Top 5 Shooting Tips

The key to a great shot is composition! Simply put, it’s how you set up your shot. Here’s top 5 tips to help frame your video shot:

1. Rule of Thirds.

It is one of the first things a budding videographer will learn.

The natural tendency is to place the subject dead centre of the screen BUT by following the rule of thirds you will create a more aesthetically pleasing shot.

Imagine the frame divided into 9 blocks:

 Rule of thirds 1

 Rule of thirds 2

 Rule of thirds 3

Try placing your subject on one of these imaginary lines or intersections. By placing the subject off center you will create a more attractive composition. A simple technique is placing the person’s eyes 2/3rds up the screen.

Try it out.

Following the Rule of Thirds will help with the next two suggestions.

2. Headroom.

The amount of space you leave above the subject’s head from the top of the frame. Too much space makes the shot feel awkward and too little can feel squished and uncomfortable. Try leaving about 10 percent space above the head to top of frame.

3. Speaking room.

Also know as nose room, lead room.

This is the concept of leaving more room in the frame in the direction the subject is looking.  An easy way to remember this is to imagine a speech balloon in from of the subject’s mouth like in comic books.

Get the Lighting Right

4. Lighting.

In the case of an interview shot, always make sure the subject is brighter than the background.   For example do not place them in front of a bright window if you do not have proper lighting.

5. Background.

Make sure your subject is the focus of attention.  Nothing behind is distracting or sticking out of their head or shoulders etc.

If the background is cluttered or if it’s too noisy try moving the subject to an area that compliments your subject/topic.

Remember these shooting tips are guidelines and NOT rules.  Rules are meant to be broken but only when you have a proper grasp on the rule and break it for a purpose.

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