Becoming a videographer is definitely not easy, and it may even be a bit overwhelming but, if you make a decision to go down that road, you can be sure that it will be an exciting ride that will make your life extraordinary. However, you shouldn’t take that life-changing decision lightly, because you need to really love the job in order to be able to become good at it. Nevertheless, if videography is your dream, don’t hesitate to pursue it, but make sure you are persistent and work hard towards reaching your goal.
I quit my job years ago to become a videographer and the road was not without its share of sweat and tears, but it led me towards what I truly wanted and taught me a lot of things that made me into the successful videographer I am today. I made a lot of rookie mistakes at first, but I effectively learned from them, which is why I want to share some tips that will help you avoid the common pitfalls of shooting videos.
Rookie Mistakes to Avoid
You shouldn’t be scared or think that you are set to fail if you make any kind of mistake. You are just starting out, so it’s completely normal that you don’t have everything figured out just yet. Even the best videographers made mistakes when they started shooting, but they became the best precisely because of those mistakes. You must learn from them if you are to succeed.
When you pick up your video camera, think about your subject. Do you need a closer look? Do you need to move from side to side? You need to think about why you are really shooting the subject in order to get the right answer to those questions. Don’t start zooming in and out, panning or tilting if you don’t have to. This is what a lot of beginners do and they end up making amateur videos.
Until you perfect your videography skills, make sure you stop your cam recorder and get closer to your subject if you really need a closer shot. Otherwise, you will get a blurry video. Stop as many times as you see fit, since you can edit everything later. As a video editing company, video caddy offers creative video editing services designed to match the specific needs of clients across the globe.
The Differences in Lenses
When you want everything in both the background and the foreground to be focused, use a shorter lens. When you use a shorter (wide-angle) lens, everything you shoot seems closer than it appears. Also, when you want your camera to be really steady, a shorter lens is your way to go, because it will prevent the “shaky cam” effect. On the other hand, when you want only your subject to be in focus, use a longer (telephoto) lens.
Don’t Ignore the Headroom
If you don’t want your subjects’ heads cut off in your videos, you need to take the headroom seriously. On almost every TV, there is the so-called overscan, because of which not an entire image is viewed on the screen. About 10% of your shots are cut off from all sides, which are why you need to allow for enough headroom, so that every frame you record can be seen clearly. You may not get it the first or second time but, with practice, it will come completely natural to you.
Make Sure You Have Good Lighting
Lighting is one of the most important things you need to pay attention to when shooting videos. When you get proper lighting, you will instantly improve the quality of every video you make. Therefore, make sure you get a key light to put near your camera, a fill light that will get a light on your subject and a backlight that you will put behind your subject. However, make sure that you don’t shoot directly towards the back light, since its reflection will not do your video any good. On the other hand, when you shoot outdoors, make sure you do it in a shade, but with a reflector.
Be Smart about Close-ups
When you want to get a close-up of your subject, make sure you slowly move in a bit closer, but be sure not to get too close. You shouldn’t waste the limited space of your frame by shooting an expanse of the background, while your subject appears really small in the middle. Don’t ever get too close, but use that limited space properly. Remember, the tighter your frame is, the higher quality of your video will be.
Choose Your Backgrounds Thoughtfully
The backgrounds you choose will greatly affect the quality of your videos. You should not choose a busy background with too many moving things, since they can be very distracting. Speaking of distraction, avoid pretty much anything that could steal the attention from your subject, such as big plants or anything that you may put behind or next to your subject. Also, make sure you add a bit of non-distracting color to the background in order to make your shots more appealing.
The Key for Editing
Before you get to the point where you take your B-roll footage and start editing your shots, make sure you have more footage than you may actually need. It is way easier to edit that way, because you will have a lot more options to choose from. When you are shooting something and you think you’re done, stay on that shot several seconds longer. That is the key for making your final video perfect.
I hope that you found these tips helpful and that you will apply them when you pick up your camera and immerse yourself in the amazing world of videography. The last piece of advice I have for you is to explore the psychology of design before you begin your shooting, because you can learn many graphic design principles that will be very valuable in your video production.
— Helen Clark —