Marketing

How to Set Up a Home Video Studio


By Jillian Warren

Published April 12, 2021

6 minute read

If you regularly create video content, setting up a home studio can save you a lot of time and effort. And the good news? You don’t have to break the bank to get great results.

If you regularly create video content, setting up a home studio can save you a lot of time and effort.

And the good news? You don’t have to break the bank to get great results.

Later’s resident video expert, Alex Duncan, shares his top tips for shooting professional-level video from home — as well as all the equipment you’ll need to get started:

Home Video Studio Equipment Checklist

Before you get started, you’ll need to get set up with the right equipment for your home video studio.

Fortunately, you can create an awesome studio on almost any budget, as long as you’re prepared to get a little creative.

Budget Video Picks:

Professional Video Picks:

Ready to kickstart your YouTube strategy? Discover our top tips for Creating a YouTube Channel on a Budget here!

19 Best Practices for Shooting Video from Home

Once you’ve got your equipment list in order, you’re all set to start creating video content at home. Later’s videographer, Alex Duncan, shares his top tips for transforming your home into a professional-level studio:

Part #1: Camera Tips

As most of us don’t have a professional video camera collecting dust in our closets, using a camera phone, laptop, or webcam is the next best option.

That being said, you can still get great results. Here’s how:

  1. Set up your camera on a tripod or steady surface

  2. Position the camera at eye level if possible

  3. Leave enough space around the subject so the video can easily be cropped for different platforms (i.e a 16:9 video for YouTube can be cropped into a 9:16 video for IGTV or Reels)

  4. Leave some distance between the subject and the backdrop. This helps add depth to the shot.

  5. Check your phone/camera/laptop settings to make sure you are shooting at the highest possible resolution.

Part #2: Lighting Tips

Lighting can make a subtle but big difference to the quality of your at-home video footage, especially when shooting on a phone or laptop.

Here’s how to get the best results:

  1. Film in a location that is well lit with natural light at daytime if possible. If you can diffuse the light through translucent curtains, even better!

  2. Turn on any indoor lights alongside the natural light.

  3. Avoid harsh shadows on the subject. Try and aim for flat, even lighting.

  4. If you have access to artificial lighting, such as a ring-light, feel free to use it — but be careful to avoid harsh shadows or reflections in glasses.

  5. Try not to shoot with bright lights (such as a window) behind the subject. This can cause issues with auto-exposure on cameras.

Looking for more home studio setup inspiration? All 25+ guest speakers at LaterCon 2020 filmed their sessions at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rewatch it all here:

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Part #3: Audio Tips

Audio quality is often an afterthought, but it can make a huge difference to the quality of a video. For the best results, use an external microphone and sync your audio during the edit process.

However, you can still record clear audio even if you don’t have an external mic. Here are our top tips:

  1. Record in a quiet location, with doors and windows closed to avoid any unwanted noises.

  2. Record in a carpeted space, or somewhere with plenty of soft furnishings. This helps to “dampen” the sound and reduce echo. On a similar note, avoid recording in an empty room with bare walls, as this can make the audio sound tinny.

  3. If you are recording with an external mic, perform a single clap at the start of a take. This will help you to sync up the audio to the video footage.

  4. Position an external mic slightly away from the source of audio (i.e. someone’s mouth). If the mic is too close, this can introduce distortion to the sound. In a quiet space, roughly half a meter distance should do the trick.

  5. If you’re using a clip-on mic, clip it onto the subject’s clothes and position it pointing upwards, towards their chin.

  6. Make sure built-in mics are not obstructed by your hand, tripod grip, or any other objects.

Part #4: Location Tips

Your “film set” — or in more simple terms, the location you choose to film in —  can have a huge impact on how polished and professional your final video looks.

Thankfully, you don’t have to replicate a Hollywood studio to create a strong aesthetic. Here are 3 quick tips to keep in mind:

  1. Look for cozy corners of your home that are intimate but not cluttered

  2. Use plants, desks, ornaments, chairs, books, and cushions to add character to your videos (but not all at once)

  3. If you don’t have a workable space, use a seamless paper backdrop in a color that aligns with your brand

And that’s it! With these simple tips you’ll be creating professional video content from home in no time.

Will you be setting up your own home video studio this summer? Share your experience with us on Later’s Instagram account!

Did you know? Video scheduling is available now on all of Later’s paid plans. Upgrade now to get access.

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