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To get started with vlogging

My main goal with vlogging is to make promotional and instructional videos. So far results have been terrible, so I haven’t published anything yet, but it will hopefully get better.

I watched Udemy – Vlogging for Beginners (free course) and also noted a few things of my own:

  • Use any device you have handy. Phone or camera doesn’t matter.
    • A phone is likely better when moving around, camera if static.
    • It’s what you record that matters.
  • Look directly into the lens, not the screen or anywhere else, to achieve eye-contact. It shows if you look elsewhere.
  • If you have a flipable screen on the camera, you don’t need it, except possibly for initial framing. It can become a distraction.
  • Avoid hesitance, “hmm”ing and looking away. Be direct.
  • Framing:
    • The camera should be at eye height or slightly less.
    • Show the whole head (with a margin) as well as upper body, so hands can be visible to show things and gestures. Be careful that they get focus.
    • In a static setting the background should be neutral, calm, contrasting and fully covering.
    • The light should be on you, less on the background.
    • Set center focus and metering, so that you are in the “light”, not the background.
  • Don’t go resolution-crazy. HD (1920×1080) is quite sufficient, and looks really good.
  • The integrated microphone gives decent results if the location is overall quiet.
    • Door slamming, background talking, wind etc are easily picked up.
  • Optionally record in small sections to minimize risk of having to make long re-takes.
  • Don’t follow a word-for-word script, as you can’t read from it anyway while filming. Instead write down keywords for what you should talk about.
  • Initially edit via free tools (if at all). They are good enough if the source material is good enough.
  • Possibly show videos and pictures describing what’s being said.
    • Take photos and record silent videos.
    • Use pan and zoom to create life in the videos.
    • Optionally get stock photos and/or videos for this purpose.
  • Focus on forwarding the content, the advice and the stories.
  • Publish videos as-is initially without editing, and avoid being critical.
  • Don’t analyze results initially (viewers, followers etc).
  • Don’t ask for or worry about others’ opinions, to get creative freedom to do whatever you want to do.
  • Ignore comments from trolls.
  • Experiment with having someone control the camera, and possibly asking questions.
  • Try, try and try again. Don’t give up.