Top Tips to Make a Happy New Year Video Message
Follow these simple tips to guarantee your video message looks professional.
If you didn’t manage to send Christmas cards or a Video Message this year, there’s still time to send a Happy New Year greeting to all your family and friends, wherever they are in the world. It doesn’t have to be sent on New Year’s Eve, a video message will be appreciated any time in January.
It’s so easy to record a short message on your phone and following this checklist will ensure that it looks fabulous.
Before you start
You might have to use your powers of persuasion with your family if they are camera shy. Remind them that they will be making so many family members and friends happy with their message. It’s also a lovely way to say thank you for Christmas presents and will definitely save time writing thank you cards.
Have a think about what you are going to say or do before you turn the camera on and make sure that you have a few rehearsals. If there are a few of you, plan the order you are going to speak in, before you start. The most important thing is to to have fun and look happy because then it will be fun to watch you.
Spend some time on your appearance
Sadly, we won’t be celebrating New Year’s Eve as we usually do, but there’s no reason not to dress up or have a glass of champagne to make a toast.
Choosing the perfect location
The better the light, the better the quality of your video recording and so whether you are recording outside or inside, the best time is during the day so that you have natural light. If you’ve already put away your Christmas decorations, add some fairy lights to the background or record your video at a local beauty spot.
If you prefer to video your message outside, you must be sure that it will be quiet. If you live on a busy road, under a flight path, or if it’s too windy, record your video inside. Clear sound is so important, especially if the video is being sent to elderly relatives.
- You’ll get the best light outside in daylight and if you’re lucky enough to have sun, make sure that you’re not pointing the camera directly into it.
- Make sure you have an attractive background and there is nothing distracting behind you.
- If you decide to film inside, avoid a dimly lit room. Try and get natural light from a window on you and not the background. If it’s still too dark, turn on as many lights as you can but don’t stand directly underneath. You could try using a selfie light if you have one. Use the settings on your camera to change the exposure.
Before you start – Settings Checklist
- Go to settings
- Turn on Airplane Mode. The last thing you want are interruptions during recording.
- Then Camera, then Record video (this is where you can select the quality of the video image you want) 4k is the highest quality but it uses a lot of storage. I recommend 4k at 30fps (which is better in lower light) or 1080 HD at 60fps.
- In Camera, under composition, put the Grid on, I find it helpful when composing your shot to either centre your subject or remind you of the rule of thirds.
- Clean the lens.
- If there’s time, it’s a good idea to give the microphones a quick clean.
When you are ready to record, and everyone is in position, hold your finger on the screen to lock the AE/AF lock. Tap once to see the exposure setting and slide up or down to make it lighter or darker.
If someone else is videoing you, ask them to hold the camera as still as possible. A good tip is to keep their elbows tucked in tight against their body to steady themselves or rest their elbows on a nearby object.
You’ll get the best results if you use a selfie stick, set the camera on a tripod or prop it up on a small table.
Recording your message – Checklist
- Hold the camera in the landscape or horizontal position.
- Keep your hands clear of the built-in microphone, if you can’t hear yourself loudly and clearly when you play it back, record it again.
- Ideally, your eye level should line up with the camera. Check you are in the centre of the frame, head and shoulders. If there are a few of you, make sure you all fit in or move the camera to each person in turn as they speak. You are more important than the scenery and you need to be near enough to the camera so that the sound is clear.
- Don’t forget to look at the lens and not the screen, that way it will look as though you are speaking directly to the recipient.
- You can put a small sticker near the lens to remind you, if that helps.
- When you press record, wait a few seconds before you start speaking and leave the camera running at the end so that your words aren’t cut off in the edit.
- When you are ready to record your message, take a deep breath, be yourself and pretend that the person who will be watching the video is right in front of you.
- Don’t forget to smile and speak up clearly without rushing and shouting. When you have a genuine smile on your face, you release chemicals that help you relax and therefore you feel more confident. As you know, smiles are contagious, so the people watching won’t be able to stop themselves smiling along with you.
- Your message should ideally be around a minute.
- Play your message back and check you are happy with it. Make sure the sound is clear. It’s normal to mess up the words a few times, so don’t worry if you don’t get it right first time. Sometimes it’s fun to include the outtakes!
Choose some photographs
Why not find some photographs of the year’s events, achievements and celebrations and put them in chronological order? it’s a great way to quickly update everyone, especially if you haven’t seen them for a while. We can add captions and music for the finishing touch.
Have fun and Happy New Year!