A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: How to Make a Video Tutorial and GET VIEWS!

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29 March 2012

How to Make a Video Tutorial and GET VIEWS!

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Last year I made my first vlog tutorial showing how to create fabric pocket organizers.  This year allfreesewing.com is featuring the video and post.  The difference in traffic is IMMENSE...  If you are a talent blogger (as opposed to a popular blogger), you must must must take advantage of aggregation and compilation sites for your work!   You will see your site grow organically (even if you aren't a garden blog), gain an authentic, niched audience and your work begin to make a profit.  Win, win and win, win, win.

...but this is a post about video tutorials, not aggregation sites, SO let's move on, shall we?

Here are a few simple tips that will help you set up a video tutorial with a digital SLR.

First things first....find a space in your home where you can work easily and a space that also looks fairly nice.  It doesn't have to be the MOST beautiful space in your home, but if you can stay away from the pile of dirty laundry and the broken toilet in the bathroom....it will help!

This is the space I chose on the couch, with my sewing machine perched on the trunk.  This is my typical setup for sewing and it worked well for the tutorial.  The only problem is that the camera is facing directly into doors that are filled with sunlight.   This could be a problem (you would be a black silhouette against the light) unless you adjust the exposure compensation.  (If you need a basic primer on exposure compensation, read THIS first!)

The first thing I did was check my exposure in camera and adjusted it to +.07 or +1 to compensate for the lighted doors.  Notice how the couch is darker in the first photo and the trees outside can be seen somewhat through the windows.  When I upped to exposure compensation (in the second photo),  the foreground (where I will be) lightens up and the window is completely blown out.  You can no longer see any detail outside the window which is perfect for my purposes.

Check exposure
Adjust exposure

 After you have fixed your exposure, then you need to work on focus.  This is a bit difficult when you are filming yourself.  You could set the self timer on your camera, run into the photo and hope it focuses correctly on you, but I prefer to just use monkey arms, hold an object out as far as possible and focus on it while looking through the lens.

Once your focus is set on that object, your camera will focus on that same point when you start video.  As you might imagine, it is difficult to get everything in the photo when your object is this close, so use the wider end of your lens when shooting (20mm or 24 mm is usually great for this type of setup).
Focus on product where it will come into view.
The Setup
SO here is the whole setup....Camera is perched on a tall stool, while I sit on the couch.  The focus is on the space where I hold up the pocket organizer over and over to show detail.  It is certainly not a perfect solution (I'd much rather have a cameraman at my beck and call!), but for quick videos while you are working alone...it works!!!

In conclusion:
1.  Find a Beautiful Setup
2.  Check Exposure and Adjust
3.  Check Focus and Adjust (Wide Angle Lens Helps!!)
4.  Test your setup and Adjust
5.  Submit Your Work to an Aggregation Site for Great Exposure and Niched Traffic!

Interested in the actual video? You can check it out HERE!!
Interested in aggregation sites?  You can check out the sites I submit to HERE and stay tuned for more info!
Interested in more sewing projects?  Check out the DIY page!

Questions?!  Just ask!

Since many of you have asked for more gear recommendations, here goes!

1.                           2.                                3.

Want the best camera ever?  Sorry -- I can't help you.  I CAN however tell you what got ME started!
I started out on a D40 (camera 3), currently shoot with a D7000 (camera 2) and recommend the D3000 (camera 1).
Whatever you do, save your money you had set aside for that Nikon Coolpix or Canon Powershot and buy a used DSLR.  Trust me.

...oh and PS -- these tips work JUST as well for a manual camera as they do for digital cameras...


Nessa Bixler Thursday, March 29, 2012  

My favorite thing about this whole post... that you sew on your couch. Love that... Everything you do is so amazing - yet real, simple and accessible. Thanks Amy.

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