Updated: Jun 11, 2020
Start Your Video Journey Today!
Tripods in Action! This is one of the first places you should start. It's a toss up for me between lighting and hands free stability. Both are essential in creating professional looking videos. Being able to set the stage for your video background and also talk with your full body creates a better experience and more connection with your audience/clients. Old school thinking was the premise that you needed to sit completely still and not use your hands, eliminate all possible distractions. Did you know that you are more believable and come across more authentic when you use your natural expressions and hand movements? These days everything is shifting to authentic and real. Being yourself is the name of the game. That said...do take a look at your videos and notice if there are certain, repetitive things you do or say that are distracting. We still need to use our common sense. :)
Premium Phone Tripod
Flexible Tripod with Wireless Remote Shutter
One of the first places you can start is a stable, yet flexible tripod that will be great to meet a variety of needs. It travels easily, can be wound around a tree, or set on top of your desk to make quick videos. This is an adaptable piece of equipment that I utilize constantly! It is cost effective and multi-purpose.
Lightweight Tripod with Bag
If you are looking for a great light weight (3lbs.), portable tripod that will can go from 2 - 5 feet quickly and easily, this is a great buy. I have used frequently over the years for taping more full body or landscape video shots.
Let's Talk Lighting! This is one of the KEYS to make your video more engaging, more professional (with little effort). Great lighting can make you look younger, less tired, and erases some of the harshness of your environment. When a video is too dark, it is hard to watch, people are less likely to watch as long and it comes across less professional. Ninja tip: If you don't have lightening with you or are not at a place you can purchase right now, always look for natural light from a window or outdoors. Natural light is a miracle worker. But when you are indoors with no access to a great window or it's night time, you will definitely want some lighting. Here are a few great options to utilize.
Clip on Selfie Ring Light for Smart Phone or Computer
This is a great solution for inexpensive and effective lighting. It clips around the camera of your phone or computer. With 3 settings you can adapt the lighting to your environment. It is meant for close up lightening, self portrait typed filming. Below is a better solution if you are planning on being 2-3 feet away from the camera lens.
8" LED Selfie Ring Light for Live Video with Dimmable Beauty Ringlight & Tripod Stand
This is a great option when you are ready to get more serious about lighting, but not yet ready to commit to some of the more expensive options. I love this one because it is agile(compact) enough to set on your desk right behind your computer for lighting for 2-3 feet away and also allows you to attache to your phone. It can also raise to just one 4 ft for a standing shot or a seated whole body video. It has 3 light settings that can each be adjusted from 1-10 levels dependent upon the amount of light you need. There are sturdier options (please ask if you need a recommendation as I also own a professional version and there is one just a step or two up from this one, as well), but they don't adapt as easily to sit on your desk for taping and they aren't as light weight for taking on the go with you.
Can you Hear me? Quality sound is crucial...so why didn't I start here, because most smart phones and computers have decent audio to get you started. However, when you are ready to take it up a notch, this is an essential thing to purchase. If you have poor sound quality, similar to lighting, it will decrease your engagement, your credibility, and your audience's patience for how long they will listen to you. So, let's dig into a few options.
Compact On-Camera Microphone with Shock Mount
This is a great mic for catching clearer sound when you are ready for higher quality audio. Or, if you are outside, the windsock that comes with this cool contraption will help to reduce the background noise and interference. It comes with a mount for cameras and below I have added a phone shoe that the mount will fit directly into!
Metal Smart Phone Tripod Mount with Cold Shoe Mount with Tripod Holder Clip Adapter
You will need a phone shoe and phone adapter (since all phones are different these days it's just easier to get the proper adapter that fits your phone). I have included options below. This high quality phone holder will also unable you to mount your phone to tripods both in landscape and portrait view.
Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter for an iPhone
You will need headlock phon adapter for the Compact Mic (above), the smartLav+ Mic (below), and the GO wireless mic (below) in order to plug your mic into your smartphone.
smartLav+ Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone for iPhone and Smartphones
Here is one of the most used Lavalier mics that you can use to plug directly into your smartphone. Keep in mind you will need to be attached to your phone, you won't be able to move freely because it does have to be attached unlike the wireless version below.
Rode Wireless Go - Compact Wireless Microphone System, Transmitter and Receiver
I love the freedom to be able to set up my smartphone on a tripod and then walk away (example if you are outside or on an interview - up to a 70m. range) or be seated further away without worrying about a cord. If you need that capability, THIS is the option you want. It clips to your clothes or you can plug your smartLav mic (above) into it if you prefer a lav mic!
Apple AirPods Pro
Ok, I would be remise if I did not mention these! I received them as a gift and absolutely LOVE them! This is one of my favorite ways to record videos or Facebook LIVES. They have great sound, you can use the noise cancelling option to block out distractions, and they look great on camera! I also constantly use them around the house when I am listening to a zoom (or 5 that day), on a phone call or simply getting things done around the house WHILE I listen to a podcast or catch up on the phone. Just don't drop one in the toilet while flushing because that is a total bummer...true story from our household, but it was not me! :)
Wherever you choose to start, START somewhere. It does not have to be perfect, you do not have to have ALL the equipment to start your video journey. The coolest thing about our smartphones is, they are smart! You can accomplish a lot with only your phone, but when you are ready to add some additional equipment, these are my favorite pieces right now. I am always looking and evolving with what is new and what is needed. If you have questions or don't understand how one thing works with the other, please don't hesitate to ask. We are on this journey together.
Perfection isn't are real thing nor is it helpful in you accomplishing your goal! Make it messy, make it fun, and learn as you go!! Jamie