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Nikki Katz is the Managing Editor for the BlogWorld.com. She has been a freelance writer and blogger for over a decade, writing for About.com, iVillage and b5media. Feel free to follow her Twitter @nikki_blogworld and @katzni.


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11
  • Romondo Davis

    It really improves quality to get direct, rather than ambient sound. Use a lavalier microphone plugged into the camera instead of settling for the camera’s built in mic. Whether you’re using your laptop’s built-in webcam, or a separate video camera, plug in a mic. Many of the Flip-style cameras don’t have an external mic input, the Kodak Zi8 does. Sony, Audio-technica and Shure all sell a decent lav mics for under $50.

    Also, pay attention to your lighting. So much credibility is lost when the video is shot in low light. Make sure you have good detail and low contrast. Nikki did a good job in her example; good even lighting and an interesting background.

    Finally, use a tripod! I carry Jobi Gorillapod. It clamps to anything.

  • Nikki

    Romondo – great points!! My sound is completely off – I definitely need to invest in a microphone.

  • Babette

    Nikki – great job! Now every time I read your emails I’ll read them in your voice. 🙂

    I agree with Romondo – the kodak zi8 is terrific. We have one and gave one to my budding filmmaker sister who’s 17. It’s a great buy. Sound is almost more important than picture in my opinion (unless you’re bouncing around in a car). I’ll check out that tripod – I’m in the market. Thanks for posting the name.

  • Dr. Dean Brandon

    You are correct about vlogs, but some people, well, it’s difficult to be on camera. I remember we were doing a short video public service announcement for our office. I said everything well, but came across–not as I would have hoped. I think with a vlog that has regular frequent videos (as a vlog would by nature be), the pressure of doing something perfectly one time is reduced and the practice of repeated on camera appearances will reduce the deer in the headlights presentation. Practice makes perfect. —Awe, Um, no pajamas?

    • Nikki

      Dr. Dean, practice definitely makes perfect. So does retakes. I think I filmed this one 5 times!!

  • Jendi

    I agree with the others that audio is really important. If they can’t hear your voice you’ve lost the whole point of it.
    It is true that the more video blogs you do the more confident you will become, BUT I always discourage multiple takes of the same video. I encourage vloggers to not do more than 3 takes, and either just pick the best one or edit the best parts together. I’ve often heard vloggers say, “Turns out that my first one was the best one anyway.” All they accomplished was using up time and energy as they got frustrated at their mistakes – and that will show in the vlog.
    Happy Vlogging!

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