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The Complete Guide to Film Photography

The Complete Guide to Film Photography

Whether you aspire to become a media videographer or just want to know how to shoot professional-looking videos, you need more than good equipment. Mastering several basic video tips will ease the frustration many videographers experience. Before long, the standard tricks will become so routine that you'll be able to concentrate on creativity and not just the basics. We have some of those basic tips to get you started with film photography.

The Complete Guide to Film Photography

Keep it steady

Avoid camera shake by using the Moza Air 2 Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer that comes with the Nikon Z6 Filmmaker’s Kit from Don’t constantly zoom in & out or pan right to left. In general, you want to record at least 10 seconds of each shot. Let the action in the frame speak for itself.

Wide, medium, close-up

Make sure to get different angles so that you’ll have choices in the editing process. You want to get the widest angle possible. This may include filming from the top of a building looking down on the crowd. Then getting close-ups of the faces in the crowd and then some medium shots of people from the ground level.

The Complete Guide to Film Photography

What’s in the background?

Make sure to notice what's in the background. You can either move the camera to get the best angle, move the subject in front of a good background or create a new background. Ask yourself if the background supports the story visually.


The same rules that apply to photography, apply to videography. Always make sure your subjects are well lit but not over-lit. Don’t put an interview subject with their back to the sun. Or don’t put them under a shady tree with a bright scene in the background.

Anticipate action

This is a skill that develops instinctively the more you shoot. If you want to capture a player hitting the baseball, you will need to anticipate that moment and begin recording a few seconds or minutes before. Once you realize the ball has been pitched, it’s too late. You’ve missed the moment.

The Complete Guide to Film Photography

Frame it like a picture

This is where artistic expression and style come into play, but in general, utilize the standard framing styles and rule of thirds in photography.

Where’s your mic?

Many amateur videographers or budget filmmakers don’t have the luxury of having an audio tech to hold a boom mic for them. Often the case in budget filmmaking, you’re relying on the mic on top of your camera like the RODE VideoMic Pro+ shotgun microphone found in your filmmaking kit from for sound. You need to always be conscious of where that mic is relative to the sound you’re trying to capture. If someone is talking, you’ll need to have the camera close to that person, otherwise it will be annoying for the viewer to strain to hear what they’re saying. The reality is that getting good sound will often dictate your shot. Learn some audio basics along with videography tips.

The Complete Guide to Film Photography

Don’t zoom for close-ups

In general, an image loses quality when you zoom. An image also tends to be shakier, especially on a hand-held shot, when zoomed in. So whenever possible, walk up to your subject for the close-up. Being a videographer is all about the details that you can only learn by doing and experiencing first hand. So go out there and get shooting!

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