Adding a custom video to your video brochure is a great way to further personalize the experience for the viewer.
Shooting DIY video on your own doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are some tips to help you put your best foot forward when it comes to DIY video.
1. Video Lighting
The lighting is a major component of what separates amateur video from professional video. For best results use a soft light source, as harsh light creates shadows that are unfavorable for professional video. An easy way to create a soft light source is by aiming a desk lamp towards the wall or ceiling. The resulting light will be much softer. Alternatively, you can use natural light coming through a window as your light source – just make sure it’s coming from the right direction.
2. Shoot Horizontal Video
When shooting video via smartphone, always turn your phone to record horizontally. Think about it – how often do you see TV’s turned vertically? It’s rare. Vertical video is a tell-tale sign of amateur video, and is a pet peeve of many.
3. Record Settings
This should go without saying, but always shoot in the best quality possible. iPhones (and other smartphones) default to a lower quality in order to conserve space. You can adjust this in your settings to record 4k at 24 fps or the highest quality your phone or camera allows. Just make sure you have enough free space on your phone or SD card!
The framing of your video is very important for creating a professional look. Use the rule of thirds in order to get a nice basic framing for your subject. In short, the subject’s head should take up the top third of the screen. Too much head room isn’t a good thing, and conversely, giving the subject a ‘haircut’ isn’t good either. Most cameras and phones allow you to turn on a grid so you can see how things are lining up on the screen.
5. Shoot at Eye Level
As a general rule of thumb, the camera lens should always be at eye level with the subject. You never want your subject to be looking up or down because that can create a bad viewing experience. The subject should be able to comfortably look into the camera directly in front of them. Buy an adjustable tripod for your camera or phone which will allow you to match your subjects eye level perfectly.
6. Maintain Eye Contact
Keeping strong eye contact with the camera lens is important when filming your own video. When your eyes shift around a lot it can be distracting for the viewer. This can be difficult if you’re using a phone, since you will be tempted to look at yourself in the live view. Keep your eyes looking at the camera lens and not at other people or things in the room.
7. Video Background
The background of your video is just as important as the foreground. Get rid of unnecessary clutter and avoid having your subject in front of a window because the natural light will be overexposed (too bright). Get creative and see if you can style the background with plants or something personal to your company.
8. Clean Audio
Audio is another huge differentiating factor when it comes to having your video look professional. Film in a small, quiet spot that doesn’t have a lot of echo. For the best results, pick up an affordable external microphone for clearer sound. It will be worth it in the long run.
9. Camera Presence
The last thing to consider is your camera presence. When shooting your own video it can feel less professional and a little less legitimate. It’s important to smile, add energy and try to put as much personality out as you can. Go through the scripts multiple times in order to get comfortable on camera. There are tons of tips and tutorials on YouTube for how to present yourself on camera.