Tips for Filming Yourself

Shooting book recommendations, storytimes, interviews, or project videos can seem intimidating at first but with practice you can produce content that is engaging and fun.

Use this guide to increase your video skills and to remove some of the potential problems that can come up when recording at home or out in the field. If you have questions contact us.

General Video Guidelines

Shoot in Landscape

  • Make sure to record in good lighting and avoid shadows.
  • Keep camera as still as possible.
  • Shoot landscape/horizontally.
  • Choose an outfit that has solid colors or subtle prints. Certain elements can be distracting such as large jewelry and loud prints.
  • Make your video short (Projects using Creativebug, classes with, book or movie recommendations with Hoopla, Zinio, or Overdrive (Libby), etc). Examples: 5 Facts, 3 Tips, Just the Main Topic, and Bite Size Brief Overviews.
  • In general you have about 3 seconds to capture the viewer’s attention so start off with something that grabs their attention.
  • The shorter the video, the more likely people will watch your entire video.
  • Audio is just as important as video quality so speak clearly and reduce background noise.
  • Be sure to tell your viewers what you want them to do after they finish watching your video. Make it simple to follow.
  • Be authentic – introduce yourself (first name) and be yourself!
  • Don’t worry if everything isn’t perfect. These videos are meant to be fun, casual and authentic.
  • No need to edit your own videos. Do a few takes and send the best file.
  • Upload file to OneDrive and share with Michael Perkins. Please include a title, description, and other important information (such as a list of books, songs, or service). Include this information in the message section and/or send an email to Michael Perkins.
OneDrive Upload Guide

Log into your OneDrive folder, go to documents, select upload, navigate to the file and submit. Once uploaded navigate to the file and select it. Then click the Share button, enter email address and click send.

Select Upload

Pick File

Hover over or click you’ll get the share option

Type in email address and click send


Shooting Indoors

  • Film in a quiet place where interruptions are minimized. Turn off notifications on computers and phones.
  • Film in a bright room and avoid light that is only directly above you.
  • Don’t stand or sit directly against a wall. This will feel unnatural and stiff. Just leave a few feet of space between you and the wall.
  • Keep light in front or side of you. Not behind you.
  • Stabilize camera on a shelf, stack of books, taped to a stick, or mounted on a tripod to prevent camera shake.
  • Be in the center of the frame if possible.
  • Simplify background and remove objects if possible.
  • Camera should be above your eye level, slightly angled down.
  • Film landscape (horizontally).


Shooting Outdoors

  • Don’t shoot in mid-day – The light will be extremely harsh and cast dramatic shadows
  • Plan your shoot in the early morning or just before sunset when the lighting isn’t as harsh.
  • Use your surroundings to your advantage. Find a nice little area of shade such as trees or an overhang and use that as diffusion.
  • If it’s cloudy outside mother nature provided you a beautiful diffused light so use it.
  • If you have help you can hold a sheet or reflector overhead to diffuse the light.
  • Try to get as far from traffic as you can. Birds and water sounds are awesome – road noise isn’t.
  • Film landscape (horizontally).

Additional Tips

Look Better in Virtual Meetings