- Learn to shoot in manual mode
- Research frame rates
- Understand the basics of lighting
- Discover the different camera shots, angles, and movements
- Practice, practice, practice!!!!!
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Are you new to videography and looking for ways to improve the quality of your content? You’ve come to the right place!
No matter what you like to shoot, these five essential videography tips for beginners will instantly help you create better videos.
From filmmaking tips to event videography tips to everything in between, it’s time to get ready to learn the best videography tips for beginners!
Videography Tips for Beginners: Plan Your Shots Ahead of Time
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As a beginner videographer, one of the best things you can do is plan ahead and be prepared for your video shoot. People always tend to prepare their equipment and their locations well in advance, but one often overlooked step is planning exactly what you are going to film.
With that said, one of the best videography tips for beginners is to always have a script and a shot list!
When developing a script, two important things to consider are, who is your target audience? And, what is the goal of your video? If you don’t clearly understand these two things, both your script and your final video will suffer.
Once you have a written script, it’s time to visualize how you are going to take those words and make them come to life on screen. Storyboarding and creating a detailed shot list are how you will do this!
Regardless if you are shooting a short film, a commercial, a product video, or a live event, you always want to have some sort of script and shot list prepared in advance!
Videography Tips for Beginners: Understand composition and framing
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Another one of the most essential videography tips for beginners is to be able to properly compose and frame your scenes. Even if you have the most expensive camera, or are a world-class writer and storyteller, your video won’t be received well if your images look sloppy.
The most basic rule of composition is the rule of thirds. A quick way to describe it is to imagine a tic tac toe board hovering over your scene, then, find the four spots where the lines intersect. These are the points where you ideally want to place your subjects for best composition.
Almost all cameras today have the option to turn on the rule of third lines both on the viewfinder and the LCD screen. Using this feature is one of the most basic videography tips, and an effective way to make your scenes visually appealing to the audience.
A couple other framing tips for videography are; to understand the different shots and when to use them (wide, medium, close), where to crop a person depending on the shot, and how much headroom you should leave at the top of the frame.
Videography Tips for Beginners: Always keep the camera steady
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Shaky footage is one of the most obvious signs of an inexperienced or lazy videographer. Lucky for you, it’s one of the easiest things to fix!
The simplest way to prevent shaky footage is by using a tripod. A tripod is one of the most critical pieces of gear in every filmmaker's kit, and if you don’t have one yet, go out and get one!
Taking the extra time to set up your tripod is one of the most important videography tips for beginners, and I can assure that you won’t regret it! You may not notice the shake of handheld footage now, but once you study the difference between video shot on a tripod vs video shot handheld you will never want to shoot handheld again.
If you really need to be mobile, using a shoulder mount or a gimbal will give you the freedom to film on the go. Gimbals are a go to piece of videography gear for wedding photographers and Vloggers with small cameras, while shoulder mounts are more typical in events and documentary filmmaking.
Videography Tips for Beginners: Choose your video settings beforehand and stick with them
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If you have any experience with photography, you are probably used to constantly adjusting and playing with the settings to get the best exposures. It doesn’t work the same in the world of video however.
Of course you will need to make small adjustments when filming, but the core settings should be decided upon in advance and then stuck to throughout the entirety of your film. The principal two settings I am talking about are frame rate (fps) and shutter speed.
One of your main jobs as a videographer is to create a consistent final product, and switching either the frame rate or shutter speed at any point during production will result in huge stylistic differences that viewers will easily notice.
Most cameras will have the option to shoot in 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps, with some professional cameras also offering 120fps. A general videography tip for beginners to follow is to always set the shutter speed to double the frame rate.
Videography Tips for Beginners: Don’t forget the audio
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One of the most common mistakes new videographers make when filming is ignoring the audio. This is a giant mistake as 50% of any good video is the audio!
Sure you can always go back and make minor adjustments to audio levels in post-production, but why not learn to record it in the highest quality from the get-go? This will save you a lot of time and stress later on down the road.
If you are recording sound via an in-camera microphone, make sure you test it out beforehand to monitor the quality and see how close you need to be to the subject in order to hear it clearly. Nothing is worse than having a ton of beautiful footage only to realize later on that it’s unusable due to poor audio.
One of my top videography tips for beginners is to invest in an external microphone. It doesn’t have to be a ridiculously expensive one right out of the gate, but even a basic one should be a step up from the in-camera microphon and will give you much more freedom when filming! If you are using an external mike, don’t forget to start recording the audio though!!!!!
Bonus Videography Tips for Beginners
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