In our previous installment of Video Like a Boss: Setting Up Your Studio, we covered the basic equipment you’ll need to get started in your corporate leadership videos. By now, everything from your video checklist has shipped and arrived, so now what?
Today, we’ll focus on how to best utilize these tools to give your videos the professional appearance you’re after. Now, let’s break down the dos and don’ts of your studio and get you shooting high-quality videos.
If you missed any of our past installments on deciding what to say or creating a strong outline with the TWIN strategy, make sure to catch-up to get all the knowledge you need to shoot Video Like a Boss. And we have a new upcoming webinar, register now.
The whole goal of lighting is to make you look good. Typically that means having soft light that makes your face look three dimensional by casting soft shadows under your chin and on the side of your face. We don’t over-think our lighting and we don’t use lights per se, but we do position ourselves so that the ambient light is hitting us from a good direction. Here are some quick do’s and don’ts to help you light yourself properly.
Use natural light
Most locations have adequate ambient lighting. If you find yourself in a particularly dark place, find another place! Ideally your location has a window where sunlight can stream indirectly onto your face.
Light diagonally from above
For the most flattering effect, light should come from slightly above and slightly to one side of your face. This puts a soft shadow on one side of your face and under your chin, making you look thinner and more three dimensional.
Not too bright, not too dark
Direct sunlight on your face will cast severe hard shadows and make you squint. Not enough light will make you look pallid and flat. Avoid both scenarios.
The camera is so low that we can see up the nose and under the chin.
The camera is so close that it feels like we’re up in the viewer’s face.
All that stuff back there is distracting, making it hard to focus on you.
A plain white wall is so boring that the overall shot looks uninteresting.
A simple rule of thumb is simply to place the camera where the eyes of someone you’re talking to would be. That’s usually right about eye level and a few feet away. Placing your camera on a tripod will keep it fixed to avoid shaky movement and also free up your hands to gesticulate or show props!
In your office, at your desk, in a conference room, quiet corner of the office, cafeteria, lobby. With your team on the floor, in the store, plant, or call center. Or on the road, in a hotel room, customer office, airport or even in the car.
Forehead Toward the Camera
To look good on camera, you want your forehead to be tilting towards the camera. That makes both your eyes and your jawline look better.
Head and Shoulders
The camera should be far enough away to capture your head and shoulders. Too far and you feel distant. Too close and you crowd the viewer.
Be Aware of Your Background
The background plays an important role in your video. It is the stage. Choose a pleasant, non-distracting, but also non-boring background. Ideally your background should convey a sense of where you are.
Too much light makes you look heavier and gives that deer-in-the-headlights feel.
A lack of light makes the shot feel drab, uninteresting, and lacking in energy.
Too much light in the background gives you a shadowy underworld vibe.
Light that is too far off to the side creates an overly dramatic look.
Doing it Right
The things to look for in a well-lit shot are a well-defined chin line and soft shadows on the side of the face that help the face look three dimensional.
Good camera position
Here the camera is looking at the subject in the eye, at right about eye level, just like a person would. This gives the impression of an intimate and direct conversation. The subject is tilting his head towards the camera so that his eyes appear alert and his chin is defined by shadow.
Good distance to camera
The subject is not too close and not too far. We can see some of the background, but it’s not overwhelming the scene and the subject doesn’t feel like he’s in our face.
This background is pleasant without being distracting.
Now go for it!
At this point, you’ve learned how to create an effective TWIN strategy outline, be in front of the camera, and set up your studio correctly. You now have all the tools needed to make high-quality videos for your employees. Time to shoot your first video.
Need more help with your internal communications video strategy? Sign up now for our upcoming Video Like a Boss webinar!