FREE GUIDE: Videographer Checklist Before Pressing Record

Every videographer goes through it. We start running through a million steps in our head to make sure that as soon as we press record we don’t make any mistakes and pray that everything runs smoothly. BUT what happens when you forget to clean your lens? Or you forgot to unload your SD card? Or your batteries die? Yes, it’s all happened to me and mistakes are always bound to happen at least once, or even three times, in a videographer’s career.

So, I’m here to make life a little bit easier for you! Here are my best tips of things to do before you press record:

REFORMAT YOUR SD CARD

Most videographers don’t do this for every project but it’s a good habit to get into especially when you’re working on multiple projects at once. Formatting your SD card wipes all your old data, photos, and videos off of the SD card so you’re starting from scratch. I never used to notice the difference but once I started working on multiple projects at once I realized that my SD card started processing my videos a lot slower. Which then caused me to delay the shoot in order for the video clips to process. HOWEVER, make sure that you have downloaded your footage from the SD card before you reformat it.

BRING EXTRA BATTERIES

This is especially with Sony Cameras as their battery life lasts about an hour or two, if you’re lucky. However, for any camera brand bringing an extra camera battery, already charged, will make sure the shoot runs smoothly.

CLEAN YOUR LENS

This is the most common mistake of videographers. I’ve filmed an entire shoot for 4 hours once to only notice in post production that there was a smudge on the lens which caused my clients right eye to look blurred. Do not make the same mistake! Bring an eye glasses cleaner cloth and gently wipe your lens before you press record.

FINALIZE YOUR SETTINGS

Now that you’ve cleaned the lens, make sure that your settings are adjusted to the area you’re filming in. Especially the exposure as it’s the hardest setting to edit in post production.

MAKE SURE YOUR SUBJECT IS IN FOCUS

Going off of the above, make sure your subject is in focus. Sony cameras have a great auto tracking focus which makes life a lot easier. However for any camera if your subject is moving just make sure to be in autofocus.

DOUBLE CHECK YOUR GEAR

Before pressing record do a test shot to make sure that the settings don’t drastically change and everything is running smoothly.

TEST YOUR MICROPHONE

This is the most important aspect of your video as audio really makes a difference of whether or not the viewer stays on your video and continues to watch it. If your video has bad audio most likely a viewer isn’t going to stick around to continue watching.

CHECK YOUR CAMERA ANGLES

Last thing to do is to check your camera angles. Make sure your subjects head isn’t cut off, or that their off centered. OR if you’re shooting a product make sure that the product is in the full frame. Also make sure that your camera is straight or at your desired angle. Yes, I have shot diagonally on purpose before.

So there you have it! Those are my top suggestions on what to do before you press record. To make your life even easier I’ve made a Free Guide that you can download that includes a checklist you can look at directly on your phone to use on shoot days.

If you’ve used any of the tips and tricks above or if I missed something important please let me know in the comments below.