5 things I learned as a freelance videographer

I’ve been providing video marketing services for a while now, and I’ve learned a lot about how to produce what remains one of the stickiest forms of content on the web.

Today I would like to share five key elements that I now consider the cogs and bolts of my videography service.

1. The kit is really important – but not everything

Hands up: I love the gear.

I’m especially a fan of camera kits and have spent more money than I realize on lenses, camera bodies and the myriad of extras some would say you “need” to become a great videographer.

Reality? You need a reliable kit that you are comfortable with. That means a good camera body and a few lenses to cover most situations (I use a 24-70mm telephoto and a 17mm wide angle for pretty much everything I do), a sturdy tripod, an LED light decent (on camera will usually be fine) and a micro lav or two.

Don’t spend a fortune on gear – no matter how I opened this first tip. Spending more money won’t make you a better videographer, but having a kit you know inside out will allow you to focus on the creative side of things.

2. A good story is vital

Now it doesn’t matter where your video ends up – whether it’s on YouTube, a business website, or one of the many booming video networking services – it needs a great story to bring it to fruition.

I’ve learned over the years that every company I work with has a story to tell, even if they think otherwise.

The best lighting, the most perfect setting and a very confident cast are nothing if there isn’t a great story to tell.

3. Start recording early, finish late

By that, I don’t mean “sleep an all-nighter on your next video project”, because unless it’s a business imperative, it really isn’t worth breaking the bank on video marketing.

What I’m referring to is the time you hit the red “record” button to start and end the shoot. You see, when I first started providing my videography service, I only hit the mark when everyone was ready to go. And this may seem obvious, but it presents a big problem.

You miss multiple opportunities to seize golden moments.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve captured something without people knowing about it. A joke, a nervous, unstoppable laugh, and coworker banter are examples of footage you really need in your back pocket if you want to produce a corporate video worth watching.

4. Sound matters more than visuals

While poor video quality is an absolutely heartbreaking discovery when you download it to your computer after a shoot, nothing compares to the feeling you get when the audio wasn’t recorded properly or is barely audible.

Always make sure to focus on getting decent sound during a shoot. Even the worst video quality can be partially saved if you can hear the dialogue.

As important as video marketing is, the importance of audio cannot be underestimated.

5. Batteries.

My final piece of advice is one that every videographer should forever keep in mind.

You can never have enough batteries. Never.

Buy as many as you can for your camera and make sure they are fully charged the night before a shoot. There are many things that can go wrong during filming but can be overcome. Run out of battery, though, and you’re really up the creek without a paddle.

Wrap

I hope my tips above will help you. I learned everything you just read by trying new things and often making mistakes.

But what do you think? Did I miss something obvious? Get involved by commenting below!




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