After having in detailed posts on food styling, prop setting, prop collection, mobile photography, light, editing, platting and garnishing….lets move on to the most important topic of ‘Food Videos’. Off late food video have take the food blogs to next level. Many bloggers have already started taking wonderful videos to present their recipes….My dear friend Raks of ‘Rak’s Kitchen‘ is one of the peer blogger whom I turn into when I am looking out for some authentic Tamil recipes and she is also the one of the very first to shoot videos for her blog in my blog friends. So when I asked her to write about on how to shoot food videos for blogs…she took up my invitation and sent me this detailed post. This post will be helpful to so many who want to upgrade their blogging to next level of food videos…Thank you Raks for this wonderful post….
I am really happy to do this guest post for you Lubna and as I have done another guest post for you, I am very comfortable in doing this one, about Food videos. Very interesting one to write about and I am so glad you have come up with this series of guest posts about Food styling. I am very happy to share what I know, though not an expert or not sure if I do this in the best/ efficient way. Just sharing my experience, understanding and how I make my videos. I hope who are beginners and like to start this kind of food videos would find this bit informative.
Food is one of the topics that do well in the internet, be it a website, blog, Youtube and now the latest, Facebook. As long as there are foodies and people who are interested to learn cooking, food will have it’s own natural home. As we turn to the social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat to get the latest updates, food topic always do well in all these platforms.
I am also one of many, who spend most of my leisure time in social media and there are times in which food videos have flooded my Facebook feed, from top video developing pages like Tastemade, buzz feed Tasty and many more. From the era of Youtube full detailed videos in which the person appears, talks and elaborately does the cooking, here we are obsessed with the “two hands” making it quick, simple and easy cooking – sort of videos. Even without turning on the sound, I myself have spent an embarrassing amount of time in watching such videos. I try or may not try those recipe, but started to love watching these videos.
So is the world, such 1 minute or 2 minute videos manages to catch the eyes and compel to watch it. No wonder there is a term called “food porn”.
I used to do few helping videos for the recipes in my blog which involves tricky portions, but never ever thought I would do full videos as I am very camera shy and had no idea in setting up a studio for shooting video. I am an ordinary housewife who make use of the leisure time to blog, so I know I will not get any help or I know I am not going to do it in professional way by hiring people for such things.
But these quick videos which went viral in facebook really made me think, why not try it out myself. I am very comfortable in shooting just my two hands with camera fixed in a tripod, overhead. I was tempted to do our, Indian food in such “Tasty” style videos.
Though I first started shooting my food videos in my kitchen itself with camera fixed in my tripod in an angle, I found lighting was too low and I cant afford to spend money on artificial studio set up lighting. But I knew I am going to make short videos as the crisp and short videos were the things that made me try shooting videos.
So shooting in the kitchen did not work for me. Here’s how I shoot my videos, with the things that I already had. Make use of natural light in my balcony. The wooden table and chairs from IKEA. I had a mini portable Iwatani stove, which we bought to fill up a short period of time until our house owners replaced a faulty gas stove (when we were in a rented house). I never used after we moved to our own home. Now it helps me in this video shooting .
I have a tripod (Alt pro) with an arm which we can extend and put in perpendicular angle. So I fix one of the light weight camera (Samsung Mirrorless NX300) which has a flip-able display and touch screen. It is really helpful for me to use easily and view the video as I shoot too. It gives a pretty decent HD quality video and great for basic shooters like me.
I first decide on the recipe, list out the ingredients, gather and shift everything there. Start cooking and shooting it. I pause the shooting when I know it takes a long time and continue later. Once shooting is over, here comes the toughest part. Editing. I say toughest because, it takes a lot of time to sit and watch the video clips and cut off the unwanted portions. We have to judge it right, which is vital and which is less important and either cut off the part or show it in fast motion.
That’s how the crisp, short and easily understandable video is made. Which makes the viewer feel it is easy to make and make them try the recipe.
I use the free software Windows live movie maker for editing my videos. It has all the basic features that we need. There are many other professional video editing software available like Adobe, but to start with, the Windows movie maker is best. We can add right from titles, captions, add effects, animations, do the basic editing too with all its simple menu in it. We can add music too.
Once video is ready, I upload in my Youtube channel first and then facebook. If the video is editable and if we can pull it off within a minute, then I share it in twitter and Instagram too.
One of my recent, well received by audience in Facebook:
As you all might have seen, if videos are uploaded directly to facebook, it reaches more. It gets more likes, shares, comments and reaches many people virally. User engagement is best in facebook for videos than any other.
Not only facebook, my readers love the short videos in my website, as it is easy to follow and gives more confidence and the push to try it out. Oh yes, I never fail to give step by step pictures too in my posts, which I capture from the video itself, which is decent enough for my thumbnail size step by step pictures.
If you are a blogger and would like to start taking videos, I would suggest first to shoot simple and easy recipes that you are comfortable with. Practice and become familiar with all the aspects in shooting, editing etc, Make use of most popular recipes that are catchy and tempting. Choose an eye appealing thumnail for the video too. Only do it when you have the passion in you. Do not compel yourself and do, as it will be very stressful. Once you find it easy and comfortable, nothing is going to stop you and it becomes an addiction, gives you immense satisfaction when you get positive feedback from the readers!
I have just shared what I know and how I do my videos. I don’t know if this is the best way and effective way. Though I have mentioned the tripod, camera and editing software I am using, it doesn’t mean it is the best or it is the one you should also follow. Add your own touch and do it in your comfort zone. You can use your regular tripod, fix in a different angle, use a simple point and shoot camera or even your smart phone, it’s all about just interest. And how much serious you are about it, how much time you could spend in this.
I cant even imagine what is there coming up next to this era of videos! It has a great number of followership.