Best Practices For Recording Videos With Or Without Professional Equipment

Karmen Clark
May 2, 2017

Recording videos for your brand or company is a great way to expand your reach, and influence a larger audience. It is currently easier than ever to film and post your own high-quality videos, without the help of professionals.

Before you pick up the camera, or even your phone to film, there are a few best practices that you should keep in mind. There are 8 best practices that you can follow to optimize your ability to film and produce videos. You will be well on your way to filming great content in no time!

We did not want to make a post that was boring, so we have attached example images to keep the post light!

When Recording Videos, Follow These Steps:

Step 1: Avoid Clutter

Step 2: Frame With Distance

Step 3: Use Angles to Your Advantage

Step 4: A Good Set Starts With Stability

Step 5: Watch Your Back...... -ground!

Step 6: Set Up Proper Lighting

Step 7: Think About Timing

Step 8: Be Sure We Can Hear You With Proper Sound!

Before You Film: Find A Space That Is:

  • Noise Free!
    • Do not be afraid to let people in your surroundings know that you are about to record a video so they will know not to be too loud!
  • a place that you can consistently use to record videos, this way you will be able to have videos looking consistent throughout
  • Make sure that there's nobody else in the shot unless they are part of the video

Step 1: Avoid Clutter

There is nothing worse than appearing cluttered or disorganized in your videos. You want to convey a positive and clean image to your audience, you don't want to be stumbling around in a pile of junk

    • When you are filming, be sure to have a clean and uncluttered workspace.
    • If you have props in the video, keep them neatly laid out and organized.
    • This keeps the focus on you!

* clutter may be exaggerated for learning purposes

Step 2: Distance

Your audience needs to see you, but they don't need to be squinting in order to locate you on the screen. Try not to stand too far away from the camera, or even worse, too close to the camera. A safe distance away makes the viewer feel comfortable like they are interacting with another person, rather than an up-close view of your nose-hairs.

  • Be aware of the distance between you and the camera. If you are too far away, you will appear smaller and viewers could get distracted by the background.
  • With that said, avoid filming with the camera too close to your face.
  • Just right! You want to be a medium distance away from the camera, as you see below.

Step 3: Angles

Unless you are filming at an odd angle for effect, try to maintain a frame that rests at eye level with your audience. A flat and level angle will keep your viewer focused on you, and it will not distort the proportions of your body. Your viewer wants to see you, not the ceiling.

  • Do not film from extreme angles. You want the camera to be level or slightly above and in front of you.
  • When you film from high above, it will make your head look larger.
  • When you film from below, your body will appear larger.

Try and stay level to appear in proportion by having the camera around EYE LEVEL.

  • Not too high! Not too low!

Step 4: Stability

Filming with a shaky, “home video” style worked well in horror films such as The Blair Witch Project. However, for the everyday vlogger, it is best to keep the camera still at all times. You don't want to distract your viewer with an unsteady hand. Have your camera sit on a still surface, or prop it up on. a tripod.

  • You may want to invest in smartphone tripods. Keep in mind, you get what you pay for, so most of the time quality does come at a cost.
  • You want the camera to stay still and in place for the entire film. Eyes are trained to follow even the slightest movement, so any tilting or shaking will distract a viewer. It will also distort the shot.

Step 5: Background

It is a best practice to keep your background fresh and clean in appearance. Film against a wall, ideally white or lighter in colour. Even if your background is clean, your viewers can easily become distracted by household objects in their field of vision, or scenery when filming outdoors.

  • When filming, make sure your background is not too distracting.
  • Pick a spot you can consistently use to establish a consistent brand image. When people think of your videos, you don't want them to think of a cluttered background.
  • A light, clean, clear background is best.

Step 6: Lighting

First thing's first: Lighting > Camera

Lighting is the most important step in recording videos at home. Shadows and dim lighting can easily ruin a frame. Your viewer should be able to see you clearly, they should not see a poorly lit silhouette of you.

  • You do not need professional camera to get a professional video quality, you just need to know how light works
  • I know it's hard to find perfect lighting when you do not own any lighting equipment, so treat this recommendation as a series of flexible principles rather than strict rules
  • To really upgrade the look of the video, buy 2 of these lights
    • LimoStudio Lights Price: $30 USD each
    • Watch the tutorial video here!
      • Video Credits to Think Media TV
      • Skip to the 30second mark to see the effect of the lights!
    • Place them like so
  • Avoid lighting that falls directly on top of you or lighting that is positioned slightly to the side of your face. This causes long and exaggerated shadows to fall on your face.
  • If you want to get affordable lighting equipment, that might be the fastest and easiest way to be sure you always have professional lighting.
  • You do not need a professional camera to get professional video quality

Step 7: Timing With Talking

If you are recording videos where you will be listing things or conveying a large amount of information to your viewers, speak slowly. Leave a few seconds in between your content, so that your viewer can process what you have said, or in some cases, so they can write it down.

  • Leave five seconds as a pause at the beginning and end of the video, so it's easier to cut while editing
  • Pause briefly after if you are listing anything, so you can add any on-screen list in post-production while you speak.
  • Pause briefly after if you are listing anything, so the reader can read an on-screen list as you speak.
  • Pause after long sequences of spoken information, try to make the pauses seem natural as you transition in what you are saying.


You will want to test how your voice sounds on camera before you post your video. If you are speaking into a microphone, keep it a reasonable distance away from the camera, to avoid a shrill, squeaking noise.

You want your audience to hear what you have to stay, and you do not want to fade in and out. Stay still and speak as you normally would in a conversation, to avoid sounding too close or too far away from the mic.

Make sure the mic is on please and thank you!

Lights, Camera, Action!

Now that you have read over the best practices for recording videos and posting them, you should be confident in your new abilities and implement what you have learned. Remember, great videos aren't made overnight, and it will take a lot of trial and error before you learn what works well for you and your audience.

If you still need help with videos or are looking for a more comprehensive plan for your business to expand your online reach through video updates or other forms of content creation, give ElementIQ a call at (604) 909-3750! We are a full-service digital marketing agency, and we would be happy to assist you with all of your online marketing goals.

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