Vlogging Like a Pro
By: Louis J. Rebecchi
Whether you’re an aspiring YouTuber, Instagram influencer, Tik Tok booty-shaker, Twitch pro-gamer, or even a habitual Facebook Live abuser, video is your medium. Like it or not, vlogging is where it’s at! So while you may be focused on killer content, engaging conversation or smooth moves, ignoring the quality of your video production may be holding back your potential. Let’s face it, you don’t need to be Martin Scorsese to create social video content, and while these popular platforms are often forgiving to lower production values, there’s sure to be a moment when you’ll need up your production game in order to take your efforts to the next level of vlogging. Luckily, there are a few very simple ways to make sure your video content looks good, sounds good, and elevates your brand with a professional gleam.
#1 – Lighting. No one wants to look at dark and grainy video unless they’re watching a found-footage horror movie. Turn the lights on! Your viewers want to see that mug of yours! A few table lamps aren’t going to do the trick- you need nice, bright, key lighting. Get yourself a ring light. One that’s nice and big so your camera (or phone) can be mounted in the center. If you want to take it to the next level, use some fill lights to brighten up the overall scene, and shine something on the background to give it some pop. String lights are a nice way to bring some interest to boring backgrounds.
#2- Audio. Nothing says “unprofessional” like not having clean audio. Ditch the internal microphone, that’s for amateurs and noobs. Get yourself an external mic- like a lavalier (lapel mic), a mini shotgun, or the oh-so-popular Blue Yeti USB mic. The difference in audio quality will be like night and day. Take it to the next level by “deadening” up the reverb in your recording space- drop some thick rugs on the ground, hang some heavy blankets on the walls and fill in the space with couches and soft furniture.
#3- Editing Software. Unless you are only live-streaming, you are likely already using some editing software, and you’re probably versed enough to cut simple takes together. But you shouldn’t stop there- you can also use your editing software to smooth out those cuts, add simple transitions, and clean up the overall presentation. The next level move? Adjusting the color and levels on your clips. You can use the various tools provided in your software to color balance, brighten up your image, give it more contrast, saturation, and overall make it look a whole lot more professional!
With vlogging, every video content creator is a video producer, whether you want to be or not (or you have some great help!). Making these simple adjustments to your production process will go a long way in making your videos look and sound professional, without requiring too much of a learning curve- so you can get back to focusing on content!