10 Types of Camera Shots

Our clients often ask us for video tips, either to use themselves when they’re shooting or to pass on to their “Mobile Crew” that upload footage with our app.

Our #1 tip is always: get creative with a variety of different camera shots!

In order to edit a visually interesting video, it helps if the clips we receive have an assortment of composition types. In video, “composition” refers to the arrangement of the elements within a moving image.  If you have an Instagram account, you probably have already experimented with photo and video compositions but without even really thinking about it.

We thought it might be helpful to breakdown the basic camera shots and illustrate their compositions (with GIFs!). So, without further ado…

Extreme Wide Shot

Contextualizes where you are, physically. Often shows off the location (of the event, workplace, city) where the video takes place.

Very Wide Shot

Notice how the location is still prevalent here but the subject is also visible.

Wide Shot

Still shows the environment but with more emphasis on the subject, within the environment.

Mid Shot Example

Aiming for a waist-up shot, this composition shows more details of the subject; including their body language and gestures.

Medium Close Up

Provides much greater detail of the face but we still see some body language. Usually, the medium-shot shows the subject from the shoulders up.

Close Up

In a close-up, the subjects face is highlighted. With this increased attention to detail, the audience can absorb the subjects emotional reaction.

Extreme Close Up

Getting extremely close to your subject is the perfect way to show a lot of detail or heighten the emotion of a scene.

Two Shot

Framed with a similar composition to a mid-shot, two shots simply include 2 subjects instead of 1.  Both subjects should take up a similar amount of space and the distance between them can help convery information about their relationship.

Over The Shoulder Shot

Frames the subject by shooting from behind the person they are talking to. These are typically used in dialogue scenes and show a subjects perspective, within the conversation.

Point of View Shot

Shows a subjects perspective as though the audience is looking right through their eyes.

Got it?

Now with your new found knowledge, watch how in these videos the Mobile Film Crew’s for Almond Breeze and The International Travel College of New Zealand (both armed with iPhones) varied their compositions with a variety of different camera shots.

Here, Almond Breeze had their Brand Ambassadors take mobile videos at a festival in Auckland, New Zealand. Note how the wide shot is used as an establishing shot detailing the location and an over the shoulder shot brings you right into the booth, making smoothies with the team.

In this video for The International Travel College of New Zealand, an ITC employee visited a former student at his job in Thailand and uploaded video clips of it to the EditMate App. Note how the point of view shots has you (the viewer) driving through the jungle and riding an elephant!

See? Pretty easy to do and keeps a video interesting to watch.

Now that you know the 10 types of Camera Shots, get out there and get shooting 🙂

Questions? Contact us below for more tips.

Or Start a Project with us to turn your raw video footage into a polished social video for your brand!

P.S. Did you find this helpful? You might like our posts on How to Shoot an Interview and How to Prep for an iPhone Shoot too.

GIF CREDIT: Vimeo

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