Well this last month has been on for the history books, right? I hope you are all staying healthy and are managing to keep to your chin up during the quarantine/isolation/social distancing. During this time many Creative Memories Advisors and those in other direct sales businesses are trying to figure out how to stay connected to and support their customers. Many are learning to do webinars and Facebook Live broadcasts, figuring out how to offer webinars or online classes, and even starting blogs and YouTube channels. It is daunting, but also kind of exciting.
I have had LOADS of emails and messages asking me to share some info on the equipment I use to film videos and do Facebook Live broadcasts and I’m happy to share what I know in the hopes that it will help you in YOUR business! This is by no means an in depth look at every option, but I hope the info and video walk through of my set-up will help you get started! Take a look…
Here are some more details, info and links:
iPhone Mount: In the past I’ve used clamp on iPhone holders and a tripod with long pole to hold my iPhone over my work surface, but more than anything, this mount by Arkon Mounts has improved the way I do Facebook Lives and shoot video! When used in conjunction with Switcher Studio (see below), I can “switch” between the front facing iPad camera and the overhead iPhone camera with just one touch. When filming videos, it makes it easy to make sure the product and project on my work surface remain in the camera view, as I can see on the iPad screen what my hands are doing! Note: If you are not using the Switcher Studio program outlined below, you will not be able to “switch” between the two views.
If you don’t need the iPad mount and are just interested in a stand that can hold your phone above your work surface, this mount might be a better choice. The swivel ball adaptors make it highly adjustable: you can manually move it for front facing filming, and then tilt it downwards to show what you are working on.
As an Arkon affiliate, I am happy to be able to offer you a coupon code for any of the Arkon products that you think would work for you – just use code “organized” when you are checking out to receive 20% off!
Applications: I mentioned Switcher Studio above. This is the program/application that allows me to switch between the various camera views as well as images, titles and even other videos. I usually only use two devices/views (front facing and overhead), but you can use up to nine devices! Because I also film videos for YouTube etc., having the ability to switch between views, and add in titles or photos makes it possible to do a lot of the editing as I’m filming, eliminating a lot of work later. There is a fee for the full version, but you can also check out “Switcher Go” – a free “lite” version of the app in the App store.
Camera(s): I have ONLY ever used my iPhone to film videos and photograph my scrapbook layouts. I currently have an iPhone XS Max.When I use my Arkon mount and Switcher Studio, I also use my iPad (iPad Pro, 12.9 inch, 3rd Generation). The cameras on both of these devices are excellent and more than adequate for filming and streaming!
Lighting: Good lighting has made a big difference in the quality of my videos. I have two office style lights (Tertial from Ikea) that clamp on to the edge of my scrap table which can be adjusted to focus on my project when I require more light, but most of the time are aimed up for ambient lighting. I also have two large Softbox lights (similar to this) that stand on either side. But it is the bulbs and the way the lights are arranged that really make the difference. I purchased and installed daylight or cool white light LED bulbs(ie: e26, 1000 Lumens 5000K) in all my lamps AND in the overhead lights in my scrap space. When I film or photograph layouts I turn the overhead lights OFF, and aim the two desk lamps and the softbox light up. The light bounces off the white ceiling and creates an even light without shadows. I do not use a Diva Light since I wear glasses and it would create a glare effect, but that is another option that can be used for both front facing videos and overhead tutorial style videos.
Once you have a few basics like these in place, you can start serving your customers better by offering Facebook Lives, Virtual Crops and even Online Classes! I hope some of those tips are helpful to you in your Creative Memories or other direct sales business. PLEASE reach out to me if I can support you during this time.