time learning how to use one software, only to have to learn a whole new one a few months later when you switch?
Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro are the two most used programs by videographers today. Spend time doing a little research in order to decide which one is best for you. From personal experience, I can very highly recommend them both! For Adobe Premiere you pay a monthly subscription fee, whereas with Final Cut Pro you pay an upfront one-time fee.
Practice, Practice, Practice for Videography
photo by guruXOOX via iStock
This is probably the most important piece of advice of them all! The world of video, film, and television is an incredibly competitive space and if you do not put in the proper amount of time and effort, someone else will.
Try to have your camera with you wherever you go, and try to have it in your hands as often as possible. You can watch as many videos or read as many books as you want, but the only way you will see real results is by getting behind the camera and pressing the record button.
That is how you will discover what works and what doesn’t for videography, when to use a tripod or when to shoot handheld, how to properly light your subjects, and much much more!
A Final Word of Advice
photo by ipopba via iStock
Now that you know how to get into videography, my final piece of advice is to have fun with it! Be creative, record different things, and mess around with the settings. Working with cameras and shooting video is ridiculously fun, and as long as you always have that mindset, you will go far as a videographer!