Sue Bryce’s Video Basics: Video Dos and Don’ts

Moira West


Last week we shared some of Sue Bryce’s best tips for shooting behind-the-scenes video. This week, we’ve put together a few more of Sue’s dos and don’ts for recording professional-looking video clips for your slideshows.

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


  • Do keep steady. Prevent camera wobble by pinning your arms to your sides when you film. That way if you move slowly, the video clip won’t shake. Alternatively, if you know you won’t need to move the camera (or want to get yourself in a shot when you don’t have a second shooter), set up a tripod to keep your camera steady.
  • Do keep clips short. Video clips must be under 400MB to upload to Animoto. So, if you shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III, as Sue does in this series, you might get 1-2 minutes of video clips at a time. If you use a smartphone to get your footage, you could possibly use clips up to 5 minutes long. However, Sue usually keeps her clips to just a few seconds. It adds more visual interest, lets her work in interesting angles and b-roll, and leaves space for her beautiful photography.
  • Do tell a story. Even if it’s just the story of your shoot, a video with a beginning, a middle, and an end will help win over your audience. Plan out who your intended audience is and what message you want to tell them, then plot out your video and the shots you need from there.


  • Don’t shoot vertical. Vertical portraits are part of photography, but when you’re recording video clips, remember to keep your camera horizontal, just like they do for television and movies. It’ll let your video fill up the screen, and keep the focus on your footage.
  • Don’t make excuses. If you take photographs, you have what it takes to make a simple marketing video. It doesn’t have to be perfect — it just has to represent you and your images. So as Sue says, “Get your videos online now; get them out there. No excuses.”

Have you created a marketing video using Sue’s tips from this series? Share it with us at Animoto for Professional Photographers, or reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter using #Animoto.