The right stuff for videography work.
It’s safe to assume that you’ll always need a video or DSLR camera to get started, but due to the unpredictable nature of videography, you’ll need a good familiarity with gear. Make routine use of the gear listed here to build skills and familiarity that will help you react better in the moment and get the best shots for your next video project. Depending on the type of event you cover, some equipment will be more essential than others, but each serves a role in producing high-quality video content.
A foundational piece of any shoot, a stabilizer reduces video camera movement and makes your shots consistently steady, whether you use a tripod, Steadicam, or mount. As both documentarians and wedding videographers know, some events respond well to the handheld style of filming, but it’s helpful to keep a stabilizer on hand for times when you need to set up certain shots beforehand.
Proper lighting is essential to keep the visual quality of your clips high. “You may want to bring your own lighting, depending on how big a setup it is, so there won’t be any flicker,” says Ingram. If it’s a DIY project or your crew doesn’t include a lighting director, you may need to speak with the venue coordinator to get a sense of how much light you’ll be working with.
“On-camera microphones for videographers are super helpful,” says Miller. Certain mics work better in specific environments and conditions. More often than not, shotgun mics prove to be one of the most effective camcorder tools for sound capture due to their ability to block sounds from the rear and sides while prioritizing the sound in the front. Excellent sound production isn’t limited to just one method, technique, or piece of equipment, so use and gather as many of them as possible to learn what you need to capture crisper audio in the situations you work in.
Although it doesn’t have the same artistic direction as cinematography, videography deals with certain stylistic choices, including the type of shots that appear in your work. Depending on the project’s needs, bring different lenses along when you shoot to show your subject in a different light and keep your viewers on the edge of their seats. If possible, use a shot list to keep track and stay organized during your project.
Since video uses a considerable amount of footage, make sure you bring backup memory or SD cards in the event you run out of space on your camera.
Tips for budding videographers.
Videography requires versatility. Besides sometimes being their own camera operator, videographers must have comprehensive knowledge and skills in many different areas, accounting for the lack of resources readily available and the chaotic nature of live events. Here are some skills that will help:
Stay on your toes.
Things don’t always go according to plan, so videographers need to be prepared for anything, especially given the nature of what they cover: slice-of-life moments that usually can’t be reshot. “You need to learn how to think quickly on your feet and make something as good as you can with what you have,” says Miller.