You Tube Guru: Filming & Set up

A lot of people think that in order to make videos which will be sucesfull on You Tube you must have expensive equipment. That is simply not true.

Better equipment helps, but if you are good at makeup and the video is entertaining people don’t really care about the quality initially.

You only really need to start thinking about improving camera quality when you’ve built yourself a large audience, around 40,000+ is a good time to think about upgrading.

The first thing you need to think about is lighting. It is so important and so tricky to get right!

If you live in a sunny county you can get away with natural light, but it you live in England where the light changes from one second to the next you might want to think of using just artificial light.

One thing you need to be careful abut it to avoid yellow or very pale blue light. Yellow light will make you look like an oompaloompa and blue light will make you look cold. You need to find a light which is a combination of both colours to look as natural as possible.

So this is my set up.

Nothing too complicated, my only problem with this set up is that unless it’s late the natural light tends to change a lot, which is why some of my videos have drastic light changes.

Anyway I’m going to break this down into chunks:

Editing Programs?

  • For PC’s you have a free program on it called Windows Movie Maker. I personally hate that program with a passion because of the amount of times it crashed on me, but if you have nothing else it will do for basic editing.
  • For Mac Books you have iMovie (yes it comes free on all Mac Books). This is the program I am using presently and I LOVE IT! On Movie Maker it could take me up to 6-7 hours to edit one video and now it takes me 30-60 min.
  • I know that there are free programs online which you can use but I’ve never used them so I can’t direct you to one which I know will work.


  • If you don’t live in a cloudy country you can just use natural daylight. Near a window is your best bet.
  • I bought my lights from B&Q (kitchen lights).
  • Another thing that helps is to get a reflective surface around your lights to bounce as much light as possible towards you face. Card with tinfoil glued to it works just fine but you can also get proper reflectors from places like Amazon and e-bay.


  • The easiest trick is just to use the wall of your room, just make sure its painted one solid colour. Patterns can sometimes drive your camera crazy unless they’re near to were you will be standing.
  • Try not to have a background which is too busy as it can distract the viewer from you.
  • A curtain or a room divider works really well for quick easy background set up.
  • You can also get fold-able backgrounds online but they are quite expensive.

For myself I use a curtain (one black and one a speckled brown) held up using a pole resting on two draw handles screwed to the wall. Haha the pole was slightly too short so I had to find a stick from the garden to make it slightly longer. I really like this method as I can change my background easily and once I’ve finished recording I can just take everything down and put it to the side.


  • You can use a oval bathroom stand mirror and position it next to your camera. Try and get a large one, the smaller mirrors can be quite hard to see your self in when you are recording.
  • A hand-held mirror also works but be careful not to cover up what you’re trying to demonstrate to the camera, I’ve done that so many times.
  • If you have a flip screen camera you can even use that to see what you’re doing.


A good camera can cost you anywhere between £100-£700. If you’re just starting out you do NOT need an expensive camera. You can get a perfectly acceptable quality from a cheap £40 camera or your mac book/PC web cam.

I am not the best person to ask really for which camera might work the best for you.I use a JVC HD Everio flip camera and once I find something that works for me I tend to stick with it so I do not have a tone of experience with different cameras.

I’ve been using this camera for the past 1-2 years and it’s still going fine. The one down side to it is that you need to get the lighting perfect. If the lighting is too strong it will wash you out, too dark and people will struggle to see what you’re doing.

The same camera also has a remote and takes pictures but it as the same problems as mentioned and while it dose take very high quality pictures close up, for anything further than 2 feet it get’s blurry very quickly.

My best recommendation is to go to any shops which sell cameras and ask the sales assistants about all the different cameras and which one would be best for you. One thing I will recommend is to get a flip-screen camera. You do not want to finish recording and then realize everything was out of focus or not even recording in the first place.

And finally for positioning your camera you can either use a pile of books as a stand or a tripod. I strongly recommend getting a tripod, it dose not cost too much,  is much more sturdy and will last for ever.

I hope that helped :) The next blog post for how to get started on You Tube will on tips and tricks for getting your channel noticed.




  1. says

    Thanks for the help! I never thought about the use of tin foil to reflect light to make it brighter… will have to use that idea in my videos. Also, I was wondering what is the the exact model number for your camera? I’m looking for a good flip one for my channel and although I have one in mind, I want to make the right choice. Thanks again! ^_^

  2. says

    Thank you, Klaire! I have been wanting to start make-up tutorials for a long time. I just found out that I had Windows Movie Maker in my PC thanks to your article. I will also take your advice on everything else. I think your Mirror trick will work well too, because I had no idea how i was going to film myself applying make-up. Thanks again!

  3. aimee says

    thanks for this ive started my own channel ‘blueipodgal’ these tips are really helpful and ill definetly use them :)

  4. says

    Maybe you can help me.. I using white light bulbs and recorded in my room with an white curtain backgroundbut. However I don’t get a proper recording ven though my camera is HD. (Toshiba Camileo H20 1080p)
    I’m so desperate … :(