What background should you have for your videos?

So many people get this stage wrong.

They either just stick a webcam on their computer and don’t give a thought to the background or they assume a plain white wall is the solution and plonk themselves just in front of it.

Sorry if I just insulted you but seriously, this stuff makes a massive difference!

What would be my ideal location?

It wouldn’t be a fancy studio!

'Ideally' I’d shoot at the front of trendy office or in a luxurious home, like in some of these examples below:

 

Seeing people at work in their natural environment (a smart trendy one of course) gives a real sense of authenticity and helps us connect with them.

That second screenshot above speaks volumes doesn't it? Having that skyscraper view with minimal props (and of course a Mac) just oozes 'success'!

A similar tone is set with the others as they invite you into their world which instantly helps us relate to them and build trust.

I don’t have a trendy office with exposed brick walls, beautiful furniture and views across the city though floor to ceiling windows.

I work from a home studio and I’m guessing the same is probably true of you. So what can we do?

What not to do!

Aargh... I hate to single anyone out but here’s a couple of examples that I encourage you to avoid.

 

Now Miles in the first example delivers superb content, I watch his videos and I’ve learnt a lot from him but I’d love to see him in a location that said 'I'm a professional, listen to me!' (Miles, if you watch this lets hook up! ) The second is me about 4 years ago when I used soft boxes and a plain backdrop.

I know some still shoot on a plain white backdrop but I much prefer seeing a more creative backdrop…Like these:

 

The first example - wood paneling.

The second (me) - brick effect wallpaper and a plastic plant.

The third - an IKEA bookcase filled with relevant props.

None very expensive and could be set up against any wall.

 
WAIT… Backup... Did you see the transformation in my own videos?!?

 
They were actually shot with the same camera, in front of the same wall!

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SET!

... and how to light it.

Those old videos are still live!

I've got worse videos than that, do you want to see another? This one's 4 year old videos on my YouTube channel and I cringe every time I look at it, the colour's awful, the plain background, I'd never do that now but I CAN'T CHANGE IT because look how many views it's got!!!

 

 

Why do I say this?

Take it from me, get your location and set up right FIRST, don’t put a batch out and think you’ll upgrade them in a year. If they’re online and getting traction you can’t simply replace them like you can a course video. I really wish I'd known this back then. This is one of the big benefits of our academy's Facebook group, we get to share and discuss each other's videos and fine tune them before mass producing them.

So please, if you’re taking everything else seriously invest a little time in finding a location and dressing it well.

As you can see the impact is extremely powerful.

'I don't have those options!'

‘But Adrian, I don’t have a space like that or the option to paper a wall!’

OK, don’t give up, we have some options.

Firstly, find somewhere with minimal distraction in the background, unless it’s really relevant.

Teaching business skills in front of a cluttered kitchen with the breakfast cereal bowls all piled up on the sink and your laundry hanging in the background just ain’t gonna cut it!

Secondly, I tell my Academy students to find a space where you have at least 1.5m between you and the wall behind.

Then you want to purchase a DSLR or mirrorless camera and use a prime lens on it so it blurs the background and helps take the distraction out of whatever’s behind.

Get some inspiration

Why not check out a few videos on YouTube to see the type of backgrounds others are using and find something you could recreate at home for your own videos. If you like, why not post into the ProVideoHackers group and let us see what style you like, I can then give you tips on how to recreate it ;-)

Well I hope that gives you something to think about and I genuinely would love your feedback. 

If you're not already hanging out with us in the facebook group come grab a seat and join the conversation. 

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