My Gear For Shooting Video Content
Throughout my baking journey, I knew I was also interested in content creation. That is making videos about how I create my cakes, showing flavor combinations and creative designs. So very early on, I decided to film everything I make and take pictures of the cakes, in case I need that footage, and sure enough, I do use my cake footage all the time because people love to see behind the scenes the making of videos.
I’m certainly not an expert when it comes to shooting. However, I took a beginners course in photography some time ago with Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai’s center for photography. I also get many shooting tips and tricks from two excellent resources; the first is my brother-in-law Hatem Saleh. He’s a professional videographer, and he does fantastic work for a lot of well-known brands. You can read all his shooting advice on a previous blog post he was featured in here. I also learned a lot from YouTube videos. My favorite channel is The Bite Shop. Joanie Simon is cheerful and very easy to follow if you’re a beginner with tons of great advice.
So that’s a bit about my background in photography. As for the gear I own and use, I did a lot of research and chose equipment that is easy to use, will give good results, and not very expensive. Here is my filmmaking gear checklist with their respective links:
- A camera. You certainly don’t have to go out spending a lot of money in the beginning, so practice with your phone at first. I bought my DSLR after I took my photography course and knew I was serious about it. What I own and love is a Canon DSLR 77D. I purchased this model because it shoots both photos and videos, and I wanted to upgrade my videography game. It’s worthwhile to read a DSL camera manual, and you can find almost everything about it online as well if you do some research.
- A tripod. There are so many types out there that it can be confusing, so look for a tripod that is sturdy and stable, can carry the weight of your camera, and can maneuver into different positions. I love the K&F Concept Tripod which my husband gave me as a gift, and it’s perfect. I guess he did his homework too.
- Lighting – this subject was challenging for me. In the beginning, I hardly used any artificial light because I knew that natural light is the best way, but my home windows are tinted, and it’s not very bright inside. After some time, I started using a small ring light to support the vertical videos I shoot for IG stories or TikTok. Still, it wasn’t doing the trick… ring lights are useful if you are standing close to the light, but if you’re shooting food, likely, the light source is not very close to the food, and so it will not light very well. Your best bets are either an LED flashlight that you can put on top of the camera or the table and the softbox more oversized and bulky, so make sure that you have space before purchasing it. These two options light up your area very well. Be careful when purchasing your LED or softbox lights to make sure what’s included in the package, because the batteries and chargers may be sold separately. The Neewer LED light I linked here is a kit that comes with a charger, 2 batteries, and a little kit bag.
- If you will be shooting flat surfaces, captured directly from above then you may also want an overhead phone mount, you can shoot this kind of picture or video with the tripod and camera, but I wanted to have both while shooting, so the phone would be mounted on this bracket as well.
- If you are speaking on camera, you will also need a microphone. Otherwise, the surrounding noises will be too loud in your video. Your best bet is a clip-on lapel mic such as the Boya. I love it because it has a very long cord to connect to the camera, so I don’t feel restricted, and it’s not expensive like the wireless ones.
- And finally, don’t forget the video editing software or App. I love the Splice App, it’s so easy to use but after a while, I realized that all this content is taking up too much space on my phone and decided to only edit on my desktop. Now I use Adobe Premiere Rush which is also easy and has some great extra features and also has an app version. Both these options are paid subscriptions not free of charge.
So there’s a bit of investment that takes place when you decide to create video content, and not to mention your time and effort which is your greatest investment. So consider these options, do your research and know your budget, and spend it wisely.
If you are not using a DSLR and just shooting with your phone, make sure to have a ring light, and instead of a microphone, you can use your phone’s headset instead. Nowadays, most smartphone cameras are excellent with HD shooting options, so as a beginner, practice with that until you are ready to invest in more gear.