Tips for a Successful YouTube Video Shoot

This is Part 4 of Envision Marketing’s Ultimate Guide to YouTube for Small Local Service Businesses

Cheat Sheet
Here are the most important tips covered in this article

  • Setting: Choose a relevant, visually appealing, and non-distracting location, with good lighting and sound quality.
  • Framing: Position the camera directly in front of the subject and use the rule of thirds to create a balanced, engaging shot.
  • Being on Camera: Embrace a more natural, genuine delivery without relying on a script, maintaining eye contact, and including a clear call to action.
  • B-Roll: Capture supplementary footage to clarify points, showcase products or services, and help viewers relate to your business.
  • Stay Organized: Keep track of shots, monitor audio and video quality, and communicate with your team for an efficient shoot.
  • Embrace spontaneity: Allow for improvisation and unexpected moments to create more engaging and authentic content.

In this part of the guide, we’ll focus on tips and advice for small business owners to have a successful shoot for their YouTube videos. We’ll cover everything from setting up the scene to being on camera, capturing B-roll footage, and additional tips for a smooth and efficient shoot.

Setting and Background

Choose a location that is relevant to your video content and provides a visually appealing, non-distracting background. A well-chosen background is essential for a visually engaging video, so opt for interesting or relevant scenes that don’t distract from the subject. 

Avoid busy, cluttered, or plain backgrounds that could draw attention away or make the video feel low-quality or dull. Ensure the space is clean and well-organized to avoid clutter in the shot, and pay attention to desks, tables, or any surfaces visible in the frame. 

Additionally, consider the lighting and sound quality of the space, making adjustments as needed to create an optimal environment for your shoot.


When framing your shot, position the camera directly in front of the subject, neither overhead nor below. Imagine two horizontal lines dividing the frame into three rows, and align the subject’s eyes with the top horizontal line. 

If you want the focus solely on the subject, center them in the frame. However, if you’re trying to show something in the background, imagine two vertical lines dividing the frame into three columns, and align the subject with either vertical line. 

Being on Camera

For some videos, a script can be useful, but try to avoid it for a more natural delivery. Be flexible and adapt your talking points during the shoot for more engaging content. Interviews over Zoom or Google Meet are acceptable if you follow the same advice on audio, lighting, framing, and background.

When on camera, maintain eye contact with the camera and get to the point, focusing on the purpose of the video. Embrace imperfection, and act as you would with friends to create a more genuine connection with your audience. Be vulnerable, admit what you don’t know, and don’t try to be something you’re not. Include a clear call to action, tailored to each video for maximum effectiveness.


B-roll footage is supplementary footage, such as shots of products, processes, buildings, and more. B-roll can be reused in multiple videos, but sometimes it’s worth capturing specific footage for single-use.

Close-up shots of products or services clarify points and make the video more engaging. Footage of local landmarks can help viewers relate to your business and can be reused in multiple videos.

Additional Tips for a Smooth Shoot

Rehearse and practice

Before recording, practice your talking points and rehearse on-camera presence to build confidence and reduce the number of takes during the shoot.

Communicate with your team

If you have a team assisting you, ensure everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities. Keep communication open during the shoot to address any issues that arise.

Monitor audio and video quality

Periodically review the footage and audio to ensure everything is being captured correctly. This will help you catch any technical issues early and avoid re-shooting entire segments.

Stay organized

Keep track of the shots you’ve captured and the ones you still need to record. This will help you stay focused and efficient during the shoot.

Take breaks

Shooting a video can be mentally and physically exhausting. Schedule breaks to rest and recharge, ensuring you maintain energy and enthusiasm throughout the shoot.

Be patient and persistent

Don’t get discouraged if things don’t go as planned. Keep a positive attitude, and remain persistent in working through challenges and setbacks. The more videos you create, the more comfortable and skilled you’ll become in the process.

Embrace spontaneity

While planning is crucial, leave room for spontaneity and improvisation. Some of the best moments in your video may come from unexpected situations or off-the-cuff remarks.

Stay focused on your goals

Remember the purpose of your video, and ensure each shot and segment aligns with that goal. This will help you create cohesive and effective content that resonates with your audience.

Capture more footage than you need

It’s better to have too much footage than not enough. If time allows, capture multiple takes and angles, as well as extra B-roll, to provide flexibility during the editing process. 

Just be careful not to go overboard. The more footage you have, the more time editing will take. If you’re pretty sure you won’t need a shot, just skip it.

Be prepared for unexpected issues

No shoot goes perfectly, so be ready to adapt and problem-solve on the fly. Bring backup equipment, extra batteries, and have contingency plans in place for unforeseen challenges.


By following these tips during your video shoot, you’ll create engaging and visually appealing YouTube videos that resonate with your target audience. Remember to focus on framing, background, and your on-camera presence to make the most of your shoot. In the next part of this guide, we’ll discuss editing and optimizing your videos for maximum impact.

YouTube Video Shoot Checklist

Use this checklist immediately before the shoot to make sure you’re not forgetting anything important.

  • Setting and Background
    • Make sure the space is clean and well-organized
    • Check for any shadows which can be eliminated by equipment or by moving the subject
  • Framing
    • Decide where the subject and camera should be placed. Follow the rule of thirds
  • Being on Camera
    • Review talking points (unless relying on a script)
    • Decide on a call to action relevant to this video
  • B-Roll Footage
    • Capture close-up shots of products or services
    • Record footage of local landmarks for reuse
  • Rehearse and Practice
    • Practice talking points and on-camera presence before recording
  • Team Communication
    • Ensure everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities
  • Stay Organized
    • Have your shot list handy so you can mark off shots as you go
  • Schedule Breaks
    • Plan rest and recharge breaks to maintain energy and enthusiasm
  • Prepare for Unexpected Issues
    • Bring backup equipment and extra batteries
    • Have contingency plans in place for unforeseen challenges

Mid-Shoot Reminders

Keep these points in mind throughout the shoot

  • Maintain Eye Contact with the camera
  • Maintain open communication during the shoot
  • Periodically review footage and audio to catch technical issues early
  • Keep track of captured shots and those still needed
  • Maintain a positive attitude throughout the shoot
  • Allow for improvisation and unexpected moments
  • Ensure each shot and segment aligns with the purpose of the video
  • Record multiple takes, angles, and extra B-roll (without going overboard)