Do these three things if you want to create better content. I did, and my videos are TV-approved!
Aside from having to pause our style services altogether, not having a creative outlet was one of the worst impacts of covid for me personally. Creative expression through styling is a major part of my work and to be honest my identity. So when the entire world shut down and we couldn’t see clients anymore, I missed my ability to create and went through the challenges of adjusting just like many of you.
In October, an exciting opportunity came my way. I was invited to contribute to CTV Your Morning as a Style Expert and the possibility of building new skills while doing something creatively inspiring was exactly what I needed. This opportunity then snowballed into being a guest on CHCH Morning Live and this March, a debut on The Marilyn Denis Show. In the span of just a few months, a lot has changed at Dapper Style Mint and I wanted to share more of what goes on behind the scenes.
TV is a visual medium so it makes sense to start by talking about camera gear, a key aspect of creating visually appealing content. Consider this practical advice from someone who has followed these three steps since October and the proof is in the pudding.
1. Get advice from gear experts. It will save you time, money, and the frustration of trying to figure it out
Before I got on TV, I had taken a tonne of pictures and videos for style boards and social media. What my amateur skills didn’t put into consideration was that segments were now virtual due to the pandemic. Unlike being in a studio, we were going to have to shoot and edit the b-roll and most importantly the footage needed to show with the same clarity on-air, details and everything – after all, only a few million people were going to see our work. Umm what? Houston we had a problem!
With camera expertise that dates back to 1909, Henry’s Camera was the starting point having purchased a camera from them a few years back. Through their Help Center, we connected with an expert and discussed what we wanted to create. By helping us narrow down what worked for these needs, a lot of research time was saved.
2. What others use may not be what you need
I have watched enough YouTube videos to not only overwhelm myself but know that there is no point in buying something that I think will work when it might not even be what I really need, it’s a waste of time and money. I went into the conversation with Henry’s Help Desk thinking I needed a lot of gear only to be given a shorter list of beginner friendly equipment. Since you have probably watched my TV segments, I am going to share what I got. But it is still important to contact them directly, our needs might be completely different (refer to point 1).
As the saying goes, handsome is in the details! Not being in a studio with professional camera people means that without the right lighting, the style details can be lost in the footage and we can’t have that on a Style Segment! Because every segment is different, our lighting needs change based on what we are capturing and when, did I mention the segments are at ungodly early hours at which sometimes it’s still dark outside so natural light can’t be relied on? So we needed lighting that can work beyond turning it on and off. Two types were recommended: NanLight Lumipad which has temperature adjusting capabilities and a ring light with adjustable intensity as well as a phone and camera holder.
Audio and Camera
Sound quality can really alter the viewing experience and I am not trying to subject the whole of Canada to bad sound! The Rode VideoMic , improves the audio quality by focusing on the audio in front of the camera. It is also lightweight and compact enough to carry around if we need to shoot in multiple locations i.e. at a clothing store we may be working with.
I mentioned the segments are virtual and we are not working with professional camera people in the studio right now so we needed a camera that doubles for broll and is able to work for live TV. The Sony ZV-1 is compact enough to fit in a camera kit, compatible with the Rode Videomic and most importantly has amazing video as a webcam.
Thanks to COVID, I sometimes work with no staff so easy setup and teardown is priority. With very sturdy and durable light and camera tripods, it is easy to quickly get ready for the segments and storage is no problem when I am working from home because everything is compact. On the go, the Sony vlogger accessory kit and Feiyu Tech Gimbal have really inspired even more creativity as I continue to learn more about cool new ways to make my footage even more interesting.Which leads me to the last tip.
3. Embrace continuous learning, you will only get better
Like every art form, the more you learn and practice the better you will get. We all learn differently and having been in business for more than a 100 years, I know Henry’s Camera has encountered individuals of different learning styles.
Henry’s offers multiple avenues to help you get better from YouTube tutorials:
- Photography and videography online events if you want to go pro
- Blog articles for easy reference, with tips for all skill levels
- Instagram tips and tricks
I like to believe with these resources, I am getting better. If you watch my first segment and then the most recent you can see how the three tips have made a difference for me.