By November 26, 2012 10 Comments

Video: How to be engaging in front of the camera

So you’ve got your orders – make videos and create eProducts. But let’s add another dimension to your video productions: Getting you in front of the camera!

Easier said than done. I know!

Like many photographers, I’m an introvert — a total wallflower-at-parties introvert.

You wouldn’t suspect that from watching this video though, would you? Well actually if you went back far enough, you’d see me when I first started out.

I was timid, camera shy and not very outgoing.

I’m keeping those videos on my YouTube channel to remind myself how far I’ve come in the last year.

In front of the camera, you need to be extra outgoing. You need to get your inner actor out. You need to find that 5% extroverted part of you.

So how do you get over that?

Being on video is kind of like going to a party where you don’t know anyone. And if you’re an introvert you know what I’m talking about.

You have two choices. Stand against the wall and coddle your wine glass, or move around and meet people.

Here are some tips on how to be engaging in front of the camera

  • Before making your first real video, do a screen test of yourself.
  • Make a bullet point script if it helps.
  • Start simple and tell the camera “Who you are, What you do and Who you do it for” If you’re not sure, make something up. The key here is to see how you “look and sound” on camera.
  • Expect to be nervous!

If you’re having problems, pretend you’re hanging out with your best pals and telling them that same stuff. Tell them as if it’s something exciting that’s happened to you.

Remember these tips when facing the camera:

  • Act like you’re happy to be there
  • Smile :)
  • Don’t talk too fast
  • Don’t talk too slow
  • Don’t be boring!
  • Talk about something interesting in an interesting way
  • Be concise
  • Don’t ramble

Review your screen test and ask yourself:

Would you want to watch yourself?

You can cover a lot of sins in editing. You can use photos to cover up your flubs. Just re-shoot the part you messed up, replace that section in your video timeline, and put a photo or graphic over top of the jump cut.

Even if you never intend to get in front of the camera yourself, it’s good to practice these techniques for the next time you go to a party!

Example from one of my colleagues

Here is a video by Suzette Allen one of the Discover Mirrorless Hybrid Heros that is very engaging. Watch it to see why.

So get out there and be engaging on video! Your business may depend on it.

Posted in: Current News...

About the Author:

With over 20 years as a pro shooting editorial, sports, corporate and industrial photography, Marlene Hielema has become comfortable with the craft of digital output. As a photo and video tinkerer and troubleshooter, Marlene enjoys relaying the practical uses of photo and video hardware and software that you might not find on the manufacturer's or software publisher's websites. Thousands have seen her work on YouTube and her popular site where Marlene teaches photography and photo editing online, in the classroom, and one-to-one. Find out more about what Marlene can help you with here on discovermirrorless, as well as and

10 Comments on "Video: How to be engaging in front of the camera"

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  1. Paula Thomas says:

    Great tips! I’m a total introvert too. Getting in front of the camera definitely helps to bring me out of my shell. :)

  2. Yay for introverts! You’re right Paula, it really helps.

  3. Scott_Giorgini says:

    Great Video, Marlene! Being introverted isn’t a problem for me. Talking too fast, on the other hand… now THAT’S another story ;)

  4. Yes, I can relate to talking fast! That happens to me when I’m teaching in the classroom and have TOO much material. Video forces me to compartmentalize, which is good.

  5. Wow, I never thought about how important it is for the photographer to be comfy in front of the camera too. The hybrid shooter needs to use the new capability of video to “connect” to their audience and customers. GREAT tips BTW (I need all the help I can get!)

  6. Thanks Will. Actually, I think you’re great on camera! You have the perfect “radio” voice too.

  7. tcurley says:

    Wow, this is great info Marlene! Just this morning I was trying to make a video blog entry with PhotoBooth. Well, it ended up being practice footage, nothing usable. But after seeing this video, I’m going to try again tomorrow and I’ll bet I do better with these tips in mind. THANKS.

  8. Practice makes perfect Tom! And here’s a secret — it doesn’t have to be perfect, just engaging and offering good information that people want to know. Can’t wait to see your video. Thanks for commenting.

  9. colourinfusion says:

    Hi Marlene, Thanks for the tips. I have shared it with my clients on my Facebook page. Hope you get lots of views :) The video has a very friendly and personable feel to it and may help me out of my (video-)shell sometime. I am keeping an eye on your work :)Keep up the great stuff! Thank you, Norja

  10. Thanks for your kind words Norja. Let me know when you’ve got a video to show me. :)

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