Lights, Camera, Action: How to film your own YouTube video

It is estimated that around 300 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute, which goes without saying, is a lot of video content. YouTube, when it first launched, championed how this content could be produced by anyone and there were no video production crews needed to get your videos on the platform. Inevitably, as YouTube grew both in size as well as recognition from more mainstream forms of media, it has become more essential than ever on the platform for content to be refined. But do you really need to break the bank in order to feel like you are producing creative and compelling online video content? The simple answer is no and you don’t need a full video production crew to produce something people will want to watch. 


Lights and lighting don’t seem as important as good camera equipment or delivery skills on camera, however the difference is night and day (no pun intended). Moreover, lighting is something that can either cost you a small fortune or nothing at all, however the importance here is in the fact different content requires different lighting. Obviously if you are using a Go Pro to go down a mountain, lighting is probably the least of your video production worries but for vloggers who do a lot of pieces to camera, lighting can make all the difference. 

Studio lights are the top end of the spectrum and can set you back a fair amount of money. For those with a considerable video production budget this is equipment that is worth spending the money on as it gives a professional feel. However, this is not essential for everyone. For those on a budget, getting to an area where there is decent natural light or have lights and a plain backdrop can work just as well for a fraction (if not free) of the price. 


The next key part of filming YouTube videos is to have a good camera setup. Again, this is something that can be really make or break for your video production. As we live in an age where it seems everyone has a smartphone with a camera, the priority of needing a camera to shoot video is becoming less and less apparent. Especially as camera technology in phones is not only getting cheaper but also becoming more refined. Additionally, smartphones tend to have semi-decent microphones on them which is another essential requirement for shooting your YouTube video. 

It might be good to use a tripod or use your imagination and set up a book pile so that your video is stable. Your audience don’t want to see the shake you get after holding your phone in the same position for too long. 

So, there is almost no excuse not to start shooting video as more than likely the tool to get you going is right there in your pocket. 


Finally, we come to action. The simple fact of shooting a video is that the first few times you try it, you will feel awkward. However, this is something that everyone will experience the first few times they are being filmed. The importance when dealing with confidence in front of a camera is that the more you do it, the more it becomes like second nature. Again, your experience in front of a camera will determine your need of having a script or not. If you are talking about a very in-depth fact or data driven subject, then it may be good to have a script or notes in order to make your points concise and easy to understand. 

However, for a more general topic a script is less necessary and due to the organic nature of YouTube, the freedom to not need a script can appear more authentic to viewers. Again, these notes can be a crutch at the beginning but quickly as your confidence grows these will become less important and only needed as a rough structure.  

Although there are other aspects that go into creating a YouTube video, such as editing, if you can nail these three basic elements then your video can’t go far wrong. On a platform like YouTube, having a decent camera and lighting setup twinned with a comfortable personality when being filmed in front of the camera can prove to go a long way. So, what are you waiting for? Go grab your phone, get outside (while you can get some good light of course) and get filming your next project! 


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