People often say there’s no wrong way to create content – we say it all the time, too! While we still standby that statement, we do understand that it’s openness can make actually filming content more difficult. Or more daunting. If there’s no “wrong” way to do it, then where does one even begin? And how do you know you’re filming content well? What makes a video good?
We get asked these questions and more in our DMs literally all the time. If you’re one of the many creators that aren’t sure how to film your content or want to improve your creation, we’ve written this article specifically for you. We’re sharing our top tips for filming content. They’ll make filming content easier, help your videos stand out, and help you find the “right” place to start.
1. Keep An Idea Bank 📝
Even if you want to film off the cuff, it can be hard to come up with new ideas on the spot. If you aren’t already, write down any and every idea that you get for your content. Keep it in a note on your phone or wherever you can easily access it. If you’re ever in a creative rut and you aren’t sure what to cover, you can look at this list and see what sparks your interest.
2. Try Multiple Styles 🤓🤠
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been creating content for a while, trying out different styles of filming content. See if planning your videos and filming them well in advance actually improves your process. Try changing up the number of shots you use or the editing you do. You can even play with the content itself; step outside of your wheelhouse and film something new that excites you. Don’t be afraid to test out new styles and recreate your process. You may find something new that elevates your content – or makes it more fun for you!
3. Make Sure the Quality is Good ✅
Lighting, audio, and editing can be very important when it comes to creating content. All of them add to the quality of your content, and the higher quality your content is the more likely people are to watch it. At the least you want to make sure people can clearly see and hear you. But we’d recommend taking it a step further.
You can purchase a ring light to boost your video quality. If you don’t want to or can’t, just make sure you have natural light or accent lights to highlight your face or what you’re doing in the video. The key is to make sure your face isn’t most shadows: we want to see you and your features! For the audio, you can purchase a microphone but it’s not necessary to be successful. Just make sure you’re in a quiet space and we can clearly hear you.
As for editing…this is up to you! Some people prefer perfectly edited videos, and others love a more chaotic style. And some creators are happy to have off the cuff, unedited videos. This piece is really up to you and what you want. Try testing out a few ways to edit your content to see what suits you best.
4. Film Where You Can Focus 👓
Whether you film in your bedroom or a quiet closet, find a location where you can settle in and focus on recording. This will kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Not only will being in a quite location improve your audio quality, but being focused on recording will make filming easier. Focusing on your content cuts down on your filming and editing time. Plus it keeps you on task and removes distractions that might derail your video.
And as an added bonus, it will keep the audience’s attention on you, which is ideal!
5. Keep the Frame Steady 🎥
When recording, avoid a shaky camera and/or not having the focus clearly in the frame. One easy way to avoid this is by having a tripod or steady place to set your camera. Spend some time setting your camera up before you even start filming. Test out how steady the spot is, where you fall in the frame and how the light looks.
If you plan to film your videos holding your phone or camera, that’s totally fine! Just be sure that your hand is steady as you hold the phone. You may have to prop it against something, which is fine, too.
We also suggest having the camera at eye-level! It will be the most natural, flattering angle, and it wouldn’t be as difficult for you to keep up as you film.
6. Consider Your Background 🖼️
Think of the kinds of videos you’re filming and what your style as a creator is. If you talk about books, having a bookshelf in the background is a good idea. If you talk about cooking or backing, filming in your (clean) kitchen is very natural. Classic advice is to film with a blank or not distracting background, which can definitely work depending on you and your style. Identify some places you could film, try them out, and see which you like best!
And if all 3 you try out work? Then start a rotation and film in all 3! The changes will added a little extra interest to your videos and lets you change up your location depending on what you’re filming.
7. Explore Your Camera Settings ⚙️
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a camera to film incredible videos! Most content creators film on their phone. You know how to use it, it’s already there in front of you, and you’ll be posting your video from your phone anyway. Take some time to research how you can get the most out of your phone’s camera. They’re more powerful than you think!
8. Keep it Short and Sweet 🚀
Clapper and other social media apps are usually for short-form content. Be sure that your videos cut to the point – or at least clearly lead to a specific end. This will save you time when it comes to filming and editing, and will grab your audience’s attention right away. Additionally, your audience is more likely to stick around for a short video or one they know has a clear path.
9. Always Look For Inspiration 💡
This doesn’t mean that you have to constantly be doing research into how to improve your content creation process. But don’t ignore the content you consume, either. See if any of the creators you enjoy share their filming process. Try to figure out what you love about their videos and see how you can implement it into your own. If they test out a new process or piece of equipment, look into it. Give them credit if you plan to copy them, of course, but there’s nothing wrong with recreating the content you enjoy!
10. Relax and Be Yourself 👑
The point of social media and shortform content is to be yourself. Viewers keep coming back because they enjoy you, so let your personality shine through your content. Get comfortable on camera and try filming a few videos just to get used to the process. And if you think you’re a little stiff in the beginning, don’t worry about it. Filming yourself will get easier and easier the more you do it.
Be sure that your background music doesn’t overpower your audio. It can be fun to find the perfect music to use and of course you want to show it off, but make sure that we can still clearly hear what you’re saying. So before you hit post, double check the volume of your added sound and make sure it doesn’t overpower you.
This is by no means a list of 10 things you must do. These tips can be used all at once, or you can start off using just a couple. Any and all of them will improve your videos and make starting the content creation process easier. And don’t be discouraged if your videos aren’t leaps and bounds better right away. Whatever step you take toward is a good one, and whatever improvements are make are still improvements.
To read more of our tips on creating unique, engaging content, check out our Ultimate Creator Guide.