Video Tips for Beginners

3This Wednesday, October 15th, we will hold our next monthly seminar on learning the basics of creating internal videos. We know that many professionals are tasked with the burden of making in-house videos even though they might lack the necessary skills for doing so. An important fact to note is that the quality of your video says a lot about the quality of your product or service. Just because you don’t use a professional video service to produce your video doesn’t mean it can’t look professional, as long as you put the time and effort into following some basic beginner shooting rules.



It’s likely that you won’t have the necessary equipment to properly light a shot, so it’s important to know what kind of natural light is the best for shooting in. In general, direct sunlight is going to create intense shadows and is not a flattering option. The exception is early morning or late evening, often referred to as “Golden Hour. ” Typically, overcast days provide complimentary lighting. You can also buy a cheap reflector (such as a piece of white poster-board) to fill in shadows. If, on the other hand, you do have access to lighting equipment, check out this blog on basic lighting tips.


Don’t skimp on the tripod. This is one of the most important purchases you will make, so choose wisely. Tripods come in two parts that you’ll typically have to buy separately: the legs, also called “sticks,” and the head. Buy legs that will support twice the maximum weight of your camera and a fluid head that will allow you to pan and tilt smoothly. It’s a common beginner mistake to buy a cheap tripod, and it shows. Don’t be that person.

Plan your Shots

Whether this is in the form of a storyboard or just a shot list, it’s good to have a clear idea of what shots you want to include and the best way to capture them. The more you practice, the better sense you’ll have of seeing shots as the camera sees them.


Picture an imaginary grid with two vertical lines and two horizontal lines dividing your shot into nine equal sections. The Rule-of-Thirds states that for the most interesting shot, subjects should be placed at the points of intersection on the grid. This is a good basic rule to follow when planning how things should be placed in a shot.


If you’re going to do matched-action shots, (someone starts an action and the camera cuts to a shot of the action continuing from a different angle), make sure that you shoot the complete action from both angles. A common mistake is shooting from one angle only up to where you think you’re going to cut, then starting the action in the middle from the next angle. The problem with this is that it’s really difficult to get the exact positioning correct. It’s often obvious when the action isn’t matched perfectly, resulting in a jump cut. It’s possible to use jump cuts purposefully to convey meaning, but oftentimes this isn’t what the director is going for and it just creates confusion and pulls your viewer out of the story.


These are just a few concepts to keep in mind when shooting. For a more extensive, hands-on learning experience, register for our Video Production for Beginners seminar. We hope to see you there!


  1. This is some really good information about video production. My little cousin is thinking about going to film school. I liked that you pointe doubt that it is good for him to now that he needs statable shots. So having a tripod is important. I wonder if he could talk to a professional video production company for advice about how to get started.

  2. It’s interesting how you point out that tripods typically come in two parts that you’ll typically have to buy separately. My best friend is getting married this summer, and they want to have a really nice wedding video to help them remember their big day. I’m not sure anyone really knows how to make great videos, even with a tripod, so it would probably be best if they hire a professional to come and capture the magic.

  3. My sister told me that she’ll be needing to shoot a video to promote her app. She has created a fitness app to help moms who have gained weight after giving birth. She plans to rent a studio since she doesn’t want to use her own house or rooms for others to see. To help her create an impressive video, I like that you mentioned that it is important to have a list of the ideas that you have first before shooting to have better results. I will definitely share this tip with her. Thanks!

  4. You make a great point that it’s important to know what kind of natural light is the best for shooting in. My friend is getting married next month, and she wants to have a really beautiful video of the big day. Since we don’t really know much about lighting, it would be best if we hired a professional to make a nice video for her and her husband.

  5. It’s great that you elaborated on the ways you can improve your video production skills. Lighting really is one of the most important things you can improve on because it can make your picture so much more clear. I would imagine it’s beneficial for some business’ to hire an AV company to help them with their videos.

  6. Derek Dewitt on said:

    I want to shoot a short film this summer, so thanks for these tips. I like your point about using a storyboard to plan your shots. I’ll be sure to create one of these so it’s easier to convey what I want.

  7. Thank you for suggesting that you want to make sure you have the right lighting. Making sure you get the best video production possible seems important. Hopefully, people look into finding the best companies possible to help with this.

  8. I appreciate your tip to try and practice as much as you can when it comes to lining up your shots. My daughter is getting married in a couple of weeks and she wants someone to film her wedding. Since I don’t have a lot of practice yet, I will be sure to hire a professional!

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