5 Basic Tips for Beginner Videographers

Written by Backdrop Express Photography Team on . Posted in Videography

Videography You’re already engrossed in the world of photography; now, you’re ready to take the next step in your career. You want to expand your skills to incorporate videography as well. By doing so, you can make yourself even more marketable to a more diverse group of clients. And while there are some basics of photography that can be translated to videography, and some photography gear that can be used as video accessories, it’s important to understand that picking up videography as a skill will take time, research, practice, and dedication. Here are a few basic tips that’ll get you off on the right foot.

1. Store Wisely

Just as you should store wisely with your still camera footage, you should do the same with your video footage. As a general rule, you should always have two copies of anything you shoot. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to store directly on your video camera and have a copy on your SD card. Most video cameras have a setting that allows you to automatically copy any footage you take directly onto an SD card.

Furthermore, make sure all your modes of storage allow you to easily upload your footage to another device. This may mean having the right cables to connect your video camera directly to your laptop or an SD card reader built into your computer.

2. Invest in a Quality Tripod

If the tripod you use for your photography comes with easily interchangeable plate, you can save a lot of money by simply picking up the right plate that corresponds to your video camera. Otherwise, you’ll need to invest in a tripod that’ll fit your video camera. Tripod plates are just one of many video accessories you’ll need to produce quality video.

After all, few things ruin an otherwise great video worse than shaky, unstable shooting. Invest in a quality tripod and learn how to use it to smoothly pan and turn.

Video Accessories

3. Read the Manual Cover to Cover

One of the best videography tips you’ll ever learn is to know your equipment. The only way to do this is to read the manual and learn about all the features your camera has available (and how to use them). After all, the best videographers always shoot in manual mode; this means you’ll have to learn how to adjust your settings manually to suit each unique situation, just as you would when working with a camera.

Specifically, you’ll want to learn how to use the “white balance” setting on your camera. This should be one of the first things you do anytime you shoot something. By setting white balance manually before shooting your video, you can ensure that all of your colors are just right. As VideoMaker.com puts it, poor white balance is “the video equivalent of throwing a bright red sock in with a load of white linen.”

4. Know (And Avoid) Rookie Mistakes

Just as it’s important to keep the basic videography tips in mind as you learn how to record video like a pro, it’s also important that you avoid some of the most common rookie mistakes. Some of these include:
  • Panning with your wrists instead of your hips. You’ll end up with a more stable shot if you rotate with your hips instead of your wrists. Or, better yet…use a tripod (see tip #2).
  • Over-using the zoom function. Unnecessary zooming can throw off your viewer and result in grainy footage. Before zooming, always ask yourself, “is there a good reason to get a closer look at this?”
  • Calling it “filming.” Okay, so this is a simple vocabulary faux pas, but it’s one that many videographers take seriously. These days, video cameras don’t have film, so what you’re really doing is “recording,” not filming.

5. Take Audio Seriously

Sure, shooting good video has a lot to do with image quality, but in many cases, even the best quality video can be ruined by bad audio. Any time you’re shooting a video where audio is important (which will probably be most of the time), make sure you have at least two audio sources. This is especially true during interviews.

More than likely, your video camera will already have a built-in microphone, but you need backup. Consider a handheld audio recorder or a separate microphone to ensure you don’t miss a thing.

These are just a few basics of videography that you’ll want to keep in mind as you get started. With enough practice and with the right video accessories, you’ll be on your way to success in no time.

Do you offer both still photography and videography packages for your clients?

-Backdrop Express Photography Team

Are you experimenting with videography at a beginner level? Check out all of our essential Video Accessories we offer to make sure you’re shooting in the best conditions!

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