The Down & Dirty of Shooting Your Own Video

Today I’m keeping things short + sweet. Here are five simple rules to make your videos look profesh (so you can focus on sharing your message & lighting up on camera).


{notice your background}

You always want to shoot in a place where there are minimal distractions behind you… nothing coming out of your head, no windows in the background, etc. Keep it simple. You want the focus to be on you.


{make sure your camera is eye level}

The goal is to make this feel like an intimate conversation you’re having with one other person, so you want to make sure the camera isn’t looking down on you or looking up to you. Draw an imaginary line from your eyes to the camera & make sure it’s straight. Use books, boxes, or whatever you can that’s stable to lift the camera.


{pay attention to framing}

Because this is a more intimate video, we’re going to keep you close. Try to keep it head & shoulder or bust up. Be sure to notice how much headroom you have (there should only be a smidge.  You want to make sure your eyes are about two thirds of the way up the screen… not in the center. (To get a sense of what I mean, check out my recent video.)


{lighting is key}

Position two lights, one on either side of the camera (at 10 and 2 on the clock). Use soft lights—lamps with shades are great, and Japanese latern style lights are even better. If you’re using daylight, try it at 10, or at 2 and fill in the other side with a light. Keep in mind that people really do want to be able to see your face and especially your eyes, so make sure they look as bright (if not a bit brighter) than the background.


{don’t worry about the details}

Outline the video in bullet points. It’s most important to know what you’re starting with and how you’re ending the video. Make sure you have those clarified, plus the main points you’ll be hitting in between. I DO NOT want you to memorize or focus on getting every word correct. Just have an outline so you can keep the video under 3 minutes.


Now, go play! I predict very good things.


  1. Tonya Leigh said:

    Hi Ellie,

    I’m loving your site and all of your fabulous tips.

    I think video is one of the most intimidating acts when you’re a newbie.

    One thing I’d add: see the camera as your BFF and have fun!

    I’m working on it.




    • Ellie said:

      Tonya! You couldn’t be more right with your tip. Love it!

      I’ve seen a few videos you’ve created & am a big fan of the way they are so aligned with your overall brand. Keep it up!



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