Best Practices for Filming Yourself

This page focuses on best practices for filming yourself.. If you need to record video other people, places, or things then please visit our documentation page on Best Practices for Shooting Video

Best Practices

The best practices below can be applied to any camera and are essential when recording video. Poor audio and video quality can hinder a video’s effectiveness and ultimately hurt student learning.

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First, visualize the screen into thirds. Second, position yourself so that your eyes and the top of your head are in the top third of the video without putting any of your head off screen. Third, make sure that you position yourself so that the bottom of the video is at about mid-waist. You may need to move closer to your camera or move it closer to you.

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Make sure to film in an area with lots of natural light (windows) or add/turn on light fixtures. Beware of changing lighting conditions such as sunlight from a window being shaded and unshaded by clouds.

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Pick a background that has some visual interest if possible, but more importantly make sure that it looks professional. Make sure that whatever is behind you looks clean and organized.

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Most consumer level cameras focus automatically. Make sure that your camera is focused on you and not your background.

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It is best to record in private closed areas to avoid extraneous sounds that may distract students (ex: home office with door closed). Beware of external sounds such as construction, pets, etc that could be heard in your video. Finally, make sure you are close to your camera so the microphone hears you better.

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Make sure that you are not looking down or up in your video. Depending on your camera you’ll need to raise or lower its vertical position relative to you and you may even need to tilt it forward or backward.

Camera Options

Here are a few of the more common options:


  • Webcam
  • Smart phone
  • Tablet
  • Point-and-shoot camera


Consider these when deciding on your camera:

  • Front Facing Camera
    • Can you see yourself as you record? This will make it much easier to see if you need to make any adjustments when recording your videos.
  • Ease of File Transfer
    • You’ll want to make sure that you can easily get files from your camera to your media specialist and instructional designer.
  • Current Technology
    • In general, newer technology will most likely record better picture and sound so take into account the age of all your options.

If you have any questions on selecting a camera, please do not hesitate to reach out to your program’s media lead.


Step 1: Verify Best Practices

Determine your camera and location, and make sure you are following all best practices. We highly recommend that you do a sample recording and watch it back. It is much easier to critique your video after you’ve recorded than during.

Step 2: Submit Sample Recording

Once you are satisfied with your video recording setup then record a short 10-20 second sample recording and send it to your media specialist and instructional designer. We will review and provide any necessary feedback.

Step 3: Final Recording

After your sample recording has been approved it is time to record your final videos and submit them.

Published on October 06, 2018 at 11:34:23 am CDT. Last modified on July 01, 2019 at 3:28:35 pm CDT.