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Tips for shooting a recipe video

A guide to filming your recipes that will help your video stand out and achieve consistency.

by: Ceili McGeever | 15 Jan 2020

(Image iStock)

Here are some tips for beginners to production in cooking videos. For a video to do well and look great, there needs to be consistency, which will start to become clear as you develop your personal style. If you look at the case of Tasty videos from Buzzfeed, they stick to a very specific formula which has enabled the videos to go viral on numerous occasions. The fact is that everyone can relate to beautifully presented food, so use these tips to make your food stand out.

Keep to a particular style that will eventually become recognisable

Try shooting in the same place, using the same equipment and using the same background or particular surface. These can change slightly depending on what you're cooking or what season it is, but correlation between the videos is very important for your brand or name in the industry -  it helps create identity and individual style.

Stay in your zone

Try shoot everything in one area of your kitchen, this will keep the video consistent and will tie the steps of the recipe together neatly. Tip: to help this, it's good to use a portable hot plate so that you can mix ingredients and cook them in the exact same spot without moving the camera.

Use a tripod

The absolute key to filming a recipe video. It makes the production look far more professional and it's much easier for a viewer to focus on whats actually taking place, the food preparation. A camera that's moving a lot will only make the video look sloppy, but if there are instances where the camera needs to be held, be as stable as possible, and make sure you edit the stabalisation on your editing program. iMovie, Lightworks and Youtube Creator Studio are all free, but if you are willing to pay there's Adobe's Premiere Pro, or Final Cut.

Natural light is always best

If you can find a spot near a window that doesn't throw direct sunlight onto your food then you're good to go. A well lit food video is the most important factor in making the food look delicious. Harsh lighting can turn a tasty meal into a unappetising one. Kitchen lighting is a no no, but if you have access to a small studio light this will help you! Then use a white board to bounce the light onto the subject, or diffuse the light with a white cloth.

Shoot overhead

An aerial shot of the food prep and cooking is always preferable as it neatly displays the action and gives the video a tutorial-like quality. Mix this up with a couple close-up shots of the food for a tantalising and mouth-watering effect.

Square vs Wide screen

What format do you want to use? If you are going to edit the video to be a square that is suitable for Instagram and mobile devices then you need to be very aware of this when filming. You may want to use tape to mark the region of the surface that you need to stay in. Whether you want to edit your video to be a square or keep it in wide screen is up to you, it depends on the purpose of your video and where it will be displayed online.

READ: Tips and tricks for food styling and photography

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