In this episode, video biographer and Family Legacy Video, Inc. president Steve Pender offers some tips for folks who prefer to record their own family storytellers as opposed to hiring a professional video biography company like Family Legacy Video – perhaps because they can’t afford to hire a pro or maybe because they just prefer to do it themselves.
Tip #1: Steady as she goes.
• Mount your cell phone, DSLR, or video camera on a tripod. A shaky shot will distract viewers.
• Use a video tripod if possible.
• But – you can get away with using a camera designed for still cameras if you don’t move the camera.
Tip #2: Walk to the light!
• Use proper lighting to create a pleasing and flattering image.
• Google “Three Point Lighting” to learn more about it.
Tip #3: Shot composition: Stay close.
• Legacy videos are very intimate productions. If you frame your shot too wide, that intimacy is diminished.
• Try to go not much wider than someone’s waist.
• Vary the shot from waist high, to chest high, to shoulder high.
• Don’t go super close. That can be off-putting.
Tip #4: Use an external microphone.
• Don’t rely on your camera’s built-in microphone.
• Use a lapel mic. A consumer quality microphone is not expensive to purchase.
• A lapel mic will give you good sound, and sound quality won’t change if you move the camera closer or farther away.