Not every YouTuber is lucky to have a big film crew to follow them around and make sure that their lighting is right or that the camera’s distance is perfect. For many YouTubers, especially vloggers, filming is largely a one-man operation. A solo vlogger is responsible for controlling their own filming, lighting and editing.
Here are five tips to consider when filming solo, especially vlogs, for YouTube.
Get The Right Equipment
You don’t need to splurge on a cinema-quality camera to get the best results. Since you’re filming alone, many DSLRs can do the job without needing someone else to figure it out and work the cinematography for you. Some recommended cameras on a budget include a Canon 7D, 60D or T3i. Also, make sure that your tripod is sturdy and works with various heights.
Keep Your Distance
Another thing to consider when filming alone is the distance between you and the camera. How you space yourself will either make or break the quality of your product. Lamarr Wilson, who hosts a YouTube tech vlog Monday through Friday, told NMR that it’s important to have enough space when filming solo. Wilson says: “I try to make sure there is plenty of room so that I can move around easily, and so the audience can see a decent background so they don’t stare at my beautiful face the whole time. I sit about 3 feet from my camera so that the audio quality isn’t lost, but not closer than that or it gets a bit scary to be that close!”
Have Consistent Lighting
Just because you’re filming alone doesn’t mean you should neglect other responsibilities. Lighting yourself for filming is crucial in making your video bright and visible. Wilson uses two soft boxes that are the same distance as his camera, but only uses 60w bulbs for lighting. He adds,“The background is also lit up with daylight light so it appears even and natural. I never open the shades behind the camera anymore so the lighting is consistent, even if I have to film at night, no one would know.”
Find The Right Angle
Should you film up close? Should you film far away? Should you film at eye level? Those are the many questions that solo YouTubers ask themselves when finding the right angle for their vlogs and skits. The answer depends on how you want to portray yourself on-camera. If you’re looking to have a conversation-like video with your viewers, then eye level works. If you want your viewers to see you as more reliable, then focus the camera slightly to the side.
Know How To Edit Well
Working solo doesn’t mean you can slack on editing. It may be a lot of work, but knowing how to edit well using Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro will make your one-man YouTube channel flow much smoother. Wilson explains: “One of the most important things for me is to check and double check while I’m filming that everything is on, like the mic, and that I actually hit record. Too many times I have rushed it and got back to the computer only to discover a messed up video, and I have to do it again. So taking a minute to double check everything is so important.”