5 Things I’ve Learned as a Freelance Videographer

— July 16, 2019

5 Things I’ve Learned as a Freelance Videographer

I’ve been providing video marketing services for a while now, and I’ve learned so much about how to produce what remains one of the web’s stickiest forms of content.

Today, I’d like to share five key things which I now consider the nuts and bolts of my videography service.

1. Kit is really important – but not everything

Hands up: I love gear.

I’m particularly a fan of camera kit, and have spent more money than I care to think about on lenses, camera bodies and the myriad of extras that some would say you ‘need’ to become a great videographer.

The reality? You need reliable kit you’re comfortable with. That means a good camera body and a couple of lenses to cover most situations (I use a 24-70mm telephoto and 17mm wide-angle for virtually everything I do), a sturdy tripod, a decent LED light (on-camera will usually be fine) and a lav mic or two.

Don’t spend a fortune on gear – regardless of how I opened this first tip. Spending more money won’t make you a better videographer, but having kit you know like the back of your hand will enable you to focus on the creative side of things.

2. A good story is vital

Now matter where your video ends up – be it on YouTube, a company website or one of the many burgeoning video networking services – it needs a great story to carry it through.

I’ve learned over the years that every business I work with has a story to tell, even if they think the opposite is true.

The best lighting, most perfect setting and a highly confident cast is nothing if there isn’t a great story to tell.

3. Start recording early, finish late

By this, I don’t mean “pull an all-nighter on your next video project”, because unless that’s a commercial imperative, it really isn’t worth ruining yourself for video marketing.

What I’m referring to is the time at which you press the red ‘record’ button to start and end the filming. You see, when I started providing my videography service, I’d only hit record when everyone was ready to go. And that might sound obvious, but it presents one big problem.

You miss multiple opportunities to grab golden moments.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve captured something when people aren’t aware. An in-joke, nervous, unstoppable laughter and banter between colleagues are examples of footage you really do need in your back pocket if you’re to produce a business video worth watching.

4. Sound matters more than visuals

Although poor video quality is an absolutely heart-wrenching discovery when you upload it to your computer following a shoot, nothing compares to the feeling you get when the audio hasn’t recorded properly or is barely audible.

Always make sure you focus on getting decent audio during a shoot. Even the worst video quality can be in part saved if you can hear the dialogue.

As important as video marketing is, the importance of audio cannot be underestimated.

5. Batteries.

My last tip is one every videographer should keep forever in their mind.

You can never have enough batteries. Ever.

Buy as many as possible for your camera and ensure they’re fully charged the night before a shoot. There are lots of things that can go wrong during filming but which can be overcome. Run out of battery power, however, and you really are up the creek without a paddle.

Wrapping up

I hope my tips above help. I’ve learned everything you’ve just read by trying new things and, often, making mistakes.

But what do you think? Have I missed anything obvious? Get involved by commenting below!

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Author: Mark Ellis

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