Let’s get started with seven tips to create a YouTube studio in your room or office.
Video doesn’t have to be a huge investment or the big scary thing you think it does – you can get started with a DIY video studio, in your own home, for free, right now.
Now, full disclosure. I’ve got a little bit of equipment that’s a bit more pricey than what I’ve listed in these tips. I’ve got a few lights, I’ve got a microphone and I’ve got a camera here, but you can get started really simply and with a really low budget. All you have to do is start – I promise, it gets easier!
1) Shoot on your phone or on your laptop.
We’ve all got a phone or a laptop and in the last few years, the picture quality has gone up so dramatically that it doesn’t have to look like you shot your video on your phone or like you’ve got low production values.
You can get a really nice image, and my next tips will help you get the most out of using your phone or a laptop to shoot your video on.
2) Shoot horizontally.
A few years ago this would have been gospel, but it’s a little bit different now with a number of social media platforms which have shown to do better with vertical video. If it is for Facebook or Instagram, that’s okay, I’ll let you get away with vertical or even square video. Anything else, like Youtube or a landing page on your website, shoot it horizontally.
So: know what platform you’re using the video on, and remember that you can always edit the video to make it portrait, you can’t add more footage to make your video landscape!
You need to shoot horizontally in terms of keeping your device upright as well. Hold your phone at a weird angle and you’re going to start looking a bit odd.
Similarly when we work, our laptop screen isn’t always perpendicular, so make sure you adjust it before you start shooting!
3) Keep your camera at eye level.
Eye level is the most natural level for us, and this goes for whatever device you are using. In the video above, the camera I used was – you guessed it – right at eye level.
You might want to raise your phone or laptop on a stand or stack of books, or invest in a mini tripod for your phone to sit on your desk.
4) Never zoom in on your phone.
Your phone doesn’t really zoom in, it really just crops the picture and blows it up, making it look bigger. It’s going to look pixel-y and mobile phone-y, so if you want it closer, just move it. Use your legs.
All right, now you’ve got those basic out of the way, the next couple of things I’m going to talk about are really going to improve your production quality and your production values.
Sound and Light
I have people ask me all the time what’s going to make the biggest improvement to their videos and my answer is always invest in a microphone and get your lighting sorted out.
5) Invest in audio.
When I first started out making videos one of the things I would do is have a separate phone that I would sit really close to whoever it was I was filming. So I might have them holding it just out of frame or I might set it on a table. I would record the audio that way and then sync it up to the picture later on. It wasn’t excellent, but it was loads better than trying to use the audio from the phone or camera I was filming with.
Another thing that’s even easier than that and again, it’s not quite free but it almost is, is investing in a little lapel mic.
You can get these really cheaply online and while they may not be the best audio of all time, they are going to be such an improvement on your phone microphone you won’t believe your ears.
6) Bring things into your space to deaden echo.
The next tip relates to sound as well and that is bringing things into your space that’s going stop echo. It’s things like couches, pillows and rugs, that really help deaden the sound in your room so it’s not bouncing all around off bare walls. It’s really going to improve the quality of your sound and make your video that much better.
7) Use natural lighting.
Sit in front of a window with the natural light on your face. It’s the most flattering, and you’re not going to have to worry about shadows in the background and trying to set up complicated lights.
So there’s my little checklist of things to create your own Youtube studio in your room or office, as close to free as I could possibly make it.