- How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro
- The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques
photo by lisegagne via iStock
So, you’re good to go behind the lens if you’re shooting photos. But what about videos?
Today’s cameras offer all sorts of incredible video features, and more and more photographers are putting those features to use.
By expanding your skillset to include video production, you not only have an additional means of making money (if you’re a pro photographer), but you also have another way to pursue your creative interests.
Learning how to create beautiful videos can actually help you create more beautiful photos, too. It’s a win-win!
Here’s a few simple video tips for photographers you might consider mastering.
Video Tip #1: Use Your Photography Know-How
photo by molchanovdmitry via iStock
You already understand that to get the best shots, you need to work hard for the composition. Well, the same applies for videos.
Nothing is worse than looking at a bunch of photos, all of which are taken from the same perspective and eye level. Why would it be okay to do that for video?!
By using your photography know-how about composition and framing, you’ll be able to create much more compelling video footage.
photo by ozgurdonmaz via iStock
Get down low and shoot up toward the subject to make it seem more imposing and larger than life. Get above the subject and record down toward them for the opposite effect.
Frame your video sequences with the subject positioned out-of-center, just like the Rule of Thirds states. Find interesting angles from which to shoot footage, too.
From a composition standpoint, you already have much of the knowledge and skills you need - you just need to put them into practice!
Recommended Videography Reading:
Video Tip #2: Steady as She Goes
photo by mixetto via iStock
My dad, God bless him, is the worst video shooter in the world. FaceTiming him is like being on a boat in a violent storm.
No one wants to watch shaky video, and that means one thing - investing in a gimbal.
Gimbals are easy to use and give your videos that beautifully smooth, cinematic look. They can be used for all kinds of videos, from selfie-mode sequences (as shown above) to subject tracking and everything in between.
Photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash
You can get a gimbal for your iPhone for about $100. If you shoot with a mirrorless or DSLR camera, a bigger gimbal is necessary. While gimbals for mirrorless and DSLR cameras can be quite spendy, if you're serious about producing top-quality videos, the money spent is definitely worth it.
Either way, a gimbal is your ticket to video footage that looks like it was shot by a pro.
Video Tip #3: Up Your Studio Game
While I love to get outside and shoot footage, a lot of what I do is at home in my studio.
Shooting video in the studio is much more difficult, if you ask me. Perhaps it’s because of the nature of the videos I create at home.
I often create review videos or instructional videos, so I’m spending a lot of time looking at the camera and talking.
While I’m sure some YouTubers can speak to the camera off the cuff and get their point across, I need more organization for my thoughts. And for that, I have a teleprompter.
I did a feature a couple of months ago in which I discussed the best teleprompters of 2019.
One of the rigs on that list was the mPrompter teleprompter, which I’ve really enjoyed using.
This thing is small, portable, and durable. That’s a great combination of features! It’s stainless steel body and frame has a textured black coating that helps minimize reflections and glare, which can be a problem even in the studio because of all the studio lights I have.
The 3mm glass mirror has a 70/30% reflective coating so it’s easy to read the text. The mirror is permanently attached and free floated in a stainless steel bezel as well.
Though it was designed for use with a smartphone, mPrompter can be used with any kind of camera. I use it with my Canon EOS R with great success.
On top of all that, it’s incredibly easy to set up. All you need is about 60 seconds to get it up and rolling. That’s not bad!
Add to that an affordable price, and you have a reliable, easy-to-use teleprompter that won’t break the bank.
Video Tip #4: Give a Green Screen a Try
photo by DGLimages via iStock
There is no end to the creative possibilities if you have a green screen at your disposal…
Usually called chroma key compositing, using a green screen allows you to add special effects onto the green screen in post-production.
You don’t have to get crazy with the backgrounds you use, either. Having a simple landscape displaying as you discuss landscape photography tips is a great idea.
Being able to add whatever background you want adds production value to your videos, creates more depth and dimension in the footage, and allows you to explore creative options that are more engaging for your viewers.
With the popularity of video growing by the day, having tools at your disposal that helps set your videos apart is definitely a good thing!
Video Tip #5: Dial in the Best Camera Settings
By educating yourself about the best camera settings to use for video, you’ll be in a better position to get the results you’re looking for.
There are a gazillion video tips for photographers out there, but these should get you started on the right foot. As always, practicing your craft is what will help you the most, so grab your gear, get out there, and start filming!