How To Make Recipe Videos

How To Make Recipe Videos | happygut.ca

Why You Should Be Doing Recipe Videos 

I’ve been meaning to do a post on how to make recipe videos for quite some time now. I’ve recently started doing “Tasty“-style overhead recipe videos for my Facebook Page and have seen a pretty significant boost in Page Likes and traffic. I’ve had over 10K Facebook views on my videos which has significantly increased my post engagement and likes. Not to mention, my most popular blog pages are those with my overhead recipe videos. There is a reason for this: Facebook really wants to grow their video content (over Youtube) and so heavily rewards video posts over any other type of posts.

Check out the charts below:  

3 Unusual Lessons We Learned by Studying Over 16 million Posts (And 100,000 Brands) on Social Media | bufferapp.com
3 Unusual Lessons We Learned by Studying Over 16 million Posts (And 100,000 Brands) on Social Media | bufferapp.com
How To Make Recipe Videos | happygut.ca
How To Make Recipe Videos | happygut.ca
How To Make Recipe Videos | happygut.ca
How To Make Recipe Videos | happygut.ca

Are you convinced that you should be doing recipe videos? Good, let’s move on. 🙂

How To Make Recipe Videos 

  1. Setup your filming equipment 
    • You have 2 options to shoot: your DSLR or your smartphone. My DSLR doesn’t have video and so I shoot with my smartphone. I was toying with the idea of upgrading my DSLR with video to film recipe videos but after doing research I saw that most newer iPhones have the same quality as DSLR videos. Making pro videos with your cellphone just got easier. 😛 (You can check out this article and this one these comparing smartphones with DSLR cameras. 
    • Once you know what camera you’ll shoot with, you’ll need to decide the angle(s) to shoot. You can shoot in the same angle you shoot your photos (with the camera pointing at a 30-45 degree angle towards the food) in which case, go for it! For me, I wanted to mimic the overhead angle that Tasty uses (I think they look best and seem to be most popular) and so I shoot overhead. If you want to shoot overhead recipe videos with your smartphone, here are your options:
      • If you already have a tripod, you will need to purchase a monopod + cell phone clip / selfie stick that can attach to your tripod. 
      • If you don’t have a tripod you can either purchase a tripod + (monopod + cell phone clip / selfie stick) or a magic arm to mount on a cabinet. I haven’t used a magic arm so can’t speak about how well they work. 
      • Note: When I went about trying to figure out how to make overhead recipe videos with my smartphone, I quickly learned that it wasn’t very easy to figure out. There wasn’t much on the internet on how to get started other than DIY stuff (which I don’t have the patience for :P) and when I went to specialty stores, they said they didn’t carry such a product (I said I was looking for a tripod that I can use to film overhead recipe videos with my smartphone). Eventually I ended up figuring out how to do it myself, with the help of my techy partner. A few blogger friends asked me to get overhead tripods for them as well and so I eventually decided to start producing them myself! Fast forward a number of months working and I am happy to say that we have launched our website for the OverHead Pro! Here is the website: getoverheadpro.com 
    • If you are wanting to shoot overhead with your DSLR you will need an arm that attaches to your DSLR and tripod. You will need to ensure that it is strong enough to carry the weight of your DSLR to ensure that it doesn’t tip forward. 
    • Make sure that your camera is level or else you’re videos won’t come out awesome. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. The first few videos I did were hard on the eyes because they weren’t level. I had to run out to the hardware store and get a level to place on my smartphone. This made a huge difference in the quality of video! I found a small round bulls eye level to be best. (Note that if you purchase the OverHead Pro a level is included 🙂 ). 
    • Make sure you have enough space on your camera/phone to film. Being half way through filming your recipe just to have the camera stop recording because there is not enough space sucks. I know because I have done this. Make sure you have plenty of space. I make sure I have at least 5GB free on my iPhone. You can transfer/erase photos, videos and apps etc. to free up space. 
    • Control your camera with your computer. Constantly pressing the the “record” and “stop record” button on your camera makes for shaky footage and wastes time (as you may have to re-arrange your camera to make sure the shoot looks good and is level). I use AirBeam to control my iPhone from my Mac. If you have an Android phone, you can check out Camera Remote. If you are using your DSLR you can use a cable a to connect your DSLR to your computer or phone and control the recoding from there. 
    • Make sure your camera/phone is completely charged. This makes sense -filming videos uses up a lot of battery. I usually have my phone plugged in and charging while I’m filming.  
  2. Try to Film in Natural Light 
    • Like taking photos, filming in natural light is best. Avoid filming in direct light to reduce the appearance of shadows. You can always use a white sheet to cover your windows. This will allow you to shoot in a bright room without getting any shadows. 
  3. Pick a recipe
    • You are going to need to decide on which recipe to make a video for. I would recommend using a tried, tested and true recipe of yours / one that is already popular on your blog. It’s more likely that this type of recipe will become popular very quickly! You can start with a brand new recipe that you are experimenting with, but you run the risk of not having a polished video. (It’s best to know the exact amount of each ingredient before you begin to film but more on this later).
  4. Get Your Kitchen Ready
    • You want to ensure that you have a clean work station to shoot from. A nice solid colour / wood counter with a large cutting board seems to be a safe bet. Be creative though and don’t feel shy to put your own spin on it! Using fun and nice cutlery is a also a good idea! 
  5. Get Your Ingredients Ready
    • Having all your ingredients with the proper measurements ready to go will save you time in filming and space on your camera. Imagine trying to make cookies and having to get every single ingredient from your pantry while shooting. This will either result in a super long video with more edits and taking a lot of space in your camera or you having to click “stop” and “record” in between getting ingredients which is tedious and annoying. Having your ingredients prepped and ready to go will make the process go so much quicker! 
  6. Action
    • Now that you have your (overhead) tripod setup + camera balanced and ready to go, you have picked your recipe, prepared your kitchen and prepped your ingredients you are ready to shoot! Go get her!
  7. Getting Ready to Edit 
    • If you plan on editing the video directly on your smartphone, you can skip to the next step. If you are planning on editing on your Mac or PC, you will first need to get the videos from your camera/phone on to your Mac or PC. I use iOS devices so I typically use AirDrop. You can also use a cable to connect your camera to your editing device. 
  8. Editing & Post-Production
    • Once you have your recipe videos where you want to edit them, you can start editing! There are many ways to edit your video depending on what you used to film and how many edits you’d like to make. I use Adobe Premiere and it works great for me. It has plenty of features but the ones I mostly use are the speed (I make my videos increase by 400x), brightness & contrast (to enhance the look, especially if I shot in the evening), cut and edit individual clips (I like to have my videos under 60 seconds), add text overlay (for my title, ingredients, etc.) and music (there is plenty of free and royalty free music available on YouTube). You can probably use iMovie as well if you don’t want to pay for Premier and have a Mac. Other video editing software options include:  
    • Avidemux (Mac and Windows)
    • Blender (Mac and Windows)
    • Z24 Video Editor (Mac and Windows)
    • HyperEngine (Mac)
    • If you like you can also edit directly from your iPhone using apps like iMovie or Pinnacle Studio, of if you’d like to edit directly from your Android phone you can use apps like PowerDirector & KineMaster. There are plenty of editing software options depending on where you want to edit from (phone or computer) and what elements you’d like to edit. For a full list of Mac video editing software you can click here. For a list of Windows video editing software you can click here
    • Note that I haven’t personally used any editing software other than iMovie and Adobe Premiere so I can’t speak of how well they will work for editing recipe videos. 
  9. Adding (Free) Music
  10. Exporting Your Video
    • Exporting to Facebook in HD: 
      • H.264 video with AAC audio in MOV or MP4 format
      • An aspect ratio no larger than 1280px wide and divisible by 16px
      • A frame rate at, or below, 30fps
      • Stereo audio with a sample rate of 44,100hz
      • Note: If you are using Premier, there is a an Facebook exporting option which makes it really easy.
    • Exporting to YouTube
      • I export for YouTube in HD 720P 29.97. You can see here for more more YouTube exporting details.  

Okay fellow Food Bloggers, there you have her! I hope this how to make recipe videos guide was helpful and you feel ready to get started! Do let me know if you have any questions at all and I’ll be happy to answer them! Also do hop over to GetOverHeadPro.com to check it out. I’d love to hear any feedback you have! 

You may also like

6 comments

  1. How to you deal with steam coming from food you are cooking? i.e. prevent it from fogging up the lense if your are filming from overhead? e.g. cooking soup, etc

    1. Hi Mark! So my tripod is usually high enough where I can avoid smoke fogging up my camera. Another trick I do is shoot just until it starts to heat up and then either move the pot to another element or move the tripod. I usually move the pot. Let me know if you have any more questions!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *