PHLEARN MagazineHow and Why I Capture Behind the Scenes Video

Why You Should Get Behind the Scenes Video
Where professionals learn Photoshop,
Lightroom & Photography

How and Why I Capture Behind the Scenes Video

Like you, I’m trying to increase my video content to get a leg up in the social media marketing game.

One of my marketing goals is always to attract more paying customers. And, one of the ways I pull this off is by showing a little bit of the effort that goes into a photo shoot. Showing these behind the scenes can help answer the question, “Why would I want to hire you?” Even if you don’t do photography for a living, but you still want to have your work seen, a simple behind the scenes video can show the work that goes into your art.

Just remember this doesn’t need to be a big production. You can use the equipment you already own. You can use free editing software. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, this doesn’t need to add a lot of time to your workload.

So, why would you want to increase your video content?

  • It is more engaging.
  • By including video in email, you could see a 200-300 percent increase in click-thru-rates.
  • 45 percent of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
  • Video consumption rises year after year.
  • Customers are more likely to hire you after seeing a video.
  • 70 percent of marketing professionals claim that video converts better than any other medium.

*Stats from Renderforest’s Video Marketing Statistics 2018 Report

What does this mean for you?

  • More traffic to your site and more of your audience members converting into customers.
  • People paying attention to your message.
  • And hopefully more gigs.

And, the best part is, you can use the video you spent time creating to promote your services over and over again. Here’s an example of a behind the scenes video I shot:

I don’t have the funds available to have a dedicated videographer follow me around and shoot behind the scenes all the time, so how do I get around this problem and still capture video? As a photographer, I am used to working around situations and making sure I’m still capturing what I need. This adaptability has led to a few simple fixes:

  1. Capture on-camera video (point of view): How? With a little device like this – Hot Shoe Adapter. I typically use a GoPro with this setup, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a smartphone. Currently, I only use a GoPro for special situations – typically to capture multiple camera angles or when I need something sturdy. My smartphone is always with me, and it easily captures great video that I can broadcast live. A big plus is that I can use a lot of my already purchased camera gear with it.
  2. Use a smartphone for video: We all carry around our smartphones constantly, why not use it for video? If you have a newer phone, it most likely already captures very high quality video. Why not take advantage of that? Using a JOBY GripTight Mount, I can mount my smartphone on any tripod. I am still using my JOBY GripTight and GorillaPod. I have added an inexpensive smartphone gimbal to my video arsenal as you can see in the picture below. It helps steady movement when hand holding and capturing behind the scenes video. Many even offer tracking features which will follow you as you shoot. This is great for those of us who are in constant motion.
  3. Capture stationary video: Using a JOBY GorillaPod, I can mount my camera just about anywhere: a lightstand, a pole, a tree branch, a street sign, and just about anything else. I love the ability to be creative and capture a different perspective.
© Giovanni Arroyo Photography 2017

© Giovanni Arroyo Photography 2017

OK, you’ve captured some great video. What do you do now? I suggest editing the video down to something that is shorter than one minute. You can also extend tutorial videos if you are attempting to teach something. For a live video, an audience will usually watch for longer than a minute if you are active and express what the video is about. But, typically, 60 percent of people will stop watching a video before it reaches two minutes.

You can edit the video length very easily using your computer’s default video editing software or downloading a free editing tool like DaVinci Resolve. I would also edit the audio and music. A free tool for editing your audio is Audacity, which allows you to purchase a royalty free soundtrack for the background. Do you want to edit on a mobile device? Look into many of the great apps which allow you to edit simple video content without ever needing to work on the computer.

A few simple tips when creating behind the scenes videos:

  1. Capture lots of short clips. Even if you don’t use them, they are there if you need them.
  2. Add an opening and closing. This can help drive people to your website or a workshop and it looks a lot more professional.
  3. Cut to the music. Very simply, make edits and cuts to the beats. If you chose a higher speed background, do lots of little edits. If you have something slower, fewer edits.
  4. Capture great audio if you need it. Use an external recorder or microphone to help you capture sound.
  5. Forget that you are recording. Of course this is hard to do, but make sure that your client or model comes first.
  6. Sign release forms.

Don’t be afraid to produce lots of content. You are already doing most of the hard work to create behind the scenes video. Take the few extra minutes to set up a smartphone camera to go live. Your audience will appreciate seeing a little of the work that goes into a photo shoot. Why not capture a timelapse video of you setting up? Take people with you virtually as you capture street photography. You can produce great visual content, so share some of the work that goes into it.

The main thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy the process. Like photography, capturing some great behind the scenes video will take some experimenting. Once you have the basics down, you won’t be adding much time to a photo shoot. You will be adding a great marketing tool.


Find out more about Giovanni’s process and see his work on his website.

Giovanni Arroyo

Giovanni Arroyo is a Fine Art Photographer based in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago. He teaches regular workshops in Harvard, IL on Lightroom and social media for artists. Giovanni loves film photography, spending time with his two girls and always has a camera or video camera close at hand.

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