5 Tips for Shooting Handheld Videos Like a Pro What you need to know to shoot epic videos handheld

In this video, Landon Bytheway from fulltimefilmmaker takes a look at 5 tips for shooting amazing handheld videos like a pro.

In the past year or so we have looked extensively at different aspects of shooting those epic b-rolls (with the big hype around Daniel Schiffer’s amazing videos)

  1. Shoot wide – using a wide-angle lens (at least for a large percentage of your handheld shots) will help you reduce the visibility of shakes and make your videos look more fluid. Shooting with a 24-30mm (on a FF camera) is typically considered the sweet spot.
  2. 3 points of contact – as much as possible have 3 points of contact with your camera/lens (usually – grip, palm on the base of the camera or lens and the hand holding the lens), this will assure maximum support for the camera. You can also use a strap (tight) or some help from a cage (held close to your body) or any other way to assure maximum stability.
  3. Move your body, not your hands – move your body not your camera/lens as much as possible, this will also help you create more fluid stable shots, this is not possible of course all the time but try and control the camera with your body as much as possible.
  4. Move with the action – moving your camera together with your subject’s movement is a great idea, plan ahead and try and have your camera follow your subject.
  5. Keep it moving – one of the best tips in this video is to try and always keep the camera moving, as long as it is moving micro jitters but also small focus misses are less visible.

This video didn’t cover a very important topic related to shooting handheld in this way and that is focusing. It is clear that Bytheway did use AF for this video demo (same as Schiffer and many others who shoot in this style – we also did a similar video and for the most part didn’t use AF besides a few more stationary parts). Nailing the focus when both you and the subject are moving isn’t easy, it takes practice, some skill, and planing (there is a reason Holywood hires professional follow focus operators), but with enough trial and error you have a good chance of nailing the shot eventually.

In the past, we have published Bytheway’s “5 tips for shooting amazing product videos” and of course many videos on shooting epic b-rolls (if this is what you are after) which you can check out here.

You can find more videos on product photography and videography on our “product photography” subsection here on LensVid and you can check out more of fulltimefilmmaker videos – here on LensVid as well.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of LensVid.com. He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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