8 Tips to Film Yourself Like a Professional
Videos are the rave of the moment today. Whether you want to share knowledge with your target audience, build brand awareness, entertain your audience or achieve any other marketing goal, videos are one of the most engaging ways to do so. But you might not have the resources to hire a full video crew; this makes it necessary to know some tips for filming yourself.
This post fully discusses how you can take advantage of the current video technology and film yourself to create professional-looking videos.
Let’s get to it!
Understand your audience and have a plan
When figuring out how to film yourself, begin with getting a good idea of your target audience. Knowing your audience gives you a clear understanding of what they want to learn, how best to communicate to them and what they expect.
With a good grasp of these, you can proceed to draw a plan for the video. If you start filming yourself without a plan, it could all spin out of control. You could forget the elements you originally hoped to use in the video and even some points you ought to mention.
Do not confuse a plan for a script, though. We encourage a plan - a sort of roadmap with cues and reminders on what you’re supposed to do - but not a word-for-word script which might rob your video of its natural feel.
Select an appropriate location
Crucial to the success of filming yourself is the environment you choose. When selecting a location to shoot a film of yourself, ensure that the spot is favourable. This means that the location should be befitting in terms of light, sound and focus. The chosen spot should be well lit and without noise. (More on lighting and audio below.)
Then, there should be no forms of distraction such as kids wrestling in the background, a heap of laundry or traffic. Also, if your fan, AC or even refrigerator is noisy, turn it off. Do well to stay away from corners in your house or places outdoors that cause echoes. They can make your video appear unprofessional.
However, we acknowledge that the environment can create the desired ambience. So, if the video should feature elements of the environment such as gentle background noise, be sure that they’re not obtrusive. Thus, the noise of traffic or nature, as the case may be, should blend in with the video. It should not drown out your voice nor draw attention from you.
Additionally, it’s helpful to slightly decorate your background. You can use objects relevant to the content of your video, furniture or even plants. They augment the surroundings and create the needed aura for your video.
Choose and stabilise your filming device
The next tip when filming yourself is to pick your filming device. There’s no need to break the bank to purchase complex filming gadgets, thanks to technological advancements. You can easily use your mobile phone or a digital camera. As long as they’re of good quality, they’re sure to get the job done.
Some digital cameras have flip screens, if this is the case with yours, then you’re in luck! You’ll be able to see what you look like as you record yourself. But if it has no flip screen, a screen that’ll connect using an HDMI cable will meet that need.
As for mobile phones, whether an iPhone or an Android, most have reasonable high resolutions that can help you create a high-quality video of yourself. In most cases, the selfie camera is of low quality, though it offers the convenience of watching yourself as you record. However, the back-facing camera is usually of far better quality. So, it might be the better option.
When you’ve sorted out your filming device, it’s recommended that you stabilise it. Stabilising your filming device will give it a professional look as the recording won’t wobble or jerk. To achieve this, you can either get a tripod to hold up the camera or phone. If a tripod is beyond your reach, fret not. Place your device on a stable surface and hit record!
Have good lighting and audio
Every element of a video revolves around two things, namely the video and the audio. So, if you want the video to look impressive to your audience, ensure that the lighting and audio are top-notch when filming yourself.
Except when practically impossible, always leverage the natural light source. The sun is your best friend but stay away from its harsh direct rays. One tip to achieve this when filming yourself indoors is to have a window in front of you so that the natural light will brighten your face and the rest of the surroundings.
If you’re shooting a video of yourself outside, it’s best to do it when the sunlight is mild. Whether in the morning or later in the cool of the day, it’s up to you.
We strongly recommend that you incorporate an artificial light source too. Your phone’s flashlight won’t suffice. Thankfully, ring lights can do the trick. Be sure to add lighting at the sides, but not behind you, to help eliminate shadows.
Whether during communication or content consumption, bad audio is bad for business. If your viewers can’t hear you, it ruins their experience and wastes their time.
For enhanced audio, use an external microphone. Your device’s built-in mic might not be able to capture your voice and block out noise effectively. While we recommend clip-on mics due to their portability, stationary microphones work just fine too. They might even give your video that extra professional look.
Choose a quiet environment to eliminate annoying background noise. Noise in your video suggests unseriousness and unprofessionalism - traits that may impede your conversion. You never know.
As you shoot a video of yourself, erase all forms of disruption. Distractions are not restricted only to background noises and other interferences in the surroundings. The distraction could actually come from you, the presenter.
Therefore, it’s imperative that you remove anything on your person that might derail your viewer’s attention from the message. Here are some pointers to nail this:
- Don’t wear clothing with overly intricate patterns
- Avoid clothing that blends with the background
- Go easy on jewellery, accessories and shiny or heavily reflective clothes
- Avoid clothing or accessories that make noise
Looking good is good business; we agree. But save your overly catchy clothing items and bling for social events.
Combine technology and creativity
To shoot a professional video, it’s vital to merge your device’s capabilities with your artistry. Keep reading for tips on how to accomplish this when filming yourself.
Resolution, framerates and composition
No conversation about shooting a video is ever complete without a dive into the technical aspects. So, another tip to win at filming yourself is to ensure that you shoot the video in high resolution. You could either shoot the video in 4K or 1080 HD.
Take the frame rates into consideration as well. Shooting a video at 60 fps will give you finer, smoother footage. However, you could still opt for the standard 30 fps.
Equally important is the framing and composition of the video.
They amplify its appeal. To nail the framing and composition as you film yourself:
- Stay in the middle to achieve symmetry and balance
- Have enough headroom so that your head doesn’t leave the frame
- Maintain proper distance from the camera
- Position the camera at a good level for a perfect capturing
Angles and creativity
Worth a mention, however, is the fact that technical elements alone will not add the magic that viewers love to see. This highlights the essence of creativity when filming yourself. To add zest to the video as you film yourself, use multiple angles. Wide shots, close-up shots, and the camera at different angles, if used well, will keep your viewers engaged.
The mode you choose to film yourself in is crucial. One option is the landscape (horizontal) mode. This mode eliminates any feeling of restriction, making your video pleasant to watch. It works great for most video hosting platforms and social media.
The other option is the portrait/vertical mode. It’s not as popular as its counterpart because if the video is viewed on a regular platform, there’ll be black lines on both sides of the screen. Many people tend to find them annoying. But certain features on some platforms such as stories on social media apps and on YouTube are portrait-mode-friendly.
If at a loss as to which to choose, just think of where you hope to post the video, then pick the suitable option.
Attempting to film yourself can have the deer in the headlights effect on you if you’re new to it. But your viewers want to see a bold presenter as opposed to a fidgety and timid-looking one. Thankfully, there are ways to appear as confident as ever.
To begin, you need to practise. Some people are rockstars when it comes to presenting and filming themselves in the process. Simply put, that might not be your case. Therefore, you need to put in the work to perfect your presenting skills.
Then, you need to be authentic.
Don’t struggle to put on a strange personality nor fake an accent if you haven’t perfected it. You might not pull it off, and it might be difficult to sustain over time. Being yourself is the way to go.
What’s more, do not read from a script.
Your message should flow naturally, but reading from a script will come across as artificial and hardly engage your audience. Thus, instead of a script, you should have bullets of what you want to discuss, just as a reminder. Then, in a conversational tone, deliver your message.
To further appear confident, you need to stay calm and collected. Maintaining your composure enhances the professional feel of your video.
How to stay composed as you film yourself
Here are some tips on how to stay composed when filming yourself:
- Relax your shoulders
- Move your arms minimally, but don’t cross them. Crossed arms give off hostile vibes.
- Whether sitting or standing, mind your posture. Proper posture demonstrates authority
- If sitting, use a balanced and firm seat; don’t swing nor swivel in it.
- Be audible
- Look in the lens of your filming device, but blink every now and then just as you would occasionally break eye contact with a real person
Feeling awkward when filming yourself for the first time is understandable. But here’s the kicker; your viewers are most probably unaware that you’re a newbie. Exploit that blind spot.
Watch and edit accordingly
After filming yourself, it helps to watch the video to know what it looks like. If it was a really poor attempt, you have the option of recording the video anew. You can then make sure that you don’t repeat the mistakes you made in the first clip.
However, if the initial video was fair or impressive enough with minor hiccups, you can edit the video to perfection. You can use video editing software to cut the flawed parts. Some video editing software perfect for beginners includes:
At this stage, also add subtitles to your video to enhance your viewers; experience. Rewatching and editing could make or break your video; don’t neglect it.
When you’re fine with the state of the video, go ahead and use it as you intended. Whether it’s to post it on your website or share it on social media and on hosting platforms, it’s up to you.
If you put these tips to work when filming yourself, you’re sure to have a masterpiece at the end of the day. Clearly, video technology has made it possible for everyone to shoot videos and look like experts at it. But it’s helping us accomplish even more.
Find out how Shine has harnessed video technology to change the face of recruiting.