Capturing a Great Shot

Capturing a Great Shot

Once you’re ready to start filming, there are a few simple things to  keep in my mind when setting up your shots.  Follow these tips and you will end up with a compelling, visually dynamic shot every time.


-Whether you’re shooting indoors or outdoors, it’s important to control the lighting so that your subject is clearly lit and properly exposed.

-Indoors: If you’re shooting inside, try to shoot in a room that has lots of natural light or sufficient artificial lighting.  Also consider placing a lamp at a 45-degree angle from the camera and pointing it towards your face.  This will give you a little separation from the background, and will ensure that your face isn’t lost in murky shadows.

-Outdoors: Direct sunlight can create very harsh shadows on your face, which can be distracting and can distort your appearance.  Consider shooting in the shade if it’s a bright, sunny day.    If you do have to shoot in the sun, try to arrange your shot so that the sun hits the side or the front of your face.  If the sun is behind you, your face will be dark and shadowy.

Framing: Background

-Be selective about where you shoot your interview.  Try to include objects in the frame that are interesting, or relevant to your subject.  Also try to minimize blank, empty spaces in the frame.

-The rule of thirds.  Rather than placing the point of interest in the dead center of your frame, consider aligning it according to the rule of thirds.  This is a photography concept that is used to create a well-balanced shot that feels natural to our eyes.  If you divide the frame into a grid-box with a line every 1/3 of the frame, the strongest points are at the intersection of these lines.  Keep this in mind when setting up the frame of your shot.


Get A Friend to Help

-It is immensely helpful to have someone else behind the camera while you are in front of it.  They can help quality-check your performance, and can spot any problems that you might not notice yourself.


And finally, don’t be afraid to play around.  If you’re unsure about the best angle to film something from, experiment!  Shoot it from a number of different angles so that you have options to work with when you edit.