How to Set Up Your Shot for an Amazing Video

One of the most important things you need to do before you can start filming any video you’re wanting to make is set up your shot.

You need to make sure that everything is set up the way you want.

Before you film anything, there is a process. If you want to make sure that you have a good video, you need to have things set up correctly.

You don’t want to just pick up a camera and start filming without much of a plan.

If you do that, you’ll find that you won’t have a very good video overall. There are going to be small mistakes that happen that could’ve been avoided if you take the time to actually set up your shot.

How to Set Up Your Shot

Now that you know it’s probably not a good idea to just wing it when it comes to shooting your videos, you need to understand how to set up your shot.

Is there a process that you can go through when it comes to setting up your shot? Yes.

Below you’ll see the specific things you need to keep in mind when it comes to setting up your shot.

They aren’t going to be things that will be difficult to understand.

They are going to be basic concepts that you need to understand so that you can have the best possible shot when you finally start filming.

Always be on the lookout for the following things when it comes to having the best setup for your shots.


set up your shot

The first thing you need to be aware of is composition.

Simply put, composition is how everything in your shot looks.

It’s how all the different elements work together to create the scene that your audience will be looking at.

There are a few different aspects when it comes to composition that you can use when it comes to get the best possible composition.

You want the elements in your videos to be cohesive and work together in a way that’s always pleasing to the eyes, based on what your video is about.

If you’re doing a video about what type of things you don’t want in your background then you’re not going to have a problem with a terrible background.

The composition of your video is something that, although your audience may not immediately notice, but won’t distract them from the message from your video.

Head/Lead Room

Sometimes you’re going to have videos where your subject is moving.

Sometimes you’re going to want to have your subject leave the frame.

Other times, you’re not going to have movement in your videos, but you want to have the camera set up so that you aren’t cutting off any of the subject.

This is where lead room and head room come into play.

Lead room is leaving room within your frame so that your subject has room to move around in the frame without you missing the entire movement.

For example, if you have a subject and you want them to move from one side of the frame and exit through the other side of the frame you’re going to want to have enough lead room.

So, have your subject set up on the opposite side of the frame they’ll be exiting from. This will give your subject enough space to walk through the frame.

You won’t have an issue with missing anything that happens with the subject actually walking out.

Headroom is something that you should always keep in mind. It doesn’t matter what kind of video you’re shooting. If the video has human subjects where they are speaking to the camera, you’re going to want to always make sure there is enough headroom.

By headroom, I mean that there is enough space above the subject’s head so that the frame doesn’t cut off any of it.

Think about any interviews that you’ve seen. The person’s head is never cut off. If it is cut off at all, that’s just not very good on the cameraman’s part.

You always want to make sure that there is enough room for the person’s head.

Don’t leave too much room because that will look awkward too. Leave the room close enough to the top of the person’s head so that if they happen to grow a few inches out of nowhere, the top of their head is still in the frame.


Lighting, lighting, lighting.

Something you need to always keep in mind no matter what you’re doing with a camera.

Whether you’re shooting an epic video or taking beautiful pictures, you need to always keep lighting in mind.


Because lighting can either make or break your shot no matter what.

When you’re setting up your shot for a video, you want to make sure that the lighting is going to be good throughout the entire shot.

You don’t want to have a shot where there are too many shadows over the subject’s face or the sun is directly in the subject’s face, causing them to be completely overexposed.

There needs to be a balance for your lighting.

When you have good lighting, you aren’t going to have to worry about much. The editing process becomes much easier because you don’t have to worry about messing with the exposure at all.

Good lighting will never be noticed in your videos. However, bad lighting will be noticed immediately.

Your audience will also let you know how poor the lighting is.

If they aren’t saying anything about your lighting then you’re probably doing the right thing.

If you need any good lighting sources, you can use this Aputure light or this Yongnuno light.


When it comes to making videos, location is going to be extremely important.

The right location is going to allow you to properly incorporate all the elements above in a flawless manner.

If you have a poor location for your video, then composition might be more difficult, you may not be able to have the proper lead room or headroom, and the lighting may not be great by any means.

Location can really make or break your videos.

If you have a nice studio that you’re filming in then the setup for your shots will be much easier.

But if your videos need you to be in different areas then you’re going to always need to keep in mind how the location you choose will affect the overall shot.

If you have everything set up right in your location, the other elements above that you need to be aware of will more than likely take care of themselves.

It’s a Process

Setting up your shot will not be the easiest part of the video-making process by any means.

Something that could help when you’re setting up your shot is to have a checklist before filming.

For some of you, it could very well be the hardest part.

If you’re like me, then you’re somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to little things like making sure everything looks perfect before you proceed to the next step.

It’s going to be frustrating at times because things may not be working the way you want or things may not be looking the way you expect them to look.

Things like the lighting may be slightly off or the background is throwing off the overall composition of your shot just slightly.

This is what makes things frustrating but at the same time, when you do get everything right, you know your shot is going to look as good as it possibly can and you probably got the hardest part out of the way.

The rest is going to be adding in the content you need and editing, which is, for me at least, the most fun of the video-making process.