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An All-inclusive Videography Guide for Beginners - Part 1 [Fundamental Elements]

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Published on: 05 Sep 2022

They catch your eye, they appeal to your senses, and they stick with you forever. Is there a better love affair than people and films? Probably not. As this age-old romance will continue to woo folks worldwide, videography becomes simplified, accessible, cheaper, and a lot less complex. Get on our trolly to touch down all the major aspects of video making using all the latest tools, software, and techniques. There is a lot to know about the dos and don’ts and the know-how of this creative domain. Let’s start with the basics.

Difference Between filmmaking, videography and cinematography

As a fresher to the wide world of moving film, you must know what the difference between filmmaking, videography and cinematography is. The core difference lies in their productions- video production has fewer, less complicated and usually less expensive elements than film & cinema production. Rule of thumb - The three professions are not to be used synonymously, i.e. you shouldn’t make the mistake of using them interchangeably in any context. To avoid this mistake, study and understand what makes each of them different, unique and purposeful.

Know the difference between video, camera and film

Now that you know what builds these closely related but different domains, it is time to jump into the technicalities of videography plus some elements of cinematography, photography, and filmmaking, so that when your wedding videographer or a freelance filmmaker is trying to throw jargons at you, you know exactly what is what. Since all big production houses run on a big budget, they have such professionals who give shape to a final grand product. But as all you beginners want to produce a winning film equivalent to the quirks of a Warner Bros production, here is where you start.

How To Create Interesting And Entertaining Videos?

Create Interesting And Entertaining Videos

Before you hold up and point your camera, build with a solid foundation. Nourish your understanding of these two factors that make a video viral:

  • A harmonious blend of 7 elements of videography 
  • The best videography equipment 

Let's begin by taking a look at each factor individually. 

7 Elements of Videography 

Video-making is an amalgamation of seven major elements. This starts by mindfully choosing, placing, and shooting these major aspects. To learn videography, focus on perfecting these:

1. Location- Type Video Shoot 

Elements of Videography - Location

It is the job of the Director of Photography to find the perfect location for a shot. The right shot can go a long way in defining what impact it has on the viewer. That is the magic & power of good photography. Don’t you have an unquenched curiosity of what it would be like in outer space? Of course, yes! That is because you know whatever you know about the cosmos from pictures and videos. As a videographer, you would want to develop the same curiosity in the viewer's mind. This is possible only when you take them to an interesting location. Let the ambience and landscape work magic in your video. Be it for a wedding, social film, photoshoot, or anything for the production angle- choose your locations wisely. This is a great technique to make mundane actions seem pleasing. Wedding video locations are more picturesque, while traditional filmmaking ones are more realistic.

PS: Imagine a Greenwich, London wedding video shot at the Queen's House. 

2. Dialogues- Type of Video Scene

Elements of Videography - Dialogues

If there are some dialogues in a video, the audience would like to see the source (for the mind likes to make a mental note). Hence, keep voice-overs to a minimum. Go for a direct dialogue with your customers or viewers and be on camera! Captivate their attention by saying what you have to in the most interesting manner. This is where scriptwriting comes in handy. The city of London (again- emphasis on how many beautiful venues this city has for film shooting & wedding videography) is known for its theatres as old as time. The theatre is the mother of modern-day perception of dialogue. So find a professional who writes like a playwright.

3. Costume- Type of Video Shot

Elements of Videography - Costume

The biggest selling points of all popular videos or films are their stories, shooting POVs and actors. But what makes an actor relevant to the role is how well he adapts to his persona, his on-camera presence and his props, i.e. costumes. You don’t need a costume designer or image consultant for this. Plan out something vibrant, eye-catchy, and unconventional (bizarre sells) enough to fulfil your purpose and glue your audience to the screen.

4. Action- Type of Story/Video

Elements of Videography - Action

Interesting is effective. Hence, bizarre, weird or ‘avant-garde’ as they call it, sells quickly. Give the viewer something to think about, something that teases his emotions and of high entertainment value. As a videographer, you can accomplish this when your on-camera actions have enough jazz or oomph.

5. Sound effect/music- Type of Mood

Elements of Videography - Sound effect/music

Sometimes music does the trick. It is powerful enough to convey the sentiments in any scene. Just use the right background music, and effects to minimize heavy usage of words. 

6. Props- Mood & Statement of Video

Elements of Videography - Props

Props are the elements you use in your video to add accent or elements to it. The right amount and types of props can make a world of difference. Try and adjust the contrasting props to add to the beauty of your production. Remember not to cluster up. After all, minimalism is the new black. For weddings, the props are essentially brought together during the wedding planning. So the photographer or videographer needs additional things to define the mood or statement of the shots. Video production as a part of filmmaking is a completely different ball game. There has to be meticulous planning and arrangement of thoughts presented in every shot, scene and display. Props aren't limited to objects on and around the actors. There is also careful planning in their placement, colours, etc.

7. Characters- Strengthen Storytelling

Elements of Videography - Characters

For any visually depicted story, its characters are the window to the world. Ultimately, it is through these characters, which magnetically pull a viewer towards it. Moreso, they successfully do the job of putting across the desired message. As a videographer, build an interesting character that ties all your efforts together. Since you aspire to be a top-notch videographer (with whatever resources you have), it is essential to educate yourself on the areas to focus (as mentioned above) and acquire only the necessary gear. Here is a checklist of the right tools you will need.  

The Best Videography Equipment 

Best Videography Equipment

As a budding videomaker and photographer, your next step should be to equip yourself with the right tools, gear and software. Here is the utterly basic yet relevant videography equipment for beginners checklist:

  • Cameras - Smartphone, Point and shoot cameras, DSLR and mirrorless cameras, and action cameras 
  • Tripod
  • Video Lighting kit 
  • Wireless microphone, shotgun mics, USB mics, and clip-on lavalier mics 
  • Editing software 
  • A range of lenses 
  • Light reflector 
  • Spare batteries
  • Memory card 

This basic videographer gear combined with the fundamental aspects works magic only if you have an understanding of how to capture footage.  

Wondering how much these skills will help you earn? Let's give a rough estimate.

How much can you earn through videography skills?

If your concerning question is how much you can earn as a videographer, the answer is: it all depends on your skills and expertise.

Research has suggested that full-time videographers can earn hefty amounts. Moreover, with the rise of social media and the need to be popular on the screen, videographers are getting paid fat sums. The data provided by salary.com mentions that a standard videographer can earn more than $60,000 annually. Now imagine earning it all out of your passion!

While some employers prefer hiring videographers for full-time requirements, many others choose to work for freelance. As a freelancer, a videographer gets the location and the rate for the day or the project. Whether full-time or freelance, you can build a strong portfolio of your work and set your own price based on the level of expertise. 

How much can you earn as a beginner?

If you are a beginner, you can get paid starting from $100 for a 12-hour shift. That would be your general rate of pay if you have just started on this journey. Sometimes, having a career in photography helps in boosting your pay rate.

Of course, where your location is and the type of videos you are creating also create a difference in the pay rate. For instance, film sets can pay up to $150/day(or more) and at the same time, wedding shoots can help you earn up to $600/day (or more).

This skill, although tricky to master, includes essentials like shot compositions, frame formation, aspect ratio, camera settings for making videos and choosing the best camera shots with movements. But we have simplified all the technical tidbits for you in the second part of this guide.

While you have a look at the technical and general elements of videography, we have a special treat for all you beginners! Presenting to you our unique micro learning app - KoolStories. KoolStories allows all learners to take the learning to another level by helping you find, connect, learn, network and grow in the company of like-minded people. Start your knowledge-gaining and growth journey with hands-on guidance from seasoned experts in the skill domain of your choice. 



What are the basics of videography?

The basics of videography involve the following:

1.Selecting the right camera to shoot
2.Setting the camera shots and movements
3.Knowing how to set the frame and composition
4.Setting or choosing the perfect lighting
5.Zoom in and zoom out basics
6.Adjusting the white balance
7.Mounting the tripod stand

Is videography hard to learn?

Like any other skill, videography is not hard to learn with dedicated hours of practice and the guidance of a good mentor or learning source. But a beginner could find difficulty dealing with the technical side of things.

Why is videography so expensive?

Videography is an expensive affair due to:

1.Expensive equipment like camera, wireless microphone, drone, batteries, editing software, and SD cards.
2.The cost of purchasing music rights.
3.Professional shooting that involves finding or booking a location.
4.Hiring a professional crew.
5.Post-production editing and the time involved.

How do I get good at videography?

To become a better videographer, firstly, you’ll need to look for gaps in your skill and do a little self-analysis. This will help you understand the areas you will need to work on. Now that you have a more precise idea, here are the different aspects to focus on additionally:

1.Get a better grip on your equipment.
2.Plan your shoots to give yourself enough room for planning and visualisation.
3.Lighting is vital. So, learn how to shoot in different settings to get the desired result.
4.Focus on achieving a more meaningful composition.
5.Time your shots.
6.Give a professional feel to your video by avoiding shaky shots.
7.Adjust the white balance optimally to get the shot you aspire.

What do I need for videography?

Now that you are just starting out with videography, you may not seek to invest in costly equipment. So, here is a list of all the things you will need for videography, apart from the zeal to produce good videos:

6.Memory card
7.Editing software

How do you prepare for a videography interview?

Tips for your videography interview: 

1. Find a quiet, well-lit place that is free from possible interruptions.
2. Ensure a stable internet connection.
3. Check that your computer's audio.
4. Test your webcam.
5. Close any unnecessary web browser tabs and applications.
6. Dress professionally and avoid bright colours.
7. Keep a pen, notepad, and copy of your resume on your table.
8. When listening, nod and smile to show that you're engaged.
9. Use hand gestures when appropriate.
10. Put your phone on silent mode.

What equipment does a videographer need?

Types of equipment you will need if you aspire to become a videographer include:

1. An HDMI cable that fits most DSLR or high-definition camcorders.

2. A USB cable is essential for connecting your camera to your computer for editing purposes.

3. You might also need an XLR cable if you want a balanced audio signal.

4. A MIDI cable if you're transferring musical instruments to your videos.