Attorney Video: The Problem With Using a Lightweight Aluminum Tripod in the Field

tripodThe great thing about using a lightweight aluminum tripod is that it’s light. It’s compact. When extended my travel tripod can reach about 5 feet tall.

The problem with using a lightweight aluminum tripod to shoot your attorney video is that it’s lightweight. It will have difficulty keeping upright when you put your camera and audio devices atop it.

Add to that wind that is inevitable when shooting video outdoors and you are setting yourself up for a disaster.

You won’t realize it immediately. You won’t realize it on playback in the camera. You won’t realize it as you are shooting your video.

What you will realize is that there is wind. You will realize that there is wind noise.

The only time you will realize you have a problem is when you upload your video to your computer and begin to edit. Then you’re going to wonder why your footage looks shaky. You’re going to wonder why, even though you’re using a tripod, it looks as if someone is holding it by hand.

This happened to me recently when I was at a legal marketing seminar in Jamaica. It was a beautiful resort and as I was shooting video near the beach, there were strong winds. I knew I was in for some trouble.

I always take my lightweight aluminum tripod with me when I travel. It fits nicely into my suitcase and doesn’t add any significant weight. The problem, as noted above, is that it is not as stable as my regular tripod which has heft and substantial weight.

As I expected, a few of my videos looked as if they were shaking throughout the video. I tried to cut up those segments as best as possible without destroying the central core message of my attorney video.

When shooting video in the field, you always need to strike a balance between using a tripod that is light enough yet stable enough to hold all your equipment and be completely stable without movement when faced with wind.

Before you try and save money and think you’re getting a great bargain on a $30 lightweight tripod, let me suggest that you buy something more stable with more weight. Unless of course you only plan on shooting video in a controlled environment like your home or office.

In those instances, there’s a good likelihood you will not encounter any wind indoors.

Share with me in the comments below what kind of tripods you use and what your experience has been with them.

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2 Responses to Attorney Video: The Problem With Using a Lightweight Aluminum Tripod in the Field

  • I have seen horror stories where videographers have had the tripod topple over and crash on the ground. That can be a costly mistake!

    I first started using a ball head tripod, thinking it would provide ease of adjustment, but it ended up being not strong enough and I kept having to adjust the pivot angle and the level. I switched to a swiveling flat head tripod and it works a lot better.

  • Last week I created some video while using my travel aluminum tripod. It was pretty windy outside and the camera strap kept getting blown all over while shooting video. I knew it would be a problem. Needless to say, while editing, I continued to see shaking throughout my video. What I should have done was remove the strap and switch to my heavy duty professional tripod.

    Did I do it? No. Why not?

    I didn’t want to track down where my other tripod was, switch out the camera, take off the straps and start all over again. My bad.

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Gerry, I've read your book and watched at least 100 of your videos, and follow your blog, so "I feel like I know you already!".

I wanted to introduce myself, I work for an attorney, David Aylor, in the Charleston, SC area. I do all his in house marketing, and most recently have focused on video marketing, using your approach.

We started exploring the strategy last July, started filming by September, and published the first video to YouTube Nov. 1. I am now publishing 2 videos per week and the response had been great.

I want to share with you how we have be utilizing the material on Facebook, to build a community of "friends" of the law firm. These are previous clients, referral sources, friends of the staff, other attorneys, new media (radio, TV, and print) as well as other prominent folks in the community.

I really was against the idea of Facebook marketing at first (because I think there's alot of hacks and snake oil salesmen in the "social media/SEO marketing" world). But I was very wrong, the content we are creating is being liked, shared, and commented on, and Facebook's strong community platform (and it's EdgeRank algorithm) is giving us a great way to keep our "inner circle" close to the office, and relevant in the minds of them and their friends.

This was the first video we posted to Facebook-
"Can My Facebook Profile Be Used As Evidence In Court?"
95 likes, 25 comments, 27 shares

The local NBC anchor actually saw it in his Facebook feed from a friend sharing it, and interviewed David Aylor for a 6 o'clock news story on Social Media and Privacy in the legal system. (you can see here if you'd like

I would love to show you more about how I'm strategizing these videos for YouTube use as well as Facebook now. I think there are definitely some areas of practice and law firms that it wouldn't work for, but I'm sure there are a bunch that would benefit from it.

Thanks for all you do, and I hope I get the pleasure of meeting you soon!

David Haskins