Why YouTube Videos Look HORRIBLE… and 5 Ways to Fix Them!

There’s nothing worse than clicking on a quality thumbnail that fails to deliver the same standard of video and audio. Let’s fix this with the help of the experts.

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⏱️⏱️VIDEO CHAPTERS⏱️⏱️
0:00 — THIS is Why Your Videos Look RUBBISH!
0:40 — Filming setup tip 1
1:30 — Filming setup tip 2
2:15 — Filming setup tip 3
3:42 — Filming setup tip 4
4:48 — The goal of the video is…

Make sure to check @Ben Johnson’s channel for more amazing content to up your video game!

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=================== text video ====================

— Oh, this looks horrible.

Much better.

Let’s show you how we did this,

with the help of the experts.

— What’s up everybody?

My name’s Ben Johnson and I’m
super excited to be here today

on the vidIQ channel.

Rob asked me to share some tips with you,

and I thought it’d be really cool

to take you through the process

of how to set up a great talking headshot

for YouTube videos.

Today, I’ve got my beautiful wife,

Mikayla here joining us to
help illustrate this example.

We are gonna take this shot from this,

which is where I feel most of us start,

to this which is a massive improvement.

First, let’s talk about camera placement.

A lot of times I will
see creators shooting

with their camera way
too high or way too low,

neither of which is flattering.

Instead, you should try placing
the camera at eye level,

or maybe just slightly above eye level.

This will make a more flattering shot

and help you directly
connect with your audience.

Now that your camera
is in a good position,

let’s figure out where you should be.

To do this we’ll use the rule of thirds.

This is a photography rule
in which the image is divided

into thirds using horizontal
and vertical lines.

A great look for YouTube
is to place yourself

in the middle third with
your eyes falling across

the top horizontal line and
make sure to give yourself

a little bit of headroom.

All right, now that we’ve got
you and your camera in place,

let’s talk about your background.

As the content creator,

you are responsible for
every pixel in your frame,

and that includes what’s behind you.

When possible I’d recommend
cleaning out the background

so that you can start with a clean slate

and then only bring in
things that are intentional,

little tables, bookshelves,
and cubbies are a great way

to bring in some accent items.

Think about your channel and your niche

and you’ll probably be able
to figure out some items

that you can bring in
to help the viewer feel

like they’ve found the right place.

For example, I have a channel
about content creation,

so I may put some lenses
or a computer behind me.

When in doubt plants

and little lights make
great background elements.

All right, now that we
have our composition

and background set, let slide it.

For the most part it
doesn’t usually work well

to just leave the room lights on.

A lot of times, that’s going
to cause unwanted shadows

under your eyes which could make

you look extra tired or unhappy.

Instead, I’d recommend
starting by turning off

all the lights.

This will give you a
blank canvas to work with.

Next, I’d bring in the
key light and turn it on.

A key light is the main
light which is lighting you.

Now instead of just shining it directly

at you at full brightness,

I’d actually recommend moving
it to about a 45 degree angle,

raising it up and angling it down

and then start by running it
at about 25 to 50% brightness.

Also watch the eye and make sure

that you get a little
reflection of the light in it.

This is known as a catch light

and will create a nice sparkle.

Now, this already looks pretty good,

but if you wanna take it a step further,

you can add in a hair light
as well as a background light.

To find out more about how
to do these techniques,

you can check out my lighting
for YouTube video here.

Now, if you find that you’re turning

the brightness of your lights up,

but somehow the image itself
seems to be getting darker.

It’s probably because your
camera is on auto settings

and it’s fighting you.

I’d recommend going manual

and here’s a couple of quick
settings you can start with.

Adjust accordingly until you
get the look that you want

for your space.

All right, and let’s
not forget about audio.

You could have the best
looking scene in the world,

but if your audio sounds bad,

people are not gonna stick around

to hear what you have to say.

Remember, audio is
literally half of video,

so we’ve got to prioritize it.

Honestly, the biggest
tip that I can give you

when it comes to audio is
just to get your mic close.

This is why using a wide
lens can be super helpful

because you can actually
still keep the mic

very close to you without
it being in the shot.

Another method is to wear a lapel mic,

or even just to have the mic
intentionally in the shot

like you see on a lot of live
streams and video podcasts.

You can figure out which
technique works best for you.

Just make sure to get
the microphone close.

You also wanna make sure
that you’re not recording

your audio either too quiet or too loud.

For best results aim to
have your audio recorded

at about -12 decibels.

This will make sure that
it’s not distorting,

and then you can raise
it up while you edit.

— This is an audio test where
we are testing the microphone.

This is an audio test where
we are testing the microphone.

— The main thing we need to understand

when creating a great shot for
YouTube is what the goal is.

The goal is to make it
easy for your audience

to consume your content.

To achieve this, we
simply just want the shot

to be easy to look at
and easy to listen to.

Links to our favorite gear

are in the video description below.

— Help just get my eyes level, got it.

There are a lot of awesome
practical tips there,

but it may be that you can’t afford

all of the equipment required
to have such an awesome setup

as Ben and Mikayla.

So if you wanna learn how
to monetize your channel,

to start reinvesting into your content

then check out the video over here.

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