What is a medium shot?
Learn how to use a medium shot in your videos.
Also called a waist shot or a mid-shot, a medium shot in film and tv is a type of camera shot that shows the subject from the waist up. Medium shots draw attention to both the character and their surroundings by giving them equal space in the frame. Learn more about this type of shot — plus, when and how to use it to enhance your videos.
Put medium shots to work.
Medium shots are a creative and impactful way to make your film angles more dynamic. Here are some tips for when to use a medium shot.
- Smooth your transitions: Instead of abruptly cutting from a wide shot to a close-up, insert a medium shot to ease the transition for your audience.
- Balance your composition: Medium shots give you the right perspective to highlight your character while also showcasing the context of their world. For instance, use medium shots if you’re trying to capture actors interacting with their surroundings to emphasize both the action and the context.
- Emphasize body language: With a medium shot in film, you get enough distance from your subject to show the subtleties of their facial expressions and body language without being so zoomed out that details are lost.
- Show multiple characters: Several characters don’t fit in a closely zoomed frame, and in a wide shot it’s harder to capture the drama of the interaction. Medium shots are great for capturing dialogue between multiple characters — close enough to see facial and bodily responses while far enough to get a full picture.