I used to make videos with my friends all the time growing up. We’d script out stories and rummage through closets to find costumes. It’s really great to be able to say I used to make movies for fun and now I do it professionally! By 30, I’d spent more than half of my life learning different video techniques. Here are the most important things to know when it comes to making your videos look more professional. P.S. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information.
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7 tips for making your videos look more professional:
1. Come up with a plan.
Yes, some films can be made spontaneously. But it’s not easy and it’s not always pretty. My advice is to come up with a script or at the very least an outline. This can help you decide what to film.
2. Understand the basics.
If you know what makes a shot more appealing, like understanding the rule of thirds, it will help you frame your scenes as you go and your video will look much better in the end. Also, be sure to avoid shaky camera shots and shoot from a variety of angles.
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3. Use lighting.
Lighting can really make a break a shot! Know how much natural light you’ll have and if you can use it. If you don’t have much then look at what other lighting you may need before you start to film.
4. Check the background.
Before you press “record” make sure the background looks clean and composed. You don’t want to see messy pillows or a picture hanging crooked. Also, check equipment is out of the shot. Avoid reflecting your cameras or lights in mirrors or windows and make sure microphone wires are hidden if you’re using lav mics.
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5. Pay attention to audio.
Audio is very important. In turn, if the video isn’t great but the audio is good people will still watch. If the audio is bad but the video is good it’s more likely they won’t watch.
As a result, make sure your audio is clear and crisp by checking your equipment in advance.
6. Shoot in sequences.
This will help you when it comes to not only telling your story but also editing it together. Always think of your shots in sequences: wide, medium, tight. Hold each of your shots for at least 10 seconds.
Remember to get transition shots too. If you have a person walking into the house, for example, don’t just film them outside and then inside. You also want to film the door, the doorknob, their hand on the doorknob, them twisting and opening the door and then walking inside.
7. Plan your equipment.
Lastly, aside from lighting, the biggest difference I’ve seen when it comes to beautiful shots is from using different camera lenses. So if you have a camera with adjustable lenses then I highly recommend studying a range of lenses. I like: 24-105mm, 50mm, 16-35mm and 70-200mm.
That said, if you don’t have a camera don’t worry! You can do a lot with your phone these days too. Follow those simple steps and start making your videos look more professional.