Professional Development: Recipe Videos

Many of us will have used this downtime to learn new skills, or maybe just think about learning new skills? (no judgement here). Michelle Sokolich is an ex TV producer who runs Show & Tell video and has worked with some of our members – especially Helen Jackson – for clients such as Pams, NZ Egg industry and Almond Breeze. Here are her tips – and a special deal at the end for anyone wanting to try her Easy Smart Phone Video course.

Five tips for making your own overhead recipe videos

There’s nothing better than a recipe video to make us all start salivating. Syrup dripping off a pancake, the sizzle of onions caramelising in a frying pan, or the steam rising off a bowl of hot vegetable soup. It’s a mesmerising visual assault of the best kind. In amongst making video content for businesses with my company Show & Tell, I’ve made my share of recipe videos over the years and I want to share my top five tips to help you create your own overhead recipe video – in your own home, with just your smartphone.

  1. Equipment can be as fancy or as DIY as you need. On the higher end of the budget spectrum you can get an Arkon Pro phone mount which clamps onto your table and holds your phone. On the lower end you can try a selfie stick taped to a ladder or a bookshelf (don’t knock it till you try it, it can work quite well!)
  2. Most people don’t have flash lighting equipment hanging around their home – so I suggest using natural light. Get as close as you can to a big window (without being in direct sunlight) and if you can’t lug your big table over to it, think about using your coffee table instead. You will be at the mercy of the light changing, so try and avoid those days where it’s sunny one minute and rainy the next!
  3. Be prepared before you shoot. I suggest you write out a basic storyboard before you film so you know exactly what you’re doing and in what order. And bear in mind that you don’t need to show every single little step as it’ll make the video too long and boring. Viewers can make the leap in their mind if you show an ingredient already chopped up, or shorten steps that aren’t critical to the end result.
  4. Get that mouth-watering shot of the finished dish (this often looks better filmed side on rather than overhead) and make sure you lead with it at the very top of the video so people are licking their lips and hooked in straight away.
  5. Edit your video to keep it pacey and interesting. I recommend the app Vllo for editing. It’s super easy to pick up, has some great features and most importantly free!!  Again make sure you cut out the bits that aren’t relevant to save time. Try speeding up parts to keep it snappy and visually interesting.

I hope that’s inspired you to give it a go!  If you want to learn more about creating videos with your smartphone come and check out my online course at:  I’ve created a special code to give you all a discount. Just type in Foodwriters at the checkout for 50% off (will only work with once off payments, not payment plans)

Images: Michelle Sokolich

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