Video Studio Set up

Video Studio Setup

Are you struggling to make videos because you can’t find the right place to film? Having a go-to video studio setup has been a game-changer for me. It’s helped me create videos super efficiently, because I know I can go back to the same spot and get a shot I’m happy with every time.

But it can be hard to know where the best place to shoot your videos is when you’re starting out. Not everyone lives or works in a place that looks like a YouTube studio or has Instagram-worthy backdrops, so how can you find what works for you?

I’ve created a list of five questions you can use to check if a location is right for you to shoot your video. This is the exact process I’ve been through to create my perfect video studio setup, so I know it can work for you too.

#1 Are you sitting comfortably?

First, ask yourself how comfortable you are. How are you going to feel filming in the space? Is it private? Are people going to be able to see you? Can anyone hear you? Does that bother you?

If you feel uncomfortable, it’ll come across on screen AND you won’t want to go back to that space to do more filming. The main idea is to find somewhere that you can regularly return to.

PRO TIP: Give yourself a few options of places know you’ll feel comfortable filming in. It could be your kitchen, your office, your garden, your bedroom, or your studio, or a room you can use or book out at work. Just get a shortlist going.

#2 Is it noisy?

Next think about noise. No matter how great the location, if it’s noisy, it’s out. You have to either get rid of the noise (ie. wait for the dishwasher to finish) or move somewhere else.

We regularly filter out familiar noises without even realising: sounds like air con units, printers, fans, dogs barking, or a busy road just don’t even register.

But they can be really distracting on video, and it’s only when we play back our recording we realise that those noises are really annoying and people can’t hear what we’re talking about!

PRO TIP: Do a sound check in each location so you can listen back and make sure there aren’t going to be any nasty noises when you start shooting.

#3 Is there good light?

Now you need to think about light. When you’re starting out, natural light is perfect. It’s free and flattering. So look for big sources of light you can stand in front of, like large windows, conservatories, glass doors, anywhere that’s going to give you lots of light.

If you’re not relying on natural light, and using artificial lights, then you’ve got a bit more flexibility about your location, because you can move the lights to wherever you need them.

Just remember, natural light changes depending on the weather, the season, and even the time of day. It’s a good idea to stand in front of your light source and take a few test shots at different times of day, so you can work out when the light looks best for you.

PRO TIP: Make sure the light is on your face, not behind you, or you’ll end up looking dark.

#4 Anything distracting in the shot?

If you’ve found somewhere that meets the last 3 requirements, you’ll be feeling, sounding and looking good!

The main question to ask yourself now is – is there anything distracting behind you? If so, move it out of your shot! Other things you might want to look out for are checking you don’t have anything coming out of your head when you’re sitting in position.

PRO TIP: Put any visible screens on a static page, and mute or turn off notifications on any devices to minimise distractions while you’re recording.

#5 Does it feel like me?

Now your background is clear, it’s time to do a little set design. The question to ask yourself here is – how can I make this space feel like me? Stuff behind you creates context and character, so resist the urge to strip out your setup.

For example, I’ve started putting up some of my kids artwork because they add some lovely colour to my background, but they’re also a strong but subtle cue that I’m a working mum. Those small bits of visual information can help make us more relatable to our viewers.

You don’t want it to look too cluttered, but think about what small items you might be able to include in your setup to create a space that conveys something about who you are.

PRO TIP: I think it’s also quite useful to have the odd thing in the shot that makes it clear what you do at a glance. I have a clapperboard in my shot, so it’s obvious I’m talking about video.

Time to hit record!

If you’ve checked off those five questions you should have a pretty awesome video studio setup right now! Locating and creating a go-to filming spot will save you so much time and frustration, because now you’ve worked out where it is, you can return to it again and again for all your filming, safe in the knowledge that your videos are going to look and sound great.

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