There are many good reasons to create amateur videos. You might have an extremely limited budget, you might be going for an authentic aesthetic vibe, or you may be trying to make the most of your content marketing strategy as a small business with limited revenue.
That’s perfectly okay. You don’t need to drop thousands of dollars on a camera, nor do you need a high-end video production studio to create videos for you. That said, if you want your videos to be effective, it’s important to spend time improving your appearance and making your videos look more professional.
Consider Hiring a Video Production Partner
Though they can be expensive, it’s worth considering hiring a video production partner. Professional videographers in video marketing agencies tend to have all the resources, staff members, and expertise necessary to create masterful videos on your behalf. Oftentimes, they more than pay for themselves, since your videos end up looking better and performing better.
Otherwise, you can try the following strategies to make your amateur videos look better.
Upgrade Your Gear
Consider upgrading your video gear. Your video equipment is largely responsible for how your video is filmed and how it looks; you may be an expert at reciting the script and you may have great actors working by your side, but if your gear is totally unprofessional or if you don’t know how to use it properly, your videos are going to look shabby.
These are some of the best pieces of equipment to focus on:
- Camera. Obviously, you know you need a good camera. Some cameras are strictly better than others, capturing higher resolution imagery with greater reliability and a host of built-in features to make filming easier. And for the most part, you get what you pay for; for a better video creation experience, don’t be afraid to pay more for a better camera.
- Tripod. The tripod is not a sophisticated piece of equipment, but it is an important one. You need to make sure that your camera is not going to move during filming, and that you can transport it and manipulate it much easier.
- Microphone. Most cameras do have built-in microphones, but these microphones aren’t always great at capturing sound. For a more professional appearance, it’s a good idea to invest in a standalone microphone design specifically for capturing high fidelity audio.
- Lighting. Do you have dedicated lighting for your video studio space? As we will see, lighting makes a big difference in the appearance of your set, so it pays to splurge in this area.
- Software. Finally, think about the editing software you’re using to create your video. There are several free options that grant amateurs ample tools to edit and polish their created videos; but these may not offer all the features you need to be successful creating your videos, nor are they necessarily easy to work with.
Get the Lighting Perfect
Get the lighting perfect – or close to perfect. Lighting is one of the easiest distinguishing factors to note when comparing the videos of an amateur to the videos of a professional. Oftentimes, amateurs rely on natural lighting and existing lighting in whichever room they’re filming to produce all the lighting effects they need for the video. But it’s usually much better if you have supplementary lighting options that allow you to illuminate your subject matter clearly and provide more aesthetic appeal.
Apply Some Makeup
If you’re the one on screen, you should consider applying a small amount of makeup, even if you’re not used to wearing makeup on a regular basis. Makeup ensures that the lighting hits your face properly and can improve your image as it appears on camera – plus, it’s inexpensive and it only takes a few minutes to apply.
Improve Your Posture and Movements
Improving your posture can make you feel more confident. Stand up straight with your shoulders back and try to maintain eye contact with the camera. Don’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when articulating yourself, as long as you do so sparingly. If you do this, you’ll look much more confident and therefore much more competent.
Do Multiple Takes
Get multiple takes, even if you feel like you nailed your part the first time. This way, you’ll be able to see multiple different variations of your performance so you can better understand and improve your work. Plus, you’ll have more options to potentially include in the finished piece.
Finally, take the time to get feedback from as many people as possible. Talk to your fellow video collaborators, show the video to your friends and family members, and test the video with a live audience. What do people think of this video? Are there any things most people agree could be improved?
Every video you create is going to be a learning opportunity, presenting new lessons and new challenges for you to consider. As long as you remain dedicated to the art of professional video production, you’ll remain on the path of improving your skills and becoming more appealing to your target audience.