Once you have all your gear and your ready to record your first video or take your first photos, there are a few other things to keep in mind that will help keep your content on track:
Tip #1: Set Up a Branded Background
One of the easiest ways to make your videos look more professional is by setting up a branded backdrop. Seamless backdrop paper is easy to find on Amazon and comes in a TON of different colors to add an extra branded element to your videos / photos. Using backdrop paper is a quick and easy way to create a consistent backdrop for your home studio, but you can also get creative and add personality to your video setup with different household items.
Consider your overall brand and how you can support this through different props or accessories. Think about plants, photos, walls, desks…these are all elements that can add to your video. It might take a little experimenting before you get it right.
Tip #2: Keep Lighting Consistent
If you want to create professional-looking video content, having a good lighting set up is essential. The better your lighting, the less your camera will have to work to make up the difference, which means the quality of your content will be much higher.
Working with natural light or an affordable ring light can often deliver really high-quality results. Also knowing where to put the subject of your shot to capture the right direction of the light, create minimal shadows, and positioning will go a long way. Keeping your lighting consistent is very important. Direct sunlight can change as clouds pass over, and don’t forget the sun moves in the sky, which can make cutting and editing a seamless video together super tough.
To help this, shoot in a space that is well lit and if you can use a deflector to create more natural light rather than sunlight, or use an artificial lighting setup instead for more control.
Tip #3: Add a Second Camera for Shot Diversity
If your looking for a way to really level up your production, consider adding a second camera into your setup. An easy set up would be to place your primary camera directly in front of the subject of your shot, and then add a secondary camera between 45 and 90 degrees from it. You can then cut between your primary and secondary footage in the edit, making your final video much more dynamic and interesting.
PRO CAMERA TIP: Make sure your settings are the same across both camera set ups (like white balance and lighting), and shoot with the same orientation, dimensions, and format where possible.
Tip #4: Set Down Floor Markers
One of the hardest things about shooting video content can be that it’s all too easy to take a quick coffee break and walk away from your framing. Changing positions in between takes can make it difficult to edit your videos, so its a good idea to mark your floor. You can mark using gaff tape or blue tape and create a cross for your position. This will help you remember exactly where to pick up from between each take, and keep the consistency of your shots.
Tip #5: Always Do an Audio Check, Always
One of the first things you learn in film school, is how important your audio is to your visuals. If you have bad audio, your video is worthless. Audio can be one of the biggest challenges when it comes to creating video in an uncontrolled environment. Things like car alarms, dogs, neighbor’s music will disrupt your video.
Make sure your studio is optimized for good audio. If your shooting in a small space that is prone to echos, try adding some blankets or rugs to absorb the sound waves and reduce the reverb. Take audio into consideration as you plan your shooting schedule, and shoot during the quieter parts of the day if you can.
PRO AUDIO TIP: For an extra level of sound quality invest in either a clip-on mic (for interviews) or a shotgun mic (for a broader level of sound), which can be used on both professional cameras and camera phones. Record your subject doing a single loud clap before you start your video. This will help you to easily sync your audio to your visual footage in the edit!
Tip #6: Shoot B-Roll
B-roll footage is anything outside of the main shot setup of your video — such as a cutaway of someone’s feet, or a closeup of a coffee cup. B-roll is sometimes the edit savior you’ve been looking for. This extra footage is great for adding more interest to your final video, and more importantly, it provides a valuable safety net that you can rely on to hide any bloopers or bad visuals.
With these simple tips you’ll be creating professional video content from home in no time.