So you’re making videos, you’ve posted your first videos on YouTube, but you want them to look better and have people watch your videos instead of somebody else’s. So let’s talk about how to make your YouTube videos look better.
You don’t need an expensive studio to make great videos, if you have a cell phone you can probably already create pretty descent if not great looking videos. The way you film will also depend on what kind of videos you make. Are you making talking head videos or outdoor videos? Maybe you are making sports videos or vlogs. So it’s hard to say that one thing is best, cause it has to fit the purpose, but there are some good practices that you should always keep in mind.
Let’s start with lighting. One of the biggest things that will set your video apart from somebody who just picked up his phone and filmed something is good lighting. Now this doesn’t have to be expensive. You can simply make sure you are lit well by using the sun, being outdoors or when you’re filming indoors be close to a window. Or you can use extra lights, now I have a huge light set up with 3 lights and defusers, but for most videos that I make all I use is one simple ring light. It will just give you that extra little bit of light on your face and that sparkle of light in your eye.
The camera you use will also make a difference of course, and the reason I don’t need as much light to film is cause I use a Sony a6400 with an F1.6 16mm lens on it. Now you don’t have to use this to film, but it’s my goto for my talking head videos and I love to vlog with this set up. It allows me to film with great quality even at low light conditions. Also by using a low aperture it smooths out the background and gives your videos a more professional look. .
So that brings us to the background, if you are filming indoors it’s always good to have some small lights around for atmosphere. It can accentuate something in the background or it can create that nice Bokeh effect. Don’t have the background be to distracting or cluttered, but you also don’t need an entire studio either, just remember people will only see what your camera is showing, so the fact that of camera there is a laundry rack and the floor is a mess, as long as what’s on screen looks fine you can get away with it.
If you’re moving around a lot while filming you should consider getting a gimbal, there are different gimbals you can use, for gopro, your phone or for your DSLR. It smooths out the footage and gets rid of the shakiness that you otherwise have when filming hand held.
You’ve probably heard the expression ‘Fix it in post’. When you are editing you can really still change a lot to your video. The way you cut your video can set a pace or mood to your video. The colour correction you make can give a more professional look to your video, so you need to pay as much attention to these things in post as you do to lighting and camera angle while you’re filming. You have to create your own style and look, something that fits with your niche and makes you stand out from the rest. And this is something that you can do in post by playing around with the edit or putting in effects and colour profiles. This is something you need to play around with to see what you like and what will improve the style of your videos.
A great way to set some mood for your videos is with music, but seeing that this is really a subject of it’s own we'll talk about that in the next blog.