As we’ve previously noted, every business has the opportunity to build a deeper relationship with their customers by using videos. Unfortunately, that also means every business has the opportunity to make a really bad video for their customers. To prevent this from happening, we’ll be sharing a few Tips and Tricks to help you improve the quality of your videos–without having to invest a ton of money in equipment.

Our first advice: Get a tripod

While the shaky, “this was filmed live” look may have worked for The Blair Witch Project, it does not work for your how-to video on changing the oil on a Harley Sportster. Viewers may not only experience motion sickness from a bobbing and shaking camera, but they’ll be distracted by the constant thought running through their head, “Would it have killed them to use a tripod?” The extra amount of detail you took to ensure visual stability goes a long way in making both you and your video look good.

Tripods can also be used to perform several types of shots that usually require other expensive equipment, or the steady hand of a professional videographer. Thankfully for us, we have the guys at Vimeo University to visually (and quite entertainingly) walk us through some ideas, as they can be kind of difficult to describe to new tripod users.

Steadicam-like shots


Don’t have an expensive Steadicam for those smooth, flowing shots? A tripod will never match that quality, but it can provide an improvement over your handheld method.

How: Shorten the tripod legs and pull all three apart to evenly disperse the weight. Hold the center staff of the tripod and let the legs balance the camera.

Dolly slider shot

dolly slide

Using a tripod, you can mimic an effect the pros get by using a tracked device called a dolly slider.

How: Retract one of the legs and use the other two as pivots. While maintaining a consistent aim of the shot, let the two legs slowly tilt forward.

Crane shot


How: Works just like a dolly slider but in reverse.

Rubberband pan


You can achieve a smooth panning shot with a tripod and a rubber band. Note how someone is bracing the legs of the tripod. That’s key.

How: Just loop the rubber band around the tripod handle and use it when pulling through a pan. The tension from the rubberband keeps the pan more even and smooth than you can achieve by using the handle alone.

(Via: Vimeo University.)

(Featured Photo: Alexander Turnbull Libary via Flickr)

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