How to Produce High Quality Videos for Your Blog
By: Maurine Anderson
If you’re a blogger who makes frequent use of video for your blog, be it for tutorials, reviews, or Q&A sessions, you’ll probably want to step things up beyond using your laptop’s webcam for a video shoot. Doing this can really set your apart as a blogger. Here are some easy ways that you can take your blog videos from average to profesh.
Invest in a higher quality camera.
You don’t need to invest in an ultra-expensive camera to get higher quality videos for your blog. A DSLR paired with a sturdy tripod will offer you the best versatility, but more affordable options will work great as well. Many of today’s point and shoots, for example, will produce excellent quality videos for your blog and contain all the convenient features you need—not to mention you won’t have to have the fine-tuned skill necessary for dealing with interchangeable lenses. Or if you frequently shoot videos while on the go, or from a first-person perspective, an action cam could be the way for you to go. Whatever camera you go with, just be sure that it meets your needs as a video blogger, such as low-light recording, high-end audio, built in Wi-fi, etc. You should also be sure that you have a sturdy tripod or some other secure means for holding your camera in place while you’re shooting.
Use an external microphone.
An external microphone will improve the sound quality of your video significantly, putting the auditory focus on your voice rather than on ambient noise. Consider purchasing an external microphone that will plug directly into your camera’s MIC in port. (If your camera doesn’t have a MIC in port, you can always record the audio somewhere else and merge it with your video in post production.) A lavalier (lapel) microphone can make simple work of handling the microphone during your shoot, and you’ll even find microphones that are made to connect to phone or tablet. Alternatively, you can opt for a shotgun microphone like this one, which is made to mount directly onto a standard camera shoe.
An added bonus to making great audio for your videos: you can salvage the audio and repurpose it if for some reason the video itself does not turn out.
Get the perfect lighting.
Lighting will make all the difference in your video, so you’ll want to make sure that your environment is filled with ample, balanced lighting when you shoot. Natural lighting tends to be much more flattering than fluorescent lighting (meaning you’ll want to plan on shooting your videos during the day). Just be sure when using natural lighting, be it from the sun or an open window, that the light source is positioned behind the camera so that any and all subjects in front of the camera will be well lit. If you need to create a well-lit environment using artificial lights, keep in mind that there are three major types of lighting for filming: key light, fill light, and back light. Key light will be positioned to one side of the camera and about three feet above the subject’s eye level so as to mimic sunlight; fill light will be positioned on the other side of the camera to cancel out the shadow produced by key light; and back light will be positioned behind the head and shoulders to illuminate them.
Rehearse your videos before shooting.
You can always try filming the video all in one go, editing out any mistakes in post production, but this will only slow you down when it comes time to edit your video. Instead, try rehearsing your video beforehand so that you can do as little cutting and editing as possible in post production. As an added bonus, you’ll find that this method makes the process of actually getting your videos onto your blog much less daunting.
Nail down your post production method.
That said, you will have to do some work in post production for your videos. If you nailed it on lighting and filming, then the built in trimming tools on YouTube may very well work for you. If you want to do any major cutting, effects, or audio overlay work, however, you’ll want some software that will make easy work of this. If you have a PC, you can use the free Movie Maker software for this; or if you have a Mac, you can use iMovie. For something more advanced, you might try Lightworks (free or pro version), Adobe Premiere Pro (paid), or Final Cut Pro (paid and for Mac). Chances are the video editing software that came with your computer will work fine for you.