One of my most favorite things to do is creating video. From the moment I received my MacBook, I fell in love with PhotoBooth, which allowed me to play around on video with a young(er) Ayva. When my good friend taught me how to use edit using iMovie…oh, you couldn’t tell me anything! It didn’t help that the video she taught me to edit on was the one that I submitted for my audition to become an iVillage iVoice (and y’all know how that turned out!). From that point on, I started vlogging regularly. Now, while every video Ayva and I make doesn’t end up on the old blog here, I’m saving them so that as she gets older, we have a super cool record of her life and our experiences together!
If you are interested in creating videos to capture memories, or to add a new flavor to your blog, here are a few tips that will come in handy:
1. Edit Is Your Friend – Making a video and sharing it is simple, right? You sit in front of a camera, talk, and then toss it up on YouTube. Easy peasy. Well, you could certainly do that, but the probability of someone watching your entire 10 minute video talking about your favorite t.v. show, or your thoughts on the upcoming election is low. Remember, we live in the age of Twitter and 140 characters. You are VERY interesting, I’m sure, but people that don’t know you aren’t going to be as accepting of the way you go off on a tangent the way that your friends would be. You can talk as much as you want, just edit out all of the fluff and make your video nice and tight and on topic. Typically you should try to shoot for 3 minutes or less if it’s just you talking.
2. Light Is Your Best Friend – I am by no means the expert on great lighting in video. My most popular video, Sh*t Mom Bloggers Say, has the most terrible lighting known to man. I don’t have the best eye for light, but I’m working really hard on getting better because I know how important it is. No one wants to look at a dark video. My recommendation is to shoot in the daytime when there’s plenty of sun. Make sure that the light is behind the camera, as opposed to behind the subject being recorded. If you have to shoot at night or indoors, you may have to pull lamps from other rooms to add enough light for your shoot. I have lots of experience with taking lampshades off and precariously stacking them on top of things in order to get decent light because my old house had outrageously bad ligthing. Fortunately, the light in Northern California is amazing, so my latest videos have been much better!
3. Having A Camera Helps– When you are first getting started, like me, you’ll use anything that records to create video. The Photobooth feature on my computer was actually not the best for creating videos to share. When I uploaded the videos to YouTube or any other site, the quality of picture and sound diminished greatly. Now I use a Flip UltraHD Video Camera, and a Canon HD Camcorder. I keep the Flip in my purse at all times to for on the go videos, and, honestly, I’m still learning the Canon, but I hope to start using that more often because the video quality is so much better!
4. Save Yourself Some Headaches, Get a Tripod. – I know there are tons of other great tools that a real videographer would encourage you to get, but the thing that changed my vlogging tremendously was a tripod! I actually have two different tripods, a Joby GorillaPod FlexibleTripod, and an AmazonBasics 60-inch Lightweight Tripod with a Bag. Instead of spending 20 minutes trying to stack enough books on a chair to get a good shot, I can worry about whether or not my afro is lopsided! Seriously, if you’re serious about vlogging, get a tripod. For less than $25, you can really step your game up.
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