Attorney Video Marketing: How to Become a Videographer

You’ve decided to change careers. You don’t want to practice law anymore. You think it’s more glamorous to shoot video. Ok, I’ll admit it, the allure is there. It certainly is tempting. In order to show you how to become a videographer, I need to ask you some questions first:

When was the last time you took video of anything?
Maybe you shot video of Thanksgiving at your house with all your relatives. Maybe you were on the soccer field taking video of your six-year-old. Maybe you were at the aquarium with the dolphins. At least you have some level of experience.

When you shot these videos did you use a tripod?
Did you have super8 movie cassettes that had to be developed, or were they standard VHS cassettes the size of Montana? Maybe you got a video camera when miniDV tapes were all the rage. Or maybe you got one of those miniCD cameras that recorded directly to a mini disk.

Most of us just held the camera in our hand until we were tired and then either switched hands or put the camera down. We couldn’t understand why our videos always bounced around and were shaky (this is before the steady-shot features that help slightly).

When you created your family videos, did you use any external lights?

Chances are you used whatever available light was around; the lights in your kitchen, the mood lighting in your basement, the flickering fluorescent bulb in your den or whatever overhanging lights were on.

How was the audio with your homemade videos?

Rarely did you get great quality audio since you used whatever microphone was attached to your camera. You knew there were better ways to capture great audio, but you were not a Hollywood video producer and saw no need to spend big bucks on professional microphones.

Do you know what all the manual settings on your video camera do?

Sure you can simply set the dial to full automatic mode and let the camera take over. If you’re only shooting outdoors on a beautiful sunny day, then you can create great looking video. However, shooting outdoors has many challenges. If you’re shooting indoors, the auto settings are often not good enough to balance your color and illuminate your frame. Also, many cameras of yesteryear cannot shoot great video in low level lighting.

Here now are a few tips to help you become a videographer:

  1. Learn what all those manual settings are on your camera. Aperature settings, exposure settings, iris settings, depth of field, shutter speed, manual focus v. auto focus, white balance, color changes, special effects, video frame rate, focus priority, image stabilizer. Learn why your digital zoom is not effective for getting great quality video, and on and on. How much video can you hold on your camera’s memory card? Does the video shut off if you shoot for 10 minutes continuously?
  2. Learn all about lighting. What’s a ‘key’ light? What’s a ‘fill’ light? What’s a ‘hair’ light? Why do you need to illuminate your background when you shoot video?
  3. What is your setting? Is there ambient noise? Are there lights or sounds you can eliminate or minimize? Do you shoot in front of that beautiful picture window? Do you shut the window shades?
  4. What microphone creates the best quality audio? Do you use a separate audio device? Do you use a wired microphone? Are wireless mic’s really that much better? What’s the difference between a $150 mic and a $600 microphone?

Here’s the bottom line. Do you really want to be a videographer or do you want to practice law? If you want to do both, then I have a great resource that will help you. In my video coaching group you’ll learn the mindset that will allow you to create video that compels your viewers to pick up the phone and call you.

Here’s how you’ll know if becoming a videographer is right for you:

  • Do you wake up every morning with 10 new ideas about how to market your law firm using video?
  • Do you actively look for ways to set yourself apart using every available method know to mankind?
  • If you do, then this is the right place for you.

If you don’t, then I have another resource that you definitely need to know about, my Total Online Video Solution for Attorneys. In this total done-for-you program, you just show up and start talking on video. We do all the rest. It’s that simple.

Take a few moments to explore these helpful resources and stay tuned for my next blog post about “How to become a video editor.”

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I just read Gerry Oginski's book this weekend, Secrets of Lawyer Video Marketing in the Age of YouTube. You wont find better "front to back" advice on using video to market your law firm anywhere.

Ben Glass
Founder of Great Legal Marketing and a practicing personal injury trial attorney in Fairfax, VA