Ever wondered how to nail that camera setup for your talking head videos and video podcasts, whether you’re wielding a high-end camera, a trusty webcam, or even just your smartphone? If you have, welcome to the Crush it on Camera series, where I, Meredith Marsh, am on a mission to help you look good, sound good, and feel good on camera. Let’s dive into the details of setting up your camera like a pro, shall we?
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Rule of Thirds: The Game-Changer in Framing
In my Crush it on Camera guide, I have some diagrams of angles and spacing and also how to frame yourself on camera. So right now I’m talking specifically about talking head style videos and video podcasts where you’re a solo person on camera speaking to the camera. No matter what camera you’re using, a real camera, a webcam, or your phone, framing yourself in the box of that your recording is relatively easy. But there is a detail that’s often overlooked because it’s a very minor detail, but it makes a huge difference in looking polished on camera and having your videos have a a pro looking look. And what I’m talking about here is the Rule of Thirds.
This is something that can be applied whether you’re recording into your computer, on a Zoom call, using your web cam, doing a video podcast, or you just set your phone up in your kitchen and hit the record button. So just visualize your camera frame being broken up into thirds. And for a talking head video, just put yourself in the middle horizontally speaking. But your head really should be up on the upper third line.
So to make it really easy, just kind of align your eyes with that upper line. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you might have to adjust the height of your tripod or your Master Mount or adjust the angle of your camera. What you’re trying to do is avoid a ton of extra space above your head, which can be kind of distracting and unbalanced feeling. So whether you want mostly your head in the frame or your head in your upper torso or your whole body. We’re going for balance.
Angles: Unleashing Your Personal Flair
Angles matter more than you might think. Explore different options to find your sweet spot, whether it’s a headshot or including your upper torso. Balancing your frame is key, and while it might be a personal preference, experimenting with angles can make a huge difference in how your audience perceives you. Have fun with it – it’s a minor detail with major impact.
Creating a Conversational Look: My Personal Touch
For me, creating a conversational vibe is everything. I want my viewers to feel like we’re having a casual chat across a table. Achieving this involves positioning my camera a bit more than an arm’s length away, slightly above my head, and angled down. Oh, and I’ve recently fallen in love with using a teleprompter for a flawless delivery. It’s not a 100% necessity, but the flattering look and angle it provides work wonders for talking head videos.
Resolution Reality Check: Quality vs. Quantity
Let’s dive into the technicalities, shall we? 4K may seem like the golden standard, but the reality check is, for talking head videos on YouTube, 1080p is more than sufficient. Don’t fall into the resolution trap – it’s not just about the highest number. And for your frame rate, 30 frames per second (or 25 in the UK) is the sweet spot for that smooth, visually pleasing result. Let your phone or webcam do their thing, but if you’re on a DSLR or mirrorless, manual mode might be your playground.
Congratulations, you’ve now mastered the art of setting up your camera for talking head and video podcast style videos. From the rule of thirds to finding your ideal angles and embracing a conversational look, these details may seem small, but they pack a punch in elevating your on-screen presence. Don’t forget to fine-tune your camera settings, keep that resolution realistic, and stay tuned for the juicy details on sounding amazing and achieving the perfect lighting setup – it’s all part of the Crush It on Camera series. Now, go ahead, implement these tips, and get ready to crush it on camera!