I’ve never filmed anything before. Unless, of course, you count the times my dad let me hold his camcorder as a child, my two Instagram videos or my Snapchat videos of me singing along with the radio in the car. That all being said, I’m interested in film and video, not to mention jealous of the experts. I mean, who isn’t? At some point we’ve probably watched a movie, music video or browsed Vimeo and thought, “How did they do that?” I doubt I’ll become a famous filmmaker anytime soon, but I decided if I wanted to try I would need to start somewhere. After scouring the internet and reading tons of blogs, I’ve put together these 6 tips to get you shooting better video.

6 Tips To Get You Shooting Better Video

1. Be Video Obsessive

Mint Julep »To The Sea« from A NICE IDEA EVERY DAY on Vimeo.

If you want to be shooting better video, it’s important you know what’s out there. YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Snapchat, Instagram and any other video sharing cites you can think of should be frequently browsed. And I mean frequently. Watching a wide range of videos from different cites and different users will not only keep you current but visually teach you techniques and types of content.


2. Be a Stalker

Since you’ll be browsing videos a lot, you’re definitely going to come across people you admire and are inspired by. Stalk them out. Not in person–sorry, that’s illegal–but their videos. See what their uploading each day and also what they posted one, two, three years ago. Understand what techniques they use and how you can learn them. Figure out precisely why you’re drawn to them–whether it’s because they’re funny or great at editing–that way you can hone in on what type of videos you’ll be making of your own.


3. Be Picky

BRAAINZZ – oops. from Johnny Chew on Vimeo.

Just as you’re bound to find people whose work you love, you’re going to find people whose work you absolutely hate. Probably more so since people kinda suck. But like the people you admire will help you get better at video, the people you hate will too. Study them to learn what not to do. Is it their technique? Their subject matter? Maybe it’s just the sound of their voice? Whatever it is, learn to avoid that in your videos. 


4. Be Smart

You can’t get better at shooting video if you’re not constantly learning or at least fine tuning your shooting techniques and editing skills. Lucky for you, we live in a world where online learning, or e-learning, is both widely accessible and really affordable. Whether you seek out free advice on Youtube tutorials or head over to Lynda for expertise courses, you gotta learn somewhere. 


5. Be Prepared

That means having everything you can possibly need for shooting better video–Camcorder, tripod, memory cards, battery, Cheetos and Redbull, etc.–on hand and ready to go. But remember, sometimes a perfect opportunity for a shoot happens when you least expect it, so always have some sort of recording device on you.


6. Be Engaging

Even if your video is a short as the length of an Instagram video, it should always be captivating in some sort of way.