Before an experience can be shared, it first needs to be documented! With endless resources at our fingertips, it is easy to capture high-quality photographs and videos. Need some tips on getting started? Check out our photography tips and tricks below!

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Videography Tips

SHOOT HORIZONTAL, NOT VERTICAL VIDEO/ASPECT RATIO

Everything we do is potentially for broadcast. We can’t use vertical video.

USE A TRIPOD WHEN POSSIBLE

Even a selfie stick may help you keep the shot more stable.

LET EACH SHOT ROLL AT LEAST 10 SECONDS

Start counting again every time you move the camera or reframe the shot so each is at least 10 seconds long (20 seconds is our preference).

DO NOT ZOOM IN

If you’re trying to reframe your shot, then use your feet and move closer to the subject.

AVOID CAMERA MOVEMENT

Shoot mostly static shots that don’t have zooms, moves or pans. If you want to move the camera after you’ve got the static shot, use a tripod and keep the move slow and steady.

SET UP THE ESTABLISHING SHOT AND LET THE ACTION HAPPEN WITHIN THE FRAME

If there is a lot of action, stay on a relatively wide shot (wide enough that we see the group but not so wide that they are tiny in the frame). If there is repetition of the action, shoot it wide and then get medium and close-up shots the next time they repeat the process.

CHOOSE WELL-LIT LOCATIONS AND DON'T MIX LIGHT SOURCES

If you’re shooting an interview, move your subject to a nice location with steady lighting. The most beautiful shots take advantage of morning or golden evening sunlight.

SHOOT A LOT OF VARIETY

Give us lots of options to work with in editing, even if it feels repetitive while you’re shooting.

GET AUDIO WITH CUTAWAYS AND USE A MIC FOR INTERVIEWS

The camera operator must be quiet since the on-camera mic picks up all sounds. Use an external mic for interviews. If you want to record an interview and you don’t have a mic but you have another phone, set the phone close to the subject to record audio only using the voice memo feature as an option (roll them at the same time and sync them in editing).

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Photography Tips

If a professional photographer can’t accompany your group to a location, these are the building blocks that may help us put a story together when you return.

ESTABLISHING SHOTS

The shots that tell us where you are. Get footage of the airport, villages and people, roads and views from the car as you’re driving to your location, 
where you live, structures, landmarks, landscapes.

PEOPLE

Who are you helping/serving/teaching? Show people, children, close-ups of faces, people in their native environments and homes, shots help us to understand their
 needs and their daily lives.

THE BYU TEAM

Show the BYU team with the people doing their work. Often BYU researchers will shoot video of the people they see but they won’t
include BYU team members in the shot working or conducting research. BYU logos or things that establish BYU on location are great (but not everyone should wear them unless it’s a uniform). A video selfie is ok too (but make it horizontal not vertical!).

SHOOT THE WORK AS IT PROGRESSES

Shoot the before, during and after
shots. Shoot interviews on location with participants as they are engaged in the work if it helps to explain the process.

FOCUS ON EMOTIONS AND GET THEM ON CAMERA

If you are bringing a new
 technology to people, get a shot of
 those people using the new technology or capture their happiness when the
 item is presented to them. Record interactions of BYU students meeting with families, hosts, coworkers, etc. At the very least, set up a video camera
 alongside the still camera when you’re posing for group pictures when you
 arrive or depart. Ideally, you will capture the spontaneous moment when
 people are excited about the project.

GET FACES/FRONTS NOT BACKSIDES

If people are naturally gathered in a circle, ask them to make a little room so the camera can see the action.

GET AUDIO -­ If team members are working on something, have them talk 
with each other as they work (on rare occasions you 
can have them talk to the camera as they walk us through a process but be sure to get cutaways for editing). This doesn’t have to be staged or unnatural but it’s easier for the viewer 
to understand what’s happening if there is some dialogue and banter to
 connect us to the action.

THINK ABOUT WARDROBE AND APPEARANCE AND WHAT PRESENTS BYU IN A POSITIVE LIGHT

AGAIN – NO VERTICAL VIDEOS. SERIOUSLY.

Share Your Story

Here in the College of Fine Art and Communications, we want to share your experiences!
Learn how you can be part of President Worthen’s initiative below.

  • Capture

    Capture your experience using photo or video!

  • Upload

    Upload and send us your photos, videos, experiences and stories!

  • Share

    Share your stories on social media by using #ExperienceCFAC!

Contact Us

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