Style Canvas: create your own video

Mic runs a workshop called Mic B Studio from a lovely studio space filled with portraits, drawings and sketches.
She recently made a video to promote the workshop and asked me for tips on how she could improve it to create a more welcoming atmosphere.

Here’s what I came up with:
The red curtain! It’s a really strong colour and the first thing I noticed: ‘Look at me, I’m the red curtain.’ It’s got to go. Use a more neutral colour or create a background that shows off your unique style by displaying some of your own artworks.

The white strip in the corner of the room creates a distracting feature behind her head and divides the frame into sections. This takes the viewer’s attention away from the subject.

When you’re setting up a shot, it’s helpful to have someone take photos of you where you intend to be in the shot. Try a few positions and see if you can spot anything in the photo that’s too dominant or distracting. Make sure there’s nothing growing out of your head or your ears.

The picture in the background doesn't look welcoming or friendly. If you are going to use a photograph, make it one that doesn’t dominate the frame.

The white square in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen is distracting and needs to be dealt with.

The fun parts
Some of the most fun parts of my job are photographing and styling. In many ways, it’s like telling a story. Here are some styling tips to create your own inspirational video.

Tip #1: Before the shoot, take a look at the place to check things are right. Remember, everything can be brought in: flowers, pictures, lighting … whatever you need.

Tip #2: Good styling should be invisible. The set shouldn’t look styled at all; it should look natural and authentic. Ads aren’t just selling products; they’re selling a lifestyle. So an ad for a beach bag will show the bag and the beach but also a beautiful woman sipping orange juice and reading a magazine.

In Mic’s case, I’d suggest a studio setting with coffee or tea on a table, along with some flowers to project a natural and welcoming look.


Create a background that shows off your unique style by displaying some of your own artworks.

Tip #3: Remember that nothing in the frame apart from the presenter should face the camera directly or the setting will look too manufactured. Move everything slightly so it’s not facing the camera head-on.

This might seem like a lot of extra work. But it’s your attention to detail that will set your finished product apart.

Do you have any tips to share with us?
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7 comments:

tracy matthews said...

Great tips Suki! I am going to be shooting a video this weekend so I love the tips!

Suki@Fantabulous Design said...

Tracy, glad to hear that it's helpful. Please share your video with us and if you need any help, email me anytime :) Suki

Laurie Rosenfeld said...

Suki, these are such terrific suggestions! I am bookmarking this post. Can't wait to refer back to it when I am ready to shoot videos. :)

Suki@Fantabulous Design said...

Laurie, I'd love to see your video. I'm thinking about soothing, calming and energy. If you want some ideas about styling in the video, please send me an email.

Jenn Burton said...

Really great suggestions, and I am excited to try some of them out soon. Pics were fantastic!

Dana LaVoie said...

Great tips Suki - so perfect as im just about to try and set this up.. im thinking Ill start simple - at least it wont be distracting....

StudioSuki@Fantabulous Design said...

Thanks Dana. I'd love to see your set up and if I can help you anything with the styling please don't hesitate to get in touch.

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