Five Tips for Recipe Videos

5

food filming photography

How many times a day do you get distracted by a food video on social media? 

Short recipe videos now account for some of the most popular content on social media, whether that’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. How many times a week does someone share a Tasty video into your timeline? 

Today, we’re pulling together some tips for food bloggers hoping to make recipe videos for social media – and we’ll be sharing some of our favourite videos from UK food bloggers along the way! 

Choose the Right Ingredients

Want your video to go viral? The studies suggest that the recipes most likely to succeed on social media and be widely shared are those that are either

  • Highly indulgent ‘treat’ foods 
  • Seasonal recipes 
  • Unusual ingredients

Rather than sharing a video for meatballs, try and think of an ingredient combination that people might not otherwise have thought of. Or you might share a video that is thoroughly indulgent and combines more calories than most people will actually want to eat (but they’ll love to eat it with their eyes). A great example is this video from Sarah at Taming Twins, which has reached millions of viewers via Facebook. 

Prep, Prep, Prep 

Before you start shooting, put yourself in your viewer’s shoes and think about how the video will look – and what story it’s going to tell. 

It seems obvious, but our favourite videos use pre-chopped ingredients, placed in simple bowls, ready to be used. 

Don’t forget about the process of the recipe – how will you inspire people to give it a try? Which bits of the recipe are unique and employ specific techniques, that need to be shown? Which are repetitive or simple, and might be sped up, or filmed using stop motion? 

If this is a brand collaboration, how will the product be shown? Will you use a pack shot? 

Choose a Fresh Location 

Many of the food videos you see are shot from overhead on a wooden counter. But if you can think of a fresh location for your food videos, then the difference can be a real selling point. A great example of this is Beach Hut Cook, who combines delicious recipes with gorgeous seaside views. What could be nicer? 

Even if you are shooting indoors, try and find interesting tables and backdrops, with plenty of natural light. 

Fine Tune the Filming 

When you’re making a recipe video the focus (dur) needs to be on the food. This means your production needs to be as simple as possible.

Set up your camera and check that you’re capturing everything you need to. Remove any unnecessary distractions like watches, jewellery or nail polish – we think it’s best to keep your hands and arms out of shot as much as possible.  

Plan your shoot – it’s often impossible to go back a stage and capture something you’ve missed. So think at each stage – what ingredients do I need to capture, what’s the process I need to demonstrate, what imagery do I need to see, have I included any utensils or equipment the viewer might need to see?

A good guideline is to capture 30 seconds of steady footage of each step in a recipe, this will give you lots of shots to choose from. 

Always shoot more footage than you think you’ll need. If you have two cameras then it’s ideal to capture both overhead and close-up shots, to add extra interest. Don’t forget to capture a nice shot of the finished dish with some movement to use at the start and end of your video. Grab any photos you’ll need as you go. 

Edit Ruthlessly 

The very best social food videos are short and snappy. When editing, lay out the clips in your editing program in order, and ensure you have a full story. From there, you can begin selecting the best shots, and angles, to compile your video. Although you may have lots of footage, try not to linger unnecessarily for more than 2 seconds on a single shot or item (unless you need to for a specific process). 

You might also need to add explanatory text to identify ingredients and key steps in a recipe. Larger, graphic text can break up shots and add interest, and can be used for things like timings, ingredients and directions. We like the technique Helen from Fuss Free Flavours has used to add text on this video, over an opaque still.

 

If your video will go onto Facebook, it’s also a great idea to create subtitles to your video too. Oh, and don’t forget the music, last of all! 

 

We’d love to see your video tips in action – do link up your food videos in the comments, and let us know your favourite filming tips. 

 

 

Sally is the publisher of Foodies100, the UK's largest directory of brilliant UK food and drink blogs and bloggers. Every day of the week, we promote the UK's best and most exciting blogs about food and drink.

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So You Know...

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