As everyone in the real estate industry knows, it’s location, location, location. It’s almost as important for video blogs. As our desired outcome is a professional, not perfect, blog, we’re not looking to set up a little studio; but your surroundings on camera can significantly affect the quality of your presentation.
In the Equipment blog, I mentioned that we don’t suggest using a laptop’s built-in camera, as it limits your ability to place the camera. Here’s why it’s a big deal: It is much easier and cheaper to spend some time choosing the right location than it is to cover for a bad location. You can set the camera in many more locations on a tripod than when you’re stuck using a desk or table for laptop support.
Put the camera on the tripod and try some practice shots in different locations – think of it like a screen test. Get in position and speak on camera for a minute. It doesn’t matter what you say, but speak at a normal level and move or gesture as you normally would.
Avoid a busy location. Find a place with some privacy. The fewer distractions there are for you, the easier it will be to maintain your concentration. People working in your line of sight can throw you off very easily. You won’t be as worried about your mistakes, as there won’t be people there to witness them.
Take a look at the background – try not to have an open window behind you, as cars or people walking by could cause a distraction for your viewer, and the unfiltered light from outside often causes the blogger to be in shadow. Also, does the background of the shot reflect the professional image you’re trying to showcase? A wall with awards or plaques may be just fine, but unless you sell auto parts, maybe take down the racy calendar.
Shooting a “screen test” can also reveal locations that have audio problems that you don’t normally notice. You get used to the background noise in your office over time, but the camera will pick up echoes, machine noise, phones ringing and other distracting sounds you’ve learned to filter out.
A screen test will also highlight lighting problems. Shadows, green skin from fluorescent lighting, etc. are all common problems in video blogs, and can sometimes be fixed by simply changing location.
If you find more than one good location, feel free to mix it up – a location that works great for one person may not work for a two-shot. But, you can certainly treat a specific location as part of your “look,” so if you have more than one person from your office doing video blogs, they still look like they represent a single company.
We hope this gives you some good ideas for where to shoot your next video blog. If you’ve got any questions, please contact us.