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!
Everything we do is potentially for broadcast. We can’t use vertical video.
Even a selfie stick may help you keep the shot more stable.
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).
If you’re trying to reframe your shot, then use your feet and move closer to the subject.
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.
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.
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.
Give us lots of options to work with in editing, even if it feels repetitive while you’re shooting.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.