Are you new to the world of video? Or maybe just looking to polish your skills? Producing stunning videos is immensely satisfying and fulfilling, whether you’re using video-marketing to grow your social media following, boost your subscriber base on YouTube, or just for your own personal enjoyment. Follow these 10 tips to create professional videos for your business.
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How To Create Professional Videos
The following techniques will make a good video GREAT:
1. Don’t Underestimate Sound Quality
There’s a reason that sound quality is my number one tip. This is because high-quality audio can take your video to an entirely new level, or totally hijack it. You obviously want your audio to complement your video, making it more than it could be on its own by adding flavor, flair, and emotion.
It’s important to get your audio right, because unlike video, you can’t really edit it post-production. Poor-quality sound will essentially ruin your video even if it had potential in terms of visual appeal. Sound has the ability to breathe life into your moving pictures so take advantage of it. Whether you’re speaking with your own voice or adding music to a presentation, audio is absolutely crucial to the end result.
Don’t rely on your camera’s microphone for your audio, you’ll be disappointed with the results. I like using a condenser microphone, or at the very least lavalier mics that are easy to clip onto a jacket. Both will produce high-quality sound. Condenser mics are easy to use, create professional audio, plug directly into your computer via USB, and are affordable, especially considering the exceptional sound quality they produce.
2. Quality Lighting
Quality lighting is right up there with superior audio. Just like poor sound can hijack a video, poor lighting comes in at a close second. Both are foundational for creating videos that people will actually want to watch. Crappy lighting is a pain in the neck to edit, and is both a time-consuming and laborious process.
Low-quality lighting is grainy, noisy, blurry, and overall very difficult to watch. Creating wrap around, shadow-less lighting is easy with a simple ring light. No need to fuss over heavy equipment that is annoying to set up. Ring lights are comprised of numerous small bulbs that form a circle – hence, the name. A ring light is placed in front of the subject to create diffused, flattering lighting. When using a ring light, your camera will conveniently be placed in the middle of it.
3. Stop The Shake
A shaky video ends the deal right there. No one can stand to watch a destabilized video, it just doesn’t work. You’ll have your viewers dizzy in a matter of seconds. As a matter of course, a tripod is a non-negotiable for every video-creator. There’s so many great tripods on the market today, that are not only affordable, but sturdy and easy to use.
I like tripods that fold up, are convenient to toss into your camera bag or purse, and aren’t clunky to carry around. Portable tripods work well with both smartphones or DSLRs, making them a great choice for YouTubers or vloggers who want to make quick videos without lugging around cumbersome equipment. This Joby tripod for smartphones is handy for all kinds of situations.
4. Focus On Composition
An interesting composition adds both depth and interest to a video. Switch up your composition by either zooming in and out with your camera lens, or changing positions with your body. Also, following the rule of thirds makes your videos dynamic and more enjoyable to watch.
If you’re not recording yourself, practice placing your subjects somewhere other than smack dab in the middle of your camera frame.
Engaging storytelling requires both close up, full-length, and panoramic shots. Alternate between these various compositions as it lends a realistic air to your videos, making them much more appealing.
I’ve watched videos where the majority of the shots are closeup. This doesn’t provide proper perspective, and can be quite annoying to watch as it doesn’t tell the entire story. Basically, composition is choosing what to fill your frame with, placing emphasis on particular subjects or objects, and is one of the most important aspects of video production. With practice, you’ll instinctively get better at this, making your videos more professional-looking.
5. Lens Bokeh
Bokeh is that lovely, out-of-focus background that makes certain shots so appealing. When using this technique, the focus is placed on the subject, rather than the background, which may be distracting and irrelevant to the video. This is why the subject is in focus, whereas the background has a soft, dreamy feel. Bokeh most definitely pegs a video as professional.
It’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but forces the viewer to focus their attention on the area of the video that’s in focus. “Bokeh” is a Japanese word that literally means “blur.” Fast lenses, meaning those with a large aperatures, are essential for creating bokeh as the technique is rendered by the lens, not the camera. I like to shoot with an aperature between 1.8 to 3.2, depending on what I’m shooting, and what needs to be in focus.
If you use a DSLR to capture video, check out the Canon 85mm f/1.8 mm autofocus lens. It’s hands down my all-time favorite lens.
6. Why Are Angles Important
The angle is the placement of the camera in relation to the subject. Different angles give those watching the video a unique view of the scene, and make the video more compelling. Examples of various angles include: shots that are straight on to the subject, ones where the subject is viewed from above, or shots that frame the subject from below.
A variety of angles and compositions are hallmarks of a professional video so be cognizant of your angles next time you’re filming. A variety of compositions will make your video more enjoyable to watch. And what’s interesting, is the same person or scene can look quite different when viewed from a contrasting angle.
Lighting can make a significant difference, as well. You’ve most likely noticed this when viewing photographs of yourself. When you’re shooting, experiment with various angles to see which ones are the most flattering, and reflective of what you’re trying to convey.
7. Don’t Forget About White Balance
Never underestimate the importance of white balance. Different light sources vary in color frequencies. Our eyes will naturally adjust for these frequencies, but the lens on your camera isn’t smart enough to adjust to the changes in color temperature. This can lead to inaccurate color rendering.
There’s nothing worse than having a weird color cast to your video. Color temperature is importance because you want the colors in your video to be crisp, clean, and realistic-looking. For example, natural-looking skin tones, and colors in nature, that are true to form.
Before shooting, always adjust your white balance, and although you can fiddle with it while editing, save yourself time and headache by doing it beforehand. Check out the video above on how to white balance your camera. It’s worth the small amount of time it takes.
8. Why Is Branding So Important?
Branding is essential if you want to grow your business, and this applies to your videos, as well. A strong, memorable brand will not only help you establish your business and reputation, it will keep your customers coming back for more. Branding begins with a logo, along with a tagline, and branding colors that are uniquely yours. The goal is to have your brand be instantly recognizable when people see these features.
Your branding materials should be on every video your produce, your website, and all promotional materials, including business cards, flyers, letterhead, products, and on all social media accounts. Even your fonts should be consistent. Think of your brand as the face of your business – it’s essence or personality. Every single element of your business serves to brand it, and is the means by which potential clients will form their initial impression of you, and what your brand represents.
Branding is imperative so put some creative thought into it. Design a logo you love or have one designed for you. Choose branding colors that are pleasing, and stick with them, then have fun branding all your marketing materials and videos. If you’re producing videos for YouTube, don’t forget to create thumbnails that reflect your brand.
9. Good Editing Software
Now that you have your raw footage, you’ll need to edit your hard work. This is where a good editing software comes in. It takes all that noisy and convoluted footage, and transforms it into a finished product.
Refine both your audio and video by editing out any blunders or portions that don’t add to the video. Add transitions for smooth viewing.
I like Premier Pro or Final Cut X , but you can also use iMovie, which is free for Mac users. The editing process brings everything together so your creation is ready for viewing. With the variety of editing software out there today, it’s easy to find a program that suits your needs, and some, like iMovie, won’t cost you a dime!
10. Don’t Forget To Share
Now that you’ve created an awesome masterpiece that you’re proud of, don’t forget to share it with the world. Share it on your blog, your website, your YouTube channel, and all your social media networks. Your followers will love it, and will hopefully share it on their platforms. This ripple effect is the perfect way to gain exposure, and get your message out there.
Plus, video-marketing is a great way to drive traffic to your blog. Never underestimate the importance of connection. After all, that’s what social media is all about. Increase your brand recognition, grow your following, build relationships, and increase conversions. You Tube and Vimeo make is super simple to share, so don’t forget to hit that “Send” button.
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Creating videos is both fun and fulfilling, especially once your know the tricks of the trade. Make sure you have high-quality audio and lighting, always carry a tripod, white balance your camera, brand your videos and don’t forget to share so others can enjoy and appreciate your talent.
What tips resonated the most with you? Let me know in the comments:)