Are you new to at-home video recording? Not sure how to go about shooting a great video or what gear you'll need to get the job done? Here are my key elements for building an easy at-home studio for video shoots.
Key element 1: Location, location, location
It's really important to find (or build, if needed) a quiet and aesthetically pleasing place to film. You only need to focus on the few feet behind you in the shot, so there is no need to rent out a fancy studio space. My content has a lot of elements edited into the video (like Excel screenshots and images) so, if you're like me and want your content to show up clearly, look for a blank, light-colored wall to film against. If you're looking to create a cozy scene, I recommend scouting things around your house like a plant, rug, lamp, and building a little set.
Key element 2: Visual details
Believe it or not, you can create fantastic content with a smart phone. The key here is making sure your camera lens is clean and you're well framed for the type of content you are creating. When I record my vertical TikTok content with the Excel screen above my head, I typically frame myself on the bottom half of the shot with blank space above me. When I'm filming courses with a horizontal shot, I'll center myself or be off to one side depending on if I am looking to add other elements into the frame.
To make an even better visual impression, start with one of these professionally designed video templates from Clipchamp and Microsoft Create and then edit in your own video clips.
Key element 3: Lighting placement and gear
Bad lighting can easily ruin a video. If you're working in a room that has direct sunlight, you want that sunlight facing you—never behind you or off to one side. If you're in a room with complicated lighting, you can always shut the shades and add a ring light into the space. I recommend getting a ring light that has a little spot to hold your phone while recording.
Key element 4: Audio gear and tips
If you plan on sitting close to your camera, you can use your smartphone to film yourself and record your audio. However, if you plan on being further away from your camera (or phone, if that's what you want to film with), I recommend adding a separate microphone to your setup to retain good sound quality. When I'm doing this, I'll hook my microphone up to my laptop and use a voice recording app to record my audio while my phone records my visual. Here's a pro tip I learned if you're recording in a large open space with hardwood floors (which can create an echo): Lay blankets around you on the ground to stop the sound from bouncing.
There you have it! Just a few helpful tips for setting up your at-home studio space.