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Shooting Photos and Video Clips with Text in Mind

Moira West


When you’re creating a marketing video, the words you use have to work with the photos and videos you choose. That doesn’t just mean what the words are — it also means how you place them. Take a look at some tips for how to shoot text-friendly photos and video clips for marketing videos, and how to make the ones you already have work better in your video.

Shooting Photos and Video Clips with Text in Mind

Choose plain backgrounds

Though it’s not always possible, look for backgrounds in a solid, or nearly solid color for your videos. The simple backdrop won’t compete with you text, which will make it easier to read your message. For instance, take a look at this tutorial from City Girl Flowers. The plain countertop serves as a background that really lets the text pop.

Marketing Video Style: “Standout”
Song: “I Won’t Hold My Breath” by the Atomic Atoms

Leave room for text

When you’re shooting photos or video clips for a marketing video, it pays to make sure some of your shots have room for text later on. Otherwise, your background image or video clip may make it difficult for your audience to read what you have to say.

Shooting Photos and Video Clips with Text in Mind

You can do this a few ways:

  1. Shoot with a little extra space above or below your image, and add text there later on. The City Girl Flowers video is a good example of this.
  2. Record video clips or take photos off-center, making sure your focus is to the right or left of the center. Later, you’ll be able to add text to the side of your image or video clip.
  3. Select a marketing video style that can create room for text for you, like Blank Slate, or a Storyboard, like the ones for a company overview or step-by-step instructions.

This video for pet photographer Kristie Lee does all three by choosing images with space for text, and by selecting the Blank Slate style to add room for text when she needed it.

Marketing Video Style: Blank Slate
Song: “Brumble Beat” by Mugsy

Use filters

If you’ve already got a lot of content that doesn’t follow the rules above, you can still make your text more legible by adding a filter to your video. A darken filter will fade out your photos or video clips a little bit, making it easier to read your text.

Marketing Video Style: Blank Slate
Song: “A Sun Sets The Mood” by Bert Selen

Choose the right font

Even if you can’t do any of the above, you can still find a way to make your text stand out. All of our styles have different fonts you can try, some of which are thick and easy to read in almost any situation. There’s also the Bold marketing video style, which adds a background to your text, ensuring you’ll always be able to read it. For a sample, check out this great how-to video from Ryobi Tools.

Marketing Video Style: Bold
Song: “Better” by Jaime Gerard

Do you have a video with well-done text? We’d love to see it. Share it with us in the comments below, or reach out on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Use the hashtag #MyAnimoto, and we might share it with our own audience.