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Vlogging 101: Where to Vlog and Why it Matters

Camera Man by woodleywonderworks

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Vlogging is a lot more complicated than simply speaking in front of a camera. When you write a blog, all you have to consider is the best way to get your message across using good old-fashion words, sentences and paragraphs.  With vlogging, what you have to say is just one part of how you communicate – you’ve also got to consider the location, filming, lighting, sound quality, as well as the continuity of your vlogs.

Here are six tips to help you find the perfect set-up to start filming from.

Where to Vlog?

Most vloggers chose to record their video updates in their bedroom or living room. It’s easy – plus it adds the personal touch. If you’re going to pick an indoor location, make sure there’s some natural light and that it’s a quiet room with an uncluttered background.

If want to pick an outdoor location for your vlog, make sure you choose somewhere fairly quiet. Your garden or a park would be ideal. Also, make sure you always return to the same spot or the same kind of environment so there’s some kind of continuity – unless of course you’re a travel vlogger.

What’s in the background?

Obviously the star of the show is, well – you! So, you need to take centre stage in your vlog. As a result, the background should not distract from your lovely face.

As a basic rule, you should try to keep the background fairly plain, but there’s no harm in adding a bit personality, whether this means choosing a colour you like or a picture, object or decoration, such as a vase of flowers, that sums of up your personality. Whatever spot you pick, make sure there isn’t any clutter in the background – a washing basket overflowing with clothes or a table covered in bills and catalogues will detract attention from what you’re talking about.

Vlogging image by Sean MacEntee

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Lighting

Depending on how professional you want your vlog to look, there are a few basic lighting rules and some more advanced techniques that you can try.

The Basics:

Whether you’re filming indoors or out in the open, the most basic thing to remember is to ensure the light is behind the camera. If the light is behind you, you’ll become a silhouette on camera.

Obviously no one can control the weather, but if you’re outside you’ve got be aware of how natural light can impact on your picture quality and adjust your filming style or angle accordingly.

Professional Techniques:

If you want a clean, polished look for your vlog, you’ll need to consider the three main types of lighting:

Key light – you’ll need one main light above eye level – this could either be the sun (if outside or sitting near a window) or the main light.

Fill light – placed behind the camera to ‘fill’ the shadows cast by the key light.

Back light – the aim of this light is to illuminate the head and shoulders. It’s placed behind the subject to achieve this effect.

And you don’t need professional lighting to achieve this look. Try it out with table lamps in your home to see how you can create a professional look on a budget.

Filming

Many vloggers simply film using their webcam and this works just fine – it gives a blog a casual, intimate feel, which works for many bloggers’ style.

However, if you’re using a video camera, there are a few tricks you can use to make your filming space work for you.

  • Adjust the focus so that the background is blurry and the subject defined
  • Sit closer to the camera than you are to the background, so that the background loses focus

Sound Quality

And while you want your vlog to look great, unless people can hear what you’re saying, it’s all a bit pointless. You should really prioritise sound as that’s how you’ll be getting your message across. Plus, if all else goes wrong in your vlog, you can still salvage the audio for a podcast.

If you’re not using a microphone and opting for the low-key webcam approach, make sure you sit close to your computer so that you get the best quality audio.

You’ll get better sound quality with a microphone so it’s always worth investing in this technology. And a microphone becomes pretty much essential if you’re filming outside, as there are so many other sounds which you simply can’t control. If you’re filming inside, don’t forget to shut any open doors, which will minimise the potential of echoing – and interruptions!

Continuity                               

Take a look at your favourite vloggers and YouTubers – chances are their vlogging location of choice rarely changes. Try to always use the same room or space and keep the camera angle and lighting consistent.

Experiment to begin with, but once you’ve found your style, stick with it, otherwise, your vlog will seem a bit disjointed and confused.

Privacy

When you’re filming a vlog, you need to be able to share your thoughts, stories and news, so you need a private space where you can concentrate and relax. Choose a quiet location, without passers-by or family members or friends interrupting you. You need a certain level of privacy to make it work and this should influence your choice of location.

You’ve also got to consider another kind of privacy – while you want to let people into your world, you don’t want to give them too much information. Avoid filming house numbers, street names or car registration plates – or anything really that could tie you to a very specific location.

Do you have any vlogging tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.

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