Shooting YouTube Videos Best Practices

Filming YouTube videos

How you shoot your videos is very crucial. You do it in the right way, and you are always assured of the best result. You cut corners, and you will only have yourself to blame when your videos don’t perform. 

Fortunately, it is possible to film videos in the best way possible. Below are the best practices that will make your videos look not only great but also sound great.

Best practices

  1. Choose the best frames and shots
  • The frame

What do you want to appear prominently in the frame? It good before you film your videos to be precise what elements you want to appear clearly in-frame. For example, if assembling a computer, you would want computer parts as well as tools you are using to appear plainly in-frame. If vlogging, you may want to make sure you prominently feature in the video.

Types of shots

While technically there is an infinite number of shots, most YouTubers pay attention to three types of shots. That is:

  • Wide shot: This type of shot works best when multiple people are in the frame. For example, during an interview. Or when you want the environment to show blatantly in your video. For example, a camping vlog.

  • Medium shot: This can work for almost any type of video.

  • Close shot: Also, commonly known as the closeup, this type of shot is suitable for the highly-personal type of videos. For example, when creating vlogs.

Note that while you have the freedom to shift from one type of shot to the other, it is prudent to stick to one type that will help you establish your channel’s style.

Establish a distinct style

Your video style is very crucial as it helps your channel to stand out from other channels that cover the same topic. Additionally, your style gives you a sense of identity that helps you rise above the competition. The best thing is that you have the freedom to pick your style. No limitations. Below are some crucial elements that help you establish a style for your videos:

  • Music: If you decide to use music in your videos, think of music that will help you convey your message. Don’t just pick haphazardly. Take your time and finally come up with music that is consistent with your style.
  • Setting: In an office or a bushy area? Your settings communicate a lot about your style and play a big role in helping your channel stand out. So, whether you decide to film inside your kitchen, office, or somewhere in the forest, just make sure your setting is right.
  • Props: While props are not suitable for every video, it is best to go for something that supplements your style. For example, if you run a cooking channel, you may use a prop like a kitchen utensil.
  • Wardrobe: Your choice of clothing matters a lot. It tells your viewers more about your videos immediately they start watching.
  • Background: You have the freedom to pick any background you prefer. It can be your home, office, or you can opt for a plain background. Whatever you settle for, remember it plays a crucial role in helping you set a consistent style.

Brighten up your videos with lighting

Often, if lighting is off, the entire video is also off. Imagine after all the hard work your videos failing to stand out because of poor lighting. It is possible for your videos to look very unprofessional because of poor lighting. Fortunately, there are different types of lighting options you can consider today. If not sure which option is best, feel free to try all the options available until you are sure which one works best for you.

Common lighting types

  • Ambient light: Ambient light is the type of light that fills the room naturally. For example, if you shoot outside, the light outside is your ambient light. If you shoot in your office, overhead lights and light coming through your window will be the source of your ambient light.

Note. In most cases, ambient light won’t be enough. This means you need more light. Direct light then comes in handy at this point.

  • Direct light: This is light that points the subject directly. It brightens up the shot by removing any nasty shadows likely to lower quality.

5 main lighting options

  • Natural light: Means any light that comes into a shot from open doors or windows. If you shoot outside, you also use natural light. Often, natural light is not enough, and that is why hand-held reflectors are often present.
  • Ring lights: This is a perfect option for the close shot as a single ring light can work an entire shot’s direct lighting. However, this lighting option is not suitable for medium and wide-angle shots.
  • Fluorescent: This is the main type of ambient and direct lighting option in the market. However, note that raw fluorescent lighting is pretty harsh. So you want to cover the bulb with a soft box.
  • Reflectors: Reflectors are a great way to make your direct light significantly softer. Reflectors include white poster board, hand-held reflectors, a piece of the whiteboard, or styrofoam.
  • LED: LED lights emit less light per bulb than fluorescent. This means if you use them, you need a lot of them to get the lighting your shots need. However, LEDs are still a better option compared to fluorescent lights because they are more portable, they don’t get super-hot, and you can easily dim them.

Setting up your lighting

When it comes to setting up your lighting, there is no one right way. It all depends on your equipment, style, setting, and environment. However, it is best to use a setup that includes:

  • Some ambient light
  • Some ambient light
  • Direct light on the subject
  • A single bright light pointing at the background
  • See the video below for more information.

3 point lighting setupMake your video audio sound great

You can’t make a great video by ignoring audio quality. Your video audio is equally crucial, just like lighting and any other building blocks are. So, it is essential to do your best to have great sounding audio. Fortunately, it is possible to make sure your audio quality is perfect. How? See the tips below:

Soundproof your environment

The struggle of trying to fix audio issues in the editing process is not worth it. Sometimes, it is even not possible to fix some problems. That said, it is a plus to make sure your environment is perfect for audio recording by:

  • Checking for loud noises coming from other rooms or outside. Noisey audio is super distracting for viewers and hard to edit.
  • Keeping an ear out for less loudly noises coming from computers, traffic, or air conditioners. Such sounds, although they are easier to edit, it is best to avoid them altogether.
  • Finally, remember to do a sound test to see whether your audio has echoes. If so, you may want to invest in soundproofing panels or put some blankets or yoga mats.

Type of mics

  • Lav mic: This is a lightweight and portable mic that you can clip to your clothing. Often positioned on your shirt or close to your mouth. If well positioned, this mic doesn’t disappoint. Its quality is good but not as that of shotgun mics.
  • Camera mic: Camera microphones are not the best option. In fact, never use them. They are notoriously bad.
  • Shotgun mic: Perfect for recording sound from a long distance, this mic is excellent at picking up audio from a particular area. For example, when a single person is speaking directly towards the camera.
  • iPhone: Your iPhone mic is better than that built-in camera mic. But remember to position the iPhone close to the subject for the perfect recording.