When it comes to YouTube, viewers have high expectations for the creators they’re subscribed to. They want to watch content with high quality audio, video, lighting, etc. While many longtime creators have professional-grade equipment at their disposal, it can be hard to achieve the same quality when you’re just starting out.

Here’s how to make your videos look professional without high-end equipment.

Choose outfits that separate you from your background.

If the clothes you’re wearing are too similar in color to the background you’re filming in front of, then you might blend right in. To ensure you stand out as the subject of the video, you should choose outfits that provide contrast from your filming room while still complementing the decorations.

For example, if you’re filming in your bedroom that has brightly colored curtains and sheets, then you should dress in more muted or neutral colors. However, if you’re filming in your neutral-toned living room, then you should wear bold, bright colors. If your background is a mix of neutral tones and bright colors, then you should determine which color is the main color in the room then dress in its complementary colors.

Use props to balance your shot composition.

A director or cinematographer would consider the composition of each shot. So, whether you’re filming on a DSLR or a phone camera, you should check the composition of each shot. Before you start filming the video, shoot a few seconds of your frame.

Then, check to make sure it appears balanced. If there’s too much negative space, then you could add a prop to fill it in. Also consider how your frame makes you appear in the viewers’ eyes. What clues does the background give them about your personality? Is it designed in a way that appeals to your target audience? Does it feel personal, or does it just look like a random room in your house?

Put a floor lamp or other light source directly behind your camera.

Good lighting boils down to having a key light, a fill light, and a backlight. However, the most important light is the key light, which is your main source of light. Utilize a floor lamp, ring light, or other bright source of light you already have on hand as your key light. Place it directly behind your camera so that it illuminates everything in the frame.

Likewise, you shouldn’t film directly in front of an open window. Instead, you should utilize that natural light source as a fill light and position yourself to the side of the window. Your backlight could be a secondary lamp positioned out of frame to counteract any shadows. You could even use a TV or computer screen as a backlight by playing a video of a white screen at your desired color temperature.

To make your videos look professional, you should utilize your knowledge of shot composition and three-point lighting. With a few strategic tweaks, you can turn your home studio into a professional-looking set on camera.

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