Tips for Recording Yourself on Video
SAM has compiled the following tips for recording yourself on video. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to SAM at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHOOSING YOUR IDEAL SHOOTING LOCATION
- Find a location that is well-lit with natural sunlight or plenty of indoor lighting.
- Choose a quiet location with little background noise (street sounds, music, other people).
- Avoid spaces with lots of echo.
- Turn off air conditioners and heaters to avoid fan noise.
- Provide a seat for yourself that is stationary and quiet (no chairs with wheels/swivels, overstuffed cushions, or squeaky screws).
SETTING UP YOUR PHONE / CAMERA
- Set your laptop, phone, or camera on a tripod or steady surface (please do not hold your camera while shooting to avoid shaky footage).
- Shoot horizontally (use landscape mode and avoid portrait mode).
- Position camera at eye level (if you can, avoid angles where the camera lens is looking up or down on you).
- Choose a non-distracting background (avoid windows, showing other people, posters/signs that can be read etc).
- Shoot in daylight if possible.
- Position yourself so windows or your main light sources are facing you, not behind you.
- Avoid overhead lights.
- When shooting indoors, consider using a ring light that clips to your computer/phone to help light your face.
- Look at the camera at all times.
- Keep your hand movements to a minimum.
- Stand/sit up straight.
- Keep your hands to your side or gently folded in front of you (no crossed arms).
- Keep your shoulders relaxed.
- Smile, especially at the beginning and the end of each response.
- When answering question prompts, please rephrase the question at the beginning of your response instead of jumping right into your answer (eg, “The events scheduled for this semester will be pushed to a later date” vs. simply “They will be pushed to a later date...”).
- Start and end your answers with a second of silence, looking straight into the camera.
- Start and end your answers definitively (Avoid starting every sentence with “so's" and "um's" and ending with upward intonations, like you would when asking a question).
- Start your answer again if a noise interrupts your answer, such as a police siren or a dog barking.
- Direct your gaze to the camera.
- Consider using a teleprompter app in order to minimize looking up and down from your screen. A few to consider include: CuePrompter, PromptDog, and Promptsmart.
CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES TO AVOID
- Clothing with colors that blend in with your background
- Patterns (stripes, plaids, polka dots)
- Shiny fabrics or jewelry
- Visible labels, logos, text, images
- Wrinkled clothes
- All white or all black clothing
- Noisy accessories that could interfere with your audio
A FEW OTHER HELPFUL HINTS
- If you can, ask a friend/family member to assist you while you record.
- Do a short recording test to make sure you can see and hear yourself clearly.
- Have water handy for clearing your throat.
- A bite from an apple can help take care of a dry mouth!
- Check your video camera settings to make sure you are shooting one of three formats: 1080p at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, or 1080p at 24fps. 720p and 4k is fine too.
- On Android phones, the settings are usually in the main camera app behind the gear settings wheel
- On iPhones, the camera settings are in the main settings icon in the photos and camera section
- If you are unsure, no worries, your camera’s default setting should generally be ok.