How To Create Video Outdoors

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Ready to start creating video but don’t have the money for studio fees and an expensive videographer?

Don’t panic! I have a cheap alternative for you...

Shooting Video Outside

It's not without its troubles, but shooting video outside is one of the cheapest and quickest ways to get started. You can take advantage of the sun’s natural light, and you can find yourself a stunning background to go with it.


Getting started is simple, all you need is:

  • A Smart Phone
  • A Tripod
  • A Lavaliere Microphone
  • The Promise of Good Weather

My role here is to educate you on the easiest way to make quality videos. I also want to help make sure you don’t make some of those rookie mistakes we all make when we start out.

That’s why I want to highlight 3 areas I see people struggle with when they get started.

Location – Location just as important as the message, if not more. The key to any successful outdoor shoot is finding a place where you are far away from any noise. This can be roads, people, and even flight paths. I did forget to mention that wind can also be a problem. It’s also a good idea to avoid places where there are lots of people, people are curious and will often stare at you leaving your feeling like you are something out of the zoo.

Lighting – One of the hardest things to nail outdoors is lighting.  You need to be very aware of your positioning in relation to the sun.  If you stand and face the sun you will end up squinting, stand side on and half your face will be in the shade, and if you pick the wrong time of day, the sun will cascade shadows down your face.

Pick a spot in full shade where the lighting will be consistent on your face or alternatively, head out on what we call a "Simpsons' Cloud Day" (Image Below). Pick a day where the sky is fully overcast with this style of cloud.

One of my videographer friends once showed me a nifty little trick to find out the best shot for lighting. Fast forward to 3.40 of the video above to see it in action.

Backdrop – You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to backdrops. Nature has some stunning backgrounds, but be careful, some can be very distracting. You will want to avoid picking a background with lots of things going on, people moving around, boats or interesting features. This will distract the viewer from actually listening to your message. Once you’ve chosen a backdrop, I recommend doing a recce of the site to make sure nothing is going to spoil the shoot.

Even with these tips creating video outdoors can be tricky, it gets even worse when you arrive at your shoot unprepared.  There is nothing worse than driving 20-30 minutes to your spot only to discover you’ve forgotten something.

I’ve put together a quick checklist for you to download here to help you prepare. This will ensure you have everything you need to create your video on arrival at your location:

Outdoor Video Shoot Checklist

So that’s it, you’re ready to rock and roll…

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this blog or the problems you’ve faced in the comments box below.

Remember: To get good you just need to get going!

Jay Williams

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