Our Top 6 Tips for Getting Comfortable on Camera
Many of our teachers are busy with content creation in preparation for the busy wellness season. Over the last few weeks, it has been exciting to see so many new videos being uploaded into the Namastream database! We have seen many of our newest teachers upload their first few videos as they prepare to launch in the new year (yeah, super exciting stuff!).
But behind all the bustle and excitement, we still get quite a few emails expressing fear about the process. Filming yourself can be super intimidating at first. We too had to get used to filming ourselves. Just look at some of our earliest videos on YouTube. Shudder. We know that for many of our teachers, fear of the camera is something that can really hold teachers back from taking the leap to teaching online and building a successful virtual studio.
Be confident in the knowledge that even the most experienced teachers, who have decades of live teaching behind them, typically stumble when they first get in front of the camera. Over the years, we have watched all of the video content that is uploaded within Namastream, and we have observed how teachers become more comfortable on camera with every new upload. It is obvious the best tip - just like anything else in life - is to practice, practice, practice. In addition to time and basic practice, here are six tips we know will accelerate your confidence on camera.
1. Ease Into Your Voice
Hearing your recorded voice is always a bit of a surprise. (I was shocked when I first started filming videos and heard my childhood lisp was as present as ever). If you are completely new to filming yourself, a great way to play around is using Instagram Stories, no fuss, no editing, and whatever you record disappears in 24 hours. You could challenge yourself to record 10 - 30 seconds each day for a week just to get used to being on camera and hearing your voice.
Not sure what to share on Insta? Here are 7 Creative Ways Yoga Teachers can Use Instagram Stories.
2. Divide and Conquer
When you are ready to take that leap and start filming your online classes, consider your method of filming. There is always a lot to remember and get right. At first, it is a lot easier to just focus on filming the movements and sequences. Once you are comfortable with your footage, you can just edit in your voice cues after. This can also save a lot of time at the beginning, as you only have to worry about getting the filming down right. This voice over technique is very natural for instructional teaching. Allowing yourself to only worry about one aspect of teaching at a time will make the filming process a bit less overwhelming when you’re first starting out.
Here are some great tips for how to Get Great Audio While Filming your iPhone Yoga Videos.
3. Write a Script
Even if you’re recording a class that you teach weekly, taking the time to prepare a script (or jot down your yoga sequence, for example) is key to filming. We are confident that every single person that has ever pressed record when filming knows how easy it is to get tongue tied. Even the most basic 5-minute yoga video or HiiT set can benefit from having a script. Try recording your voice first -- just reading the script and replaying it back to yourself, listening to how everything sounds. Then, make edits and adjustments to your script and start filming your video. A handy little tool to help you is this CuePrompter. It is a free teleprompter/autocue service right on your computer. You paste in the script you want to say, and it simply turns your internet browser into a teleprompter - no extra software needed. Filming with a teleprompter like this can be super helpful, even if you have prepared and memorized your script. It’s little tools like this that can make DIY filming just a little easier, faster, and more professional.
4. The More the Merrier
When you first start filming yourself on camera, it can feel pretty lonely talking to a lens for hours on end. It is very natural for our clients to feel much more comfortable filming with students, clients, or friends. If you don’t have access to filming any of your current in-person classes, instead ask a few students if they would be interested in helping you film in exchange for a private lesson or two. Many of our teachers who now teach through their own instruction and movement got their start by filming one-on-one or with a small group.
5. Light and Time
Natural light is best for filming, and the golden hour can make all the difference in how your silhouette appears on camera. Don’t be rushed by that narrow timeframe to get your shot in. Filming at first takes time...setting up your equipment, getting the right angle, reviewing your script. We suggest at first dedicating 5x the time of your video length for filming: for a 30-minute video, dedicate 2.5 hours to filming from start to finish while trying to time the actual final filming to coincide with beautiful natural light. Not feeling rushed can make all the difference in how you present yourself on camera and setting aside the appropriate amount of time to film each video can actually mean you save yourself loads of time with do-overs or post-production edits.
6. Batch Your Filming
It takes a while to get warmed up on camera, and batching your filming can really work to your advantage. The time it takes to set up your camera can be saved if you batch the filming of multiple videos together. Try dedicating a whole day to filming. (Pro Tip: this will also allow for you to inexpensively rent some really great video and audio equipment. When you’re first getting started with videography, it’s nice to test out equipment and see what works best for your needs and budget. If you’re a Seattle local, we love to rent from Glazer’s.) Once you have a video or two underway, you are naturally going to feel much more comfortable on camera and just start rolling and recording. When you get into the groove of things, just keep going with filming and don’t worry about editing (you can also batch your edits). Batch filming has worked really well for us, and we have found it to be one of the best ways to accelerate our confidence on camera. By mid-afternoon, we all feel like seasoned movie stars!
Not sure where to begin with editing? Check out these Top 3 iMovie Editing Tips for Yogis.