Top 4 Things To Check Before Shooting Your Next Video

1. Background/Location

What is behind you?

Where you shoot matters.  I know there are a lot of videos and interviews where people just shoot wherever their desk is and that’s fine.  But in your business do you want to be just fine? Or do you want to take it to the next level?

I’m not saying you always need a fancy production backdrop, but where you shoot should reflect you and your brand and not distract from your message.

Shooting at your desk works, but take a few moments to check what the background looks like. Do you like how it looks?  Can you move things around to make it a better backdrop?

Is your office cluttered?

Is it distracting from your message? 

Is it too plain?

Do you need to add something in the background to give it more personality or depth? 

 Next time you shoot, do a test shot first and take a look at the background.

Sometimes it’s not about the backdrop it’s more about where the windows are.  Yes, windows.  Natural light is best.

So if you can sit facing a window with the natural light on your face, that works best.  (It’s okay to move things around, it may feel weird to move your desk or sit next to a plant, but if it looks good for the shot, give it a try.)

Want to see what I am talking about?  Check out my impromptu Periscope video here where I give a few video and lighting tips.   In this video I’m showing you my mini studio set up when I do video or Skype interviews, but I also show you the magic of using natural light in your videos.  

(This is a very casual off the cuff live streaming video shot on my iPhone.  I’m working on more professional videos for you in the next few months.  Stay tuned!)

At 2:01 in the video see how using natural light can make a massive difference in the way you look and up the quality of your video.

2. Lighting

Is your face lit properly?

If you can shoot near natural light, great you are all set.  But what if your house/studio is dark or you are shooting at night?  Then you may want to invest in some professional lighting.   Recently I bought the Diva Ring light and I really like it.   It’s the one that all the You Tube make up bloggers use.  It’s makes you look amazing, but I also like it because it’s lightweight and I can just use one light.  (See it in action at :36 in the video)

PS. I did have a few business friends say the Diva Ring light is not great if you have glasses, because you can see the ring reflection.  If you don’t, they make your eyes sparkle!

I have 3 point lighting as well, but it takes time to set up and I save that for when I’m shooting more professional production videos vs. live streaming.

3. Camera Angle

Is your camera at eye level?

Make sure the camera is eye level and you are not looking down at it.   It’s not the most flattering position to have a camera up your nose. It’s a subtle shift that can make a big difference.   Having the camera below eye level can create a double chin and make it seem like you are talking down to your viewer.

I’ve made this mistake before when I was doing a Skype interview for a TV show.   I was using the camera on my computer and the camera/computer screen was tilted a bit too far back so ended up not being eye level.   (It’s not the end of the world, but it’s just not that flattering and can create a disconnect with your audience.)

I’ve also had clients shoot at weird angles because they said the didn’t know where to put the camera.  Use a tripod it’s worth it.   There are mini ones for your desk.  I like using a regular tripod. Here’s a super inexpensive one.  If you’re using an Iphone, this simple clip makes it super easy to attach it to your tripod.

4. Emotional Connection

How will you connect with your audience? 

Just like you would a friend.  Look them in the eye when you are talking, be authentic, conversational and show your personality.

(I know it’s easier said than done, but just talk.)

Pretend the camera is your best friend.  How would you explain something to them or show them. Don’t try to be someone you are not or try to sound professional.  Just share your voice.

For more on “Being dynamic and authentic on camera”-check out this post.

Before you hit record, remember it’s another person on the other side who has taken the time to watch and listen to what you have to say.  Talk to them.  Share your voice.

Do you have any go to on camera tips or what do you struggle with when it comes to shooting your own videos and being on-camera?  Leave a comment below.

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