Sue Bryce’s Video Basics: Behind-the-Scenes Video

Moira West


Last week, photographer Sue Bryce showed us how to adjust focus when shooting video on a DSLR camera. This week she explores different ways you can capture yourself and your clients to create dynamic behind-the-scenes videos.

Style: Documentary
Song: “A Cool Affair” by Black and Brown

Sue’s most important tip is this: give yourself plenty of options by shooting from at least six different angles for every shot. Here’s a quick checklist of Sue’s go-to shots for behind-the-scenes video:

Sue’s Shot Checklist

  • Hero position: Shoot video of your client the same way you would if you were taking a photograph. Make sure you have good light, and for some added flair, add a bit of fan to move your client’s hair and give the shot some movement.

    Hero Position
  • Panning shots: Move the camera from left to right or from right to left to capture more of the scene.

  • Floating frame: Hold the camera and move in a circular motion to give the audience a view of the room in panorama.

  • Zoom: Use Sue’s tips for adjusting your focus by pushing and pulling to, create a cinematic effect.

  • Shoot on the 45: Get behind both the photographer and client at a 45 degree angle to record both of them at the same time.

    Shoot on the 45
  • Shoot from above: Get up above the action to present a broad view.

  • Shoot from the ground: Using this angle gives your subject an epic, larger-than-life quality.

  • Hero shot: Sue’s hero shot is actually a combination of shots. First, capture the photographer taking photos of her client. Then, record the client (you can use Sue’s suggestions for hero position above). If you want, you can then step back to get a broad shot that includes both photographer and client. The combination, when edited together, tells the story of an image from three different perspectives.

    Hero shot sequence

If you develop a few more complicated shots, you’ll produce video clips that are rich in movement and style that’ll allow you to create cinematic, behind-the-scenes videos. Practice shooting video from a few new angles with your next client and see how dramatically those few changes can improve the look of your video.

Make sure to come back next week, when Sue will share her do’s and don’ts for photography videos.