The Beginner’s Guide to Making Front-Facing Camera Videos

David - About Content Creation - October 20, 2020

Making videos is hard, especially when it comes to showing your face. Talking to a camera, in itself, is difficult, and it takes a while before you can actually feel natural and get the hang of it. You must find the proper tone, emotion, body language, lighting, and overall composition.

If you've ever wondered:

  • How to make front-facing camera videos?

  • How to be more natural and engaging in front-facing camera videos?

  • How to spend less time shooting front-facing camera videos?

  • How to make the process of crafting front-facing camera videos easier?

You're in the right place! In this article I'll give you my practical tips and tricks to get better and faster at making front-facing camera videos.

The Beginner's Guide to Making Front-Facing Camera Videos - Illustration - Picture

1. Setup

The biggest part of your job is to set everything up. That's where you'll spend most of your time in the beginning. And you'll also try tons of different combinations to determine which atmosphere suits you best.

For this reason, once you've found which installation you'd like to stick with, you have to put marks everywhere. These marks will help you remember the precise settings that make all your videos similar and connected to one another.

Examples of marks that I recommend using:

  • A cross on the floor to remember where exactly you stand towards the camera.

  • A cross on the floor to remember where exactly the tripod that holds your camera should be.

  • A small sticker or permanent marker line to indicate the gain level on your microphone.

In the end, the more you know your setup, the better.

There's nothing more frustrating than having to set everything up all over again. It's an endless tweak-and-test rush that will make you lose time and motivation.

Oh, and also, do not, ever, touch your setup once it's perfectly in place. Simply don't mess around with your equipment once you've got everything arranged for your preferences. Unless you're experienced and able to reproduce your initial setup quickly, keep away from touching it.

The Beginner's Guide to Making Front-Facing Camera Videos - Illustration - Picture

2. Acting

I get it. Talking to a front-facing camera, out of the blue, is difficult. And feeling comfortable with this exercise doesn't come naturally. You undergo different phases, and you're certainly also having a hard time figuring which tone and energy you'd like to put in your videos.

Relax, we've all been there. Let's see how to make it easier:

  • Write a clear and detailed script for your video.

  • Imagine that you're talking to a friend.

  • Sing, yell, talk with yourself, laugh, and simply act to relieve anxiety and facial tension.

  • Speak your lines one by one, word for word if needed.

  • Record voice notes on your phone to practice speaking your mind when no one's here to talk with you.

All considered, just be yourself. It will eventually become natural, but you still have to go through a painful phase of self-discovery before feeling great talking in front of the camera.

The Beginner's Guide to Making Front-Facing Camera Videos - Illustration - Picture

3. Editing

When you're actually shooting your front-facing camera video, you should think about the editing. Indeed, unless you only post raw videos right after they're captured, you must pay attention to the after-shooting in order to ease the editing process.

For this reason, this is what you should do:

  • Always look at the camera a bit longer than expected to make the cuts easier to achieve and more beautiful.

  • Make a tiny break between each and every line of your script.

  • Clap your hands several times to ease the synchronization between sound and frame.

  • Lock the focus and exposure on your camera to keep a consistent atmosphere all along the video.

  • Repeat multiple times the lines of your script to have multiple tones and facial expressions to choose from afterwards.

  • Shoot one long video in place of dozens of short rushes.

Simply put, do everything you can to ease the editing process that comes after the shooting and before the release of your front-facing camera video.

About the long-against-short video shooting method, it's a matter of preferences. I recommend having one big file that you can easily trim and work on, in place of different files that you have to gather and combine together. That said, there ain't no perfect approach.

The Beginner's Guide to Making Front-Facing Camera Videos - Illustration - Picture

Bottom Line

Making videos, be it in a front-facing camera fashion or not, is a job. It doesn't necessarily require a PhD in Mathematics, but it gathers different sets of skills.

The three main parts of making front-facing camera videos are: Setup, Acting, Editing.

These three phases are the base upon which the video-maker (a.k.a you) can properly work and release their videos.

You don't have to release your first video. Shoot and edit 5 of them before committing to creating content on a regular basis.

Good luck! And if you've got some other tips, let me know in the comments below. That said, I've just written The Guide Every Serious Content Creator Should Read, check it out!

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Kelvin Reader

Here are some tips and tricks I wish I had known prior to starting to make videos. That's a great article! Thanks David

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