10 Tips to Shoot Like a Professional Videographer

Regardless if you’re trying to become a wedding videographer or just trying to improve your shooting skills to create professional looking videos, you will need more than just good equipment. We are going to look at 10 tips that will help you shoot video like a pro.

1. Shoot Steady Video

Although in certain situations shaky footage works great, most times you want to have a steady shot video. Tripods are the answer to creating a steady video. Make sure to get a decent tripod if you’re going to be panning while shooting since the tripod heads on cheaper models aren’t really fluid.

If you have a shoot coming up where the amount of gear you can take is limited, a monopod is a good alternative. It takes up much less space when packing your gear and also provides great, steady shots.

2. Produce Creative Shots

In order to create interesting videos, you will need to come up with creative shooting techniques. The last thing you want is to have your videos look like they were shot by a surveillance camera. A person who’s just starting to shoot videos usually does so from the corner of the room, which is away from the action.

Try putting yourself in the middle of the action, you will see that the shots you get aren’t attainable from a distance. Try out different angles, shoot from below and above your subject.

3. Practice Widescreen Videos

Today’s aspect ratios are much wider than before. With 16×9 being the standard, you now have extra space to work with. This gives you better opportunities to create wonderful close up shots, which convey more emotions to the viewer. You can even go more widescreen for a very cinematic look.

4. Avoid Unnecessary Zooms and Pans

One of the first things people want to do when picking up a camcorder for the first time is to constantly hit the zoom button when shooting. Usually, the results make the video almost unwatchable. Let the action in the scene speak for itself. If you are going to be using zoom or panning, make sure there’s a good reason for that. For example, in sports events, videographers pan the camera to follow the ball.

5. Get Good Results When Shooting Outdoors

People think shooting outdoors is easy since there’s plenty of light during the day. But the position of the sun is crucial and should dictate your shooting. For example, when shooting a wedding video outside, It’s best to shoot with the sun behind your subject, to better light their face. Even though that means they would have to look towards the sun, it will create wonderfully lit shots. You also have to keep shadows in mind and possibly use reflectors to cancel some of them out.

6. Prepare for Indoor Video Shooting

When shooting indoors, you will almost never have enough natural light. It takes additional preparation when shooting indoors. Without artificial lighting, your video will turn out dark. You can get small led lights that are compact and can be set up on a stand for extra lighting.

7. Position Lights for the Look You Want

Using lights specially made for videography will provide your videos a much crisper look. Besides having the right equipment, proper lighting is one of the most difficult and important aspects of shooting professional videos. The lighting position and power is key. A good starting point is a 3-light setup, but for a more cinematic look, experiment with different lighting setups.

8. Compose Creative Interviews

Video interviews can either look really boring, or they can look interesting and grab your attention. When shooting an interview, plan ahead of time. Think about the background, when talking to someone about traffic in their neighborhood, make sure there is cars in the distance. If you want the interview to be more emotional, the shot should be closely zoomed on their face to better display that emotion.

9. Remember to Capture Good Sound

It takes practice to shoot good video, but in order to have good video, good audio is a must too. Otherwise your beautifully shot video will be useless. The two biggest mistakes concerning audio, is to forget to record it or fail to monitor the sound you’re recording. By monitoring the sound, you will ensure your getting quality sound and notice anything that shouldn’t be on the soundtrack.

10. Add a Green Screen to Produce Special Effects

If you’re looking to create some special effects, a chromakey green screen is your answer. They are used by TV stations when presenting the weather. Those weather maps you see behind the meteorologist are all superimposed onto the green screen behind him.

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