Background tips and tricks
In terms of video backgrounds, this doesn’t just apply to movement — it also means set styling, as mentioned under home shoots. This involves looking at your environment with a critical eye and thinking, ‘What might take people out of the moment?’ Examples are things like untidy desks or shelves, overflowing bins, jackets over desk chairs, but they can also include fabric patterns (including shirts; see the moiré effect for curtains above). Also think about the layout of your room in terms of where you set up your camera, avoiding weirdly placed columns, or windows that may overexpose your shot.
Shallow depth of field
The shallow depth of field effect is a camera technique that gives videos a professional edge. In the scenarios we’ve covered, depth of field can be defined as the distance between you (or your talent) and the farthest part of your video backdrop, like a wall. For a shallow depth of field, you’re aiming to blur out the background so your subject is the focus of your shot. This can be difficult to pull off with a mobile phone camera because of the way the technology typically works (an exception is iPhone photos in ‘Portrait mode’), so for this effect, it’s best to work with a higher-end camera like your DSLR.
Our tip: to really blur out your background, stand your camera farther away from your talent (ensuring you have room behind them too), then zoom in using a zoom lens; the longer the lens, the more pronounced the effect. This will help create the ‘bokeh’ effect you’re after for your video’s backdrop.
Lastly, when in doubt, add a plant! If you’ve styled your backdrop but still feel there’s something missing (and you can’t isolate what), the subtle placement of a little green foliage can work wonders for your shot.
Now over to you — will your next business update be at your desk or in the garden? If your content is for social, could you use any of the above as YouTube video backdrop ideas? Let us know how you go, and don’t be afraid to play with shots and angles until you find something you love for your next video.
And if you get stuck, you can always get in touch with us. We’re here to help!