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10 Videography Tips to Help You Make More Professional-Looking Videos

A man holding a camera with videography tips written on the left

Whether you’re a professional videographer or an amateur video enthusiast, you can likely agree on one thing — making professional videos is incredibly challenging! It’s indisputable that filming a fantastic video requires a lot of skill. But nobody was born all-knowing — even pros had to hone their craft to get to their current skill level! That is why we decided to share ten videography tips for anyone looking to learn more about the craft and acquire the prowess necessary to compete with seasoned video-makers!

Videography is skill-intensive — we can’t argue against that. However, there is no skill impossible to master! So regardless if you’re a wannabe YouTuber, an aspiring video marketer, or just wish to start a video blog, the ten videography tips we have in store for you will help you captivate your audience, develop your filmmaking style, and bring out your hidden potential!

10 Videography Tips to Help You Get Your Videos to the Next Level

Here are ten videography tips to keep in mind that will help make your videos stand out: 

Let’s get right into it!

Get Your Gear Together

Before you can even consider honing your videography skills, you will need some essential recording equipment. For making videos, a camera is a crucial piece of the puzzle. Nowadays, you can get anything from a smartphone with a decent camera to a high-end professional setup. It should be evident that the price range of the two options will vary drastically. So we wouldn’t recommend overspending on gear if you’re a beginner. Instead, you should use your phone or get a decent and affordable camera for videography beginners. A product you should undoubtedly consider is Nikon D3300.

Nikon D3300 camera
Taken from Amazon

This device is an affordable starter camera suitable for most aspiring video creators, so if you have a small budget, consider getting your hands on one of these!

Aside from acquiring a recording device, there are a few other products videographers could consider getting at all skill levels:

  • A gimbal stabilizer — This product can help you keep your camera steady while shooting. This tool will allow you to shoot smooth videos even while on the go.
  • External Microphone — This device will prove particularly in handy if you plan to shoot interviews or similar formats. Depending on your interview subject, you might happen to have to film one outside of a studio. That is where an external microphone can boost your sound’s clarity significantly.
  • A Tripod — Tripods are cheap gadgets that can help ease the burden of long, continuous shots. They can also help stabilize your camera in such situations and even allow you to enter the frame yourself should you wish so. These things make tripods a small but worthy investment!

Mind Your Lighting

professional video studio lighting

It should come as no surprise that lighting plays a crucial role in any video. If you’ve ever held a camera in your hand, you’re undoubtedly aware of just how significant an impact it has on your videos’ overall quality. So before you start filming, you should ensure that you have adequate lighting.

That means you should look at your lighting sources and their intensity and make the most of them. For instance, if you’re working with natural light, you will have less control over it than artificial lighting. However, natural sunlight is likely the best type of lighting in videography, so our tip would be to use it whenever you can. Unfortunately, the lack of control over natural lighting is its most significant downside.

If you have to shoot a video outside of a cloudy or rainy day, you will have a tough time. This kind of unpredictability is why most filmmakers opt for artificial lighting instead. This type of lighting entails various lamps that you can angle and adjust according to your needs and goals. An excellent example of that would be using overhead lights to emphasize particular items or features in your shot, which is an excellent cinematographic method to enhance your video’s storytelling. Also, artificial lights allow you to play with various effects, contributing to your video’s atmosphere.

Either way, both of these approaches have their positives and negatives, so the choice is entirely up to you and your preferences!

Choose Your Backdrop Carefully

image of a green screen

Another vital part of every video is its backdrop. Depending on your budget and the type of content you decide to record, you will have several decent options. Either way, the rule of thumb you should stick to is to remove all clutter from your backdrop and ensure it’s as simple as possible.

If you are out and about and recording and interview or a documentary outside, you should strive toward filming it in front of a simple wall. The similar applies to filming indoors — having a plain white wall or a sheet behind your video’s subject is ideal. Doing so will focus the viewers’ attention to your video’s subject as there will be no distractions in the shot.

If you want to take your video quality to the next level, though, you could invest in a green screen. With one, you could use the chroma key technology to add wild and exciting backdrops to your videos in the post-editing process. With a green screen, your possibilities become almost limitless. This option might not be particularly beginner-friendly, though, and it can be quite pricey. So we wouldn’t recommend going for this until you get your videography skills to at least an intermediate level.

Keep Your Shots Steady

Unless you’re planning to purposefully use shaky shots (which we wouldn’t recommend), you should avoid them at all costs! Having a shaky camera can ruin the viewers’ experience, so you should heed this videography tip and prevent that. The best way to avoid having your camera shake during steady shots is to keep it on a flat and steady surface or use a tripod.

But how do you maintain a steady camera while moving it? It’s pretty simple — move it slowly, at a consistent speed, and avoid sudden movements or stops. We know that is a challenging skill to master, but the more you practice, the steadier hand you will have!

Switch Up the Shot Angles and the Distance

When shooting any video, switching up your filming technique is essential to maintain viewers’ attention. Using different angles and shots prevents your video from becoming monotonous, which is a common pitfall of many newbie videographers. So don’t be afraid to spice things up and try something new! Testing new recording techniques is a vital part of any video creator’s journey. Here are a few ideas you could try to introduce some novelty to your filming techniques:

  • Use zooming to emphasize specific objects or parts of your shot.
  • Experiment with panning or wide shots to introduce some variety.
  • Use close-up, medium, and wide shots intermittently to illustrate dynamism.

Using various shots is like second-nature to pros worldwide, so you’d be wise to practice this if you want to improve.

Be Careful How You Frame Your Shots

Poor composition and shot framing are common beginner mistakes, but they’re also incredibly easy to notice. So if there has ever been a videography tip worth emphasizing, it’s this one — practice how you frame your shots!

But what does that entail? It’s pretty simple — whether you’re shooting a cinematic video, a vlog, or commercial, ordering the visual elements to fit your camera’s framing is essential. That will make your videos much more appealing to the eye!

One of the most useful rules to keep in mind when thinking about frames is the rule of thirds. Sticking to this principle can help you create smoother frames, emphasize your subject better in your shots, or create more depth in a shot.

Don’t Rely on Autofocus

a woman filming herself with the camera being in focus

While autofocus may seem like a godsend to many, the situation is reversed with seasoned videographers. That is because the feature may ruin your recording at times when it’s unsure what subject to focus on in complicated shots. That is why taking the matter into your own hands is a must if you want to hone your videography skills.

Oh, and did we mention that manually focusing while recording can allow you to add some unique special effects to your recordings? That’s right — you can get your storytelling to a whole new level by utilizing techniques like rack focus.

Speaking of storytelling…

Tell a Story

If your video doesn’t tell a story, it may come across as nothing but an empty shell. Regardless of your goals as a video content creator, video storytelling has become essential to attracting an audience. So unless you want your video to end up unnoticed, you’d be wise to apply this videography tip!

But how can you use video to tell a story? Easy! An effective way of boosting your storytelling through video would be to use various cinematography techniques. These can increase the quality of your shots and storytelling significantly. However, don’t overuse them! Only utilize them when they can complement your narrative so that you don’t overwhelm your users and create the opposite effect — distract them from your story.

Pay Attention to Where Your Mic Is

When recording videos, especially if you’re alone, it’s easy to overlook where your microphone is positioned. That often happens in cases when you don’t have a mic stand or someone to hold the microphone for you. All of that can lead to low audio quality, which nobody wants — not you, and not your audience.

That is why you should pay special attention to where your mic is positioned. Is it on your camera? Are you using a small mic you can attach to your shirt? Or do you have an earpiece mic? Either way, you should test your sound quality before you hit that record button!

This tip is particularly vital for videographers who often record outside. In an outdoor environment, especially when holding interviews, there are many factors (like the wind and mic positioning) that can affect your sound quality. In such cases, knowing your mic’s position is essential to being able to adjust if you notice the sound quality is suffering. Also, if you’re having trouble with the wind, buying a microphone windscreen could help you deal with excess noise. Either way, preparation is essential here!

Always Keep Editing in Mind

Last but not least, one of the most notable flaws of inexperienced videographers is their short-sightedness. Newbies often neglect to keep in mind that filming their videos is just the beginning — after that comes the editing!

One of the most useful tips we have for beginner videographers is always to keep the editing process in the back of their heads. Did your shot not turn out perfect but was a one-off opportunity? Don’t worry; you can edit it to make it usable. Are you a witness to a one-of-a-kind situation but just can’t seem to get the best angle for a quality shot? Editing can help you!

In a nutshell, editing can save you a lot of hassle. Instead of painstakingly re-recording the same shot over and over again, you can rely on the magic of post-production! That will save you plenty of time if you keep editing in the back of your mind.

With how far technology has gotten nowadays, there are few things you can’t do during post-production, so don’t worry. Do keep in mind that the most advanced editing software will cost you a pretty penny, though, so if you’re using a free or a budget program, your options might be limited. Either way, you will have to familiarize yourself with your video editor of choice and its limits to optimize the time you spend recording to the fullest. That will take a while, but it’ll be well worth it in the long run!

Extra Videography Tips

image of a woman sitting in front of a camera on a tripod with extra videography tips written on it

Here are three bonus videography tips for you before we sign off!

Pay Attention to What the Pros Are Doing

One of the best ways to learn just about anything is by observing the pros. The same applies to creating video content! Watch as many videos from seasoned videographers and professional creators and dissect their content. That will give you an excellent insight into what works and what doesn’t. After that, you can apply those techniques to your content and profit!

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

Failure is an unavoidable part of the learning process. No professional has ever gotten to where they are without a series of failures! That is why practice is essential. It is the only surefire way to success. So the best thing you can do is practice, practice, practice, and be persistent! Oh, and don’t look at failure as something negative — view it as a learning experience, and you’ll prosper in no time!

Always Have a Plan B 

This tip is incredibly practical if you often film your videos outdoors. Whenever you do that, ensure you bring spare batteries, extra tapes, and all the necessary equipment with you! Double-check everything before you go, and always have a plan B if something goes wrong. In other words, have multiple ideas or video options if one of them doesn’t turn out the way you expected!

Keep Practicing and Become the Video Creator You Were Always Meant to Be!

As you can see, despite there being many things to watch out for when creating videos, with enough practice and persistence, anyone can become a seasoned filmmaker. If you are passionate about video, you too can become a professional in time. Just follow the above videography tips, work hard, and don’t be afraid to fail! You’ll become a seasoned veteran in no time — we guarantee it!

If you enjoyed this article and are interested in reading more on similar topics, we suggest you check out our article on making the best professional video studio setup on any budget. We’re sure you’ll like it!

Until next time!

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