If you regularly create video content, setting up a home studio can save you a lot of time and effort.
And the good news? You don’t have to break the bank to get great results.
Later-on-video-resident video expert Alex Duncan shares his top tips for capturing video at home at the professional level – as well as all of the equipment you need to get started:
Home Video Studio Equipment Checklist
Before you begin, you need to set up the right equipment for your home video studio.
Fortunately, you can almost make a fantastic studio any Budget as long as you are willing to get a little creative.
Budget Video Picks:
Professional video picks:
Are you ready to start your YouTube strategy? Discover our top tips for creating a YouTube channel on a budget here!
19 Best Practices for Recording Videos from Home
Once you’ve got your equipment list in order, it’s time to start creating video content at home. The future videographer Alex Duncan gives his most important tips on how to transform your home into a professional studio:
Part 1: camera tips
Since most of us don’t have a professional video camera that collects dust in our closets, using a camera phone, laptop, or webcam is the next best option.
Even so, you can still get great results. Here’s how:
- Place your camera on a tripod or stable surface
- If possible, position the camera at eye level
- Leave enough space around the subject so that the video can be easily cropped for different platforms (i.e. a 16: 9 video for YouTube can be cropped into a 9:16 video for IGTV or Reels).
- Leave some space between the subject and the background. This gives depth to the shot.
- Check your phone / camera / laptop settings to make sure you are recording at the highest possible resolution.
Part 2: lighting tips
Lighting can make a subtle but huge difference in the quality of your video footage in the home, especially when recording on a phone or laptop.
How to get the best results:
- If possible, film in a location that is well lit with natural light during the day. If you can diffuse the light through translucent curtains, even better!
- Turn on all indoor lights in addition to the natural light.
- Avoid sharp shadows on the subject. Try to aim for flat, even lighting.
- If you have access to artificial light like a ring light, feel free to use it. However, be careful to avoid sharp shadows or reflections in the glasses.
- Try not to use bright lights (such as a window) behind the subject. This can cause problems with the automatic exposure of cameras.
Looking for more home studio setup inspiration? All of the 25+ guest speakers at LaterCon 2020 filmed their sessions at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Take a look at everything again here:
Part 3: audio tips
Audio quality is often an afterthought, but it can make a huge difference in the quality of a video. For best results, use an external microphone and sync your audio as you edit.
However, you can record clear audio even if you don’t have an external microphone. Here are our top tips:
- Record in a quiet place with the doors and windows closed to avoid unwanted noise.
- Record in a carpeted room or a place with lots of upholstered furniture. This helps “attenuate” the sound and reduce the echo. Similarly, avoid recording in an empty room with bare walls as this can make the sound quieter.
- If you are recording with an external microphone, clap once at the beginning of a recording. This allows you to synchronize the audio with the video.
- Place an external microphone away from the audio source (e.g. a person’s mouth). If the microphone is too close, it can cause sound distortion. In a quiet room, a distance of about half a meter should be sufficient.
- If using a clip-on microphone, clip it to the subject’s clothing and position it up towards the chin.
- Make sure that the built-in microphones are not obstructed by your hand, the tripod handle, or other objects.
Part 4: Location Tips
Your “film set” – or more simply, where you are filming – can have a huge impact on how polished and professional your final video looks.
Fortunately, you don’t have to replicate a Hollywood studio to create a strong aesthetic. Here are 3 quick tips to keep in mind:
- Look for cozy corners of your home that are intimate but not cluttered
- Use pLants, desks, ornaments, chairs, books and pillows to add character to your videos (but not all at once)
- If you don’t have a workspace, use a seamless paper background in a color that matches your brand
And that’s it! With these simple tips, you’ll be creating professional-quality video content from home in no time.
Are you going to set up your own home video studio this summer? Share your experiences with us Later Instagram account!
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Jillian is a content marketer at Later in the UK. She’s a lover of London brunch spots and an avid listener of true crime podcasts. You can connect with her on Instagram @ jillwrren.