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Tips for DIY’ers

Nicolette VajtaSo, you have your script written, you have shared it with a friend or two (or a professional script coach like me) to fine tune the content, you’ve memorized it so well you can rattle it off like the alphabet … NOW you are ready to shoot.

Dress for the part.

Are you an entrepreneur in the business world? Yoga instructor? Artist? Banker? Whatever you wear when you do your magic in the world is what you should wear for your video. But don’t wear white and don’t wear lots of patterns. White bounces too much light off of your face and patterns often get distorted.

Find a location.

Are you in your office? In your yoga studio? Outside on a hiking trail? In your bike shop? An interesting location adds to the video. Try not to shoot against a plain blank wall. It’s so boring!

And don’t push yourself way up against that plain blank wall. The video will look flat. Give yourself some space behind you; a back ground visual creates environment and depth.

The background shouldn’t be too busy, just interesting enough.

Set up your shot.

If you’re shooting yourself, take a picture or two of yourself when standing on your “mark.” Mark where you are standing with a piece of tape by your toe so you can step back into frame easily.

Make sure nothing in the back ground looks like it’s shooting out of your head.
Add in a plant or something decorative to fill in a blank area in the background.
Use a soft light in the back ground to light a dark corner.

Frame the shot.

We want to see your face and hear what you have to say, so we don’t necessarily need to see your whole body (unless you are a yoga instructor or physical therapist, etc. showing us full body exercises). A “bust shot” is most common, placing yourself in the camera frame from the bust to the top of the head, with just a little bit of space above the head.

I personally find that when you set the camera just slightly higher than your natural eye line, you get a beautiful frame and the face looks a little thinner. Looking down into your computer camera is the worst shot you can do. Don’t do that. RAISE the whole laptop on a pile of books to raise your eye line!

Then test how you feel best in the shot. Do you want to sit straight on or turn your body a bit to the left or right. I feel a slight turn of the body creates a slimming effect.

Don’t hold the camera!

Never hold your camera while shooting yourself. Oh the nausea! And don’t have a friend hold it for you either. You want a trip pod or a mount of some kind to steady the camera. Even setting the iPhone on a pile of books is better than holding it. Amazon has several iPhone Stabilizers.


Never shoot with a window behind you. Okay, never say never. If it’s night time, then you can have a window behind you. But if it’s during the day, you want the light on your face, not on your back. Turn your body around so you are facing the window.

Do not shoot with direct sunlight on your face… it’s too much light.

Night time shoots requires lighting… unless you have a light package, I encourage you to shoot during the day.


When you go pro, sound is of the utmost to make your videos, well, sound professional. An external mic helps a great deal, but I have also found that an iPhone has pretty good sound quality as you play with your own video marketing.