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Our Tips for Working With a Videographer

How much of your social media content is video? According to our Social Media Manager, Mandu, that number should be at least 20 percent, with a goal of 50 percent of marketing content being video form. We've covered how to create Instagram Reels for your interior design business, but if you are ready to take your video content to the next level (or are simply uninterested in DIYing it -- it's easy, we promise!), we've got all in the info on hiring a videographer.


Mandu, as well as our Videographer, Jesse, (yes we have one on staff!) sat down with us to discuss the importance of video content in a marketing plan, and how to hire and work with a professional to make it happen.



Why Video Content is Important for Interior Designers


To accurately show your work. If the bulk of your potential clientele is on social media, they are only seeing tiny photos of the spaces you create. Adding video content to your portfolio means that you can show a more dynamic view, zoom in on small details, and capture the flow from room to room.


To bring your personality to your marketing. Not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera (we'll get to that in a minute), but showing your face is important. Both designers and clients agree that a successful project starts with a compatible relationship, and what better way to introduce yourself than by allowing your personality to shine in quality video content.


To educate. Simply put, you can cover more ground in a video than in a still photo and a caption. Video can be used to educate potential clients about your processes and to share your knowledge with like-minded business owners.


And finally, the A-word. You need to be posting video content because that's what Instagram's algorithm prioritizes. Organic growth is no longer possible on that platform, so to expose your work to the users there, you have to play the algorithm's game. TikTok, on the other hand, is still pretty open for organic growth possibilities, and fortunately, you can use some of the same video content in both places.




Getting Started with a Videographer


So, what sort of video content should you be creating and how will you use it? That will vary depending on your business goals and marketing strategy. "First, a designer should determine their target market, and which platforms they are using to decide how best to connect with them," Mandu says. "If a designer is targeting an audience based primarily on Instagram, then they should be creating videos with short-form content in mind, versus if their marketing strategy is based on YouTube. Every business is different, therefore the way each studio uses video will be different."


Design by Ginny MacDonald | Photo by Tramp.Studio


How to find a videographer: Your first stop is your trusted photographer, with the hope that they are connected to industry peers in your area. If you resort to sorting through portfolios, Jesse emphasizes that you must know what you want stylistically, first. "It's easier to hire a videographer that matches your brand, than to try to get a documentary filmmaker to shoot trendy content for social media," he says. Look for good color and lighting, clean editing, and dynamic angles. "A highlight reel is a really great way to see all of their BEST work compiled into a short edit, but it's important to see what they've done for past clients," he offers.


What you need to prepare: Like a photo shoot, a shot list with clear, detailed instructions for each space is a must. Be sure to note any products or details that are especially note-worthy. Communicating this information ahead of time is important for timing the shoot, as well.


When to schedule a video shoot: Ideally, you will shoot video and still photos on different days. "If one team is moving faster than the other, it can be frustrating to wait while the other team gets their shots," says Jesse. But, he adds, it isn't the end of the world if they have to be scheduled at the same time. In fact, our own team often shoots on the same day. "Our usual process is that our editorial/staging manager, Leigh, stages the room, the photographer shoots the room, and then I shoot the room," he explains. Repeat for the entire house.


Photo by Madeline Harper


Our Tips for a Successful Video Shoot


How to style for a video shoot: If you've only ever styled a room for a still photo shoot, you may be surprised to learn how different the two can be. "Lighting is much less forgiving with videographer," explains Jesse, "so we are considerably more careful with angles and lighting situations while shooting." He also points out that editing a mistake is much more straightforward in still photography, whereas it may be impossible to correct a styling or lighting error in a video. He recommends starting with a clutter-free space and trusting the stylist to complete the space before getting started. "If I notice something looks off, I always check with the stylist to see if we can adjust it. That way, I can focus on angles and lighting and not worry about the styling. Having to reshoot a room slows the momentum of creativity and ultimately creates more work for everyone," he adds.


Getting comfortable in front of the camera: If this part of the process feels intimidating, you are certainly not alone, but practice really does make perfect! To get started, be ready to include yourself in as many creative shots as possible. "Zhuzhing pillows, arranging centerpieces or flowers, opening curtains to a pretty view, etc. are all great ways to get practice in front of the camera," says Jesse. When you're ready to take on a face-forward role, do your homework. Create a script of talking points while preparing the shot list, and practice it aloud. When the camera comes on, don't forget to have fun! A confident, relaxed subject is always exciting to watch!


Design by Ginny MacDonald | Photo by Tramp.Studio


What to expect after the shoot: "During post production, I color correct and color grade, trim the footage, do any stabilization necessary, and even slow down the clips," says Jesse. Part of what makes an Instagram Reel successful is the attached audio file, but the trends change quickly. To combat this, Jesse exports edited clips individually, allowing his clients to choose audio and edit their clips to the appropriate length.


As with many aspects of an interior design business, the main ingredient for a successful video shoot is relational, and a good collaboration will always need creativity and communication in equal doses. "The best thing a designer can do is TRUST the creative process of a videographer," says Jesse.



1 Comment


When you are prepared to assume a prominent position, ensure that you thoroughly research and prepare. Generate a screenplay consisting of key issues to discuss while formulating the shot list, and rehearse it audibly. basket random

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