Professional Videographer Tips
The fear of every camera owner is that their camera is going to get dropped or damaged. For hobbyists, this means that they miss out on having photos of their outings. For a professional videographer, this could cause a problem with their livelihood. Professional quality cameras are not cheap to fix or replace. The delay could cause problems with their production and cost them gigs. If nothing else, it will be a heavy business expense. If you are making a living as a videographer, you need to do the following.
Use Hard Cases
Yes, hard cases are heavier than soft cases. Hard cases are also often bulkier than soft cases. But these are minor inconveniences when you consider that you are protecting possibly tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment. A soft case will protect your gear from bumps, and maybe even small drops. But it won’t protect your gear from heavy impacts or crushing. On the other hand, a quality hard case can take a beating and still protect your equipment. You should still be careful of course.
According to B&H, there are also other benefits to hard cases. Most hard cases are waterproof. So, if you’re out in bad weather, your gear won’t get soaked like it would in a soft case. It’s also less prone to getting damaged if your storage area floods. Hard cases also feature locks. That means that it will be harder for a thief to stroll by your shooting area and pilfer your gear. If you’re worried about the weight, you can often find rolling hard cases.
Protect Your Lenses
Protecting your lenses is videography 101. Without a clean, functioning lens you really can’t do anything. Keep your lenses in their cases unless they are currently on cameras being used. Don’t give in to the temptation to set them down on a table for convenience. They are easily knocked over and damaged. If you’re changing lenses, keep your hands clear of the glass. Replace the lens caps as soon as possible. If you’re working outside, you’re likely to get dust on your lenses. Keep a cloth handy so you can keep them clean.
Insure Your Gear
Videography gear costs a small fortune. So, it can be a little hard for an amateur videographer to pay an extra fee for insurance on their gear. However, every professional videographer knows that it’s a good investment. As a professional, you are using your cameras almost daily. You carry them around to all sorts of locations in all types of weather. There is a high likelihood that your equipment is going to get damaged. No matter how careful you are, something is probably going to happen. When it does, you’ll be grateful you paid for insurance. According to Athos Insurance Services, equipment insurance can cover a wide range of scenarios from theft to natural disasters. Some policies will even cover accidents like when you accidentally drop your most expensive lens.
Shooting in Poor Weather
Even if the forecast says that the weather will be good, according to Beach Camera, you should always be prepared for bad weather. High winds can cause tripods to tip over and send your lighting equipment flying. If the wind is bad, stake things down, or only use what you can hold in your hand.
Rain can ruin your electrical equipment. Even if it’s supposed to be water resistant, it’s best not to take too many chances. Keep several tarps handy that you can throw over your equipment to keep it dry. Set up a pop-up shelter to give yourself a dry space to work when prepping your equipment and checking your shots.
Protecting Your Gear from the Heat
Believe it or not, heat can ruin your equipment. High temperatures accelerate the breakdown of plastic components, but this is the least of your worries. Most quality cameras have metal components. These components will expand and contract at extreme temperatures. Over time, this can warp your lenses and cause other problems.
To protect your gear from heat, always store it in a climate-controlled location. Don’t leave it in a car that’s exposed to the sun. If you do have to leave it in a car in the sun, cover your equipment with blankets, or put them under the seat. This will help keep them out of direct light from the sun. If you’re working outside in the heat, keep your equipment in the shade.
SD Card Case
If you’re serious about videography, you’re going to need a lot of memory. 4K videos take up a lot of space. Even at 2K resolution a 10 minute video can be a few GB. With all the SD cards you have, you’re going to want something to protect them and keep them organized. The last thing you want is to lose one, or have it get wet, or get crushed. That could mean the loss of irreplaceable footage! A case specifically for your SD cards may seem like overkill, but it will protect you from the nightmares that other videographers have experienced.
Sometimes you are going to shoot in a location that is a little difficult to access. Carrying all your hard cases might not be an option. In that case, you’re going to want a really nice quality backpack. It should be comfortable and have plenty of padding for your camera. Ideally it should have separate compartments, so your gear doesn’t rub against each other.
As Cole’s Classroom advises, if you’re using handheld cameras, you need to have a neck strap, or a chest harness. That may seem annoying, or silly, but it will save you a lot of money if the camera slips out of your hands. You never know when you might accidentally trip and fall while filming.
Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
Just like any tool, cameras and videography equipment get dirty and require maintenance. You should be periodically wiping down your equipment during your shoot. After your shoot, you should do a more thorough inspection and cleaning of any equipment that is dirty or dusty. Refer to your owner’s manual for any manufacturer recommendations for regular maintenance.
Professional videography is an incredibly rewarding profession. You can create things that haven’t been seen before. By following these tips, you’ll be able to move forward without having to worry so much about damaging your equipment. Instead, you can focus your lens on what really matters.
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