5 steps to film art videos with ease
If there’s one thing that strikes fear in the heart of creatives everywhere, it’s the thought of being on camera. Right? Me included!
So many of us are introverts, meaning we don’t necessarily feel “in the zone” when that camera is pointed at us. But we’ve got to face facts, video and live streaming are two of the most effective ways to market your creative business. And if you want art workshops to be one of your income streams, they’re non-negotiable. Even if you’re not planning to create a business, you likely still want to show your art process by video and interact with your followers on Instagram.
In this article, I’m going to share 5 tips to help you feel more comfortable on camera, but I want to to start just by reminding you that nobody starts off this journey as a video-making superstar. All those artists you admire who create beautiful videos… that’s because they’ve worked on it over the years. It takes practice and once you get your own system down, it becomes so much easier.
If you take a look at the first videos I ever uploaded to Youtube, they’re actually kind of embarrassing. My camera was a little shaky (tripods on the art table are not the best plan), the film quality was grainy, my filming angle didn’t show off my art at it’s best and my lighting was too dark. But as time has gone on, I’ve worked on each of those things, so that now I create light, bright more professional art videos that inspire others to get messy… and I want to help you do the same, so let’s get to those tips…
1. Outline your talking points.
Switching on that camera for the first time can feel like walking out onto a stage and forgetting your lines… but the beauty of filming at home is that you can have notes with you to help keep you on track.
Write down a few bullet points that you want to be sure to mention during your video. This can be particularly useful if you’re sharing a tutorial and don’t want to skip a step, or if you’re highlighting a particular product or technique.
I also find it helpful to speak slowly. If you’re like me, you talk faster when you get nervous. In addition, don’t freak out when you mess up, the phone rings or you drop something. Just pause and start where you left off and cut that out when you are editing your video.
One of my best tips for filming art videos is to film with editing in mind. This will make more sense as you continue to make and edit videos. As you’re filming, pause between transitions. For example, if you’re painting and you need to heat dry your work, don’t continue talking up to the point that you turn on the heat tool. Explain to your viewers that you are going to dry your piece and then pause before moving on. It will make it so much easier to edit parts out of your video if you have those pauses in there.
2. Take care of your voice.
One of the most common reasons that people avoid filming their art videos is that they don’t like the sound of their own voice. Unfortunately, I don’t have a trick to help you completely change your voice, but I will remind you that other people won’t necessarily hear what you hear! I don’t even like the sound of my own voice, yet I hear from students that they like my voice and when they put on my videos, they feel like I am in the studio creating right along side them.
Narrating your videos can take its toll on your voice, particularly if you film for long stretches at a time, so make sure you keep some water or tea close by - lemon and ginger tea is a great choice if you’re looking for something to soothe your throat.
Also, it is inevitable that you will end up coughing and sneezing at some point while you film…just pause and keep going. It can be edited out.
3. Create your own pre-filming ritual.
You’ll often find that the build-up before you start filming is actually scarier than the filming itself. It’s easy to get yourself in a panic about all the things that can go wrong, but if you approach your videos with that mindset, you won’t be inspiring anyone.
My advice is to create a calming ritual that you can carry out before each filming session. It could be as simple as listening to your favorite song, meditating for 5 minutes or taking a few deep breaths… just something to help you chill out a little. I created a meme of my pre filming ritual as a little joke…check it out at the bottom of this post!
4. Take the pressure off yourself.
Remember what I said at the start? You don’t have to go from zero to video wizard overnight. Take small steps.
You could start out my filming your hands as you work, with music on in the background. When you’re comfortable with that, add in a voiceover. When that feels easy, try narrating as you film. Once you’ve got that down, you could try pointing that camera at your face… those baby steps will get you where you need to be eventually!
Trust me when I say that after a while it will be second nature to turn on that camera and film yourself. After many years or hiding, I even pop in front of the camera sans makeup!
As with art, practicing is the only way to get better at making videos. You don’t have to publish everything you film, just keep practicing behind the scenes. Challenge yourself to film your art as you create it. Share how you do the things you do.
Just take it slow. Start small, pulling out each of these tips as you go. Before you know it, you really will be comfortable on camera!
Have a blessed day!