How to Make Cooking Videos – The Basics

I’m often asked what equipment I use and how I make my videos. My father was a professional photographer during one of his lifetimes and taught me the basics. The rest of what I know was gleaned on the interwebz. The only issue is sorting through all of the information out there to find the mentors that will help craft your videos into quality content people want to watch.

Michelle Johnson from Vegan Cooking with Love has done all the research and compiled it into one great course for beginners. She created How to Make Cooking Videos: The Basics to share concise tips with clear visual examples. This is the place for all cooking content creators to start. Michelle walks you through each step and explains the process in a way that will make you feel confident about your own project. I wish this course had existed when I started Veggietorials!

My set-up is fairly low tech. My backgrounds are usually just plain white poster board or foam core board from the craft store. I like that it provides a clean background so that the food pops and I have room for captions. My preference is to shoot with diffused daylight but I use a daylight fluorescent ring light when natural light is not an adequate source.

I shot most of my videos last year with a Canon 7d but am trying out the Canon 70d now. The auto-focus video feature and flip out LCD screen make the 70d far superior to the 7d if your goal is to shoot video. For vlogs, I use the Panasonic Lumix. The sound quality on this little point & shoot is actually better than the built-in mic on the Canon 7d. Speaking of mics, I use the Rode VideoMic for on camera audio recording and the Blue Microphone Yeti for voiceovers. To capture the overhead shots in my videos, I use my iPhone 4s and a GorillaPod strapped to the handle of a kitchen cabinet. It’s not ideal, but hey, it works!

The editing process is what takes me the longest. I hope to up my game in this part of production and get a better workflow. I use both FinalCutPro X and Motion 5 to edit but you can certainly get by with iMovie or a basic PC based editor. If you’re unfamiliar with these programs, I would highly recommend tutorials or subscribing to FinalCutKing, Larry Jordan or IzzyVideo.

Be careful with background music or you’ll get dinged with a copyright strike. I reach out to artists that I love and most have been very receptive to allowing me to use their music with attribution only. If the artist does not ask me for a licensing fee, I always donate to their Kickstarter, Indie Gogo or purchase other merchandise to help support them. Kawehi has been very generous with giving me permission to share her music. There are also sites like Incompetech, AudioMicro and Jamendo where you can find royalty-free music for your videos.

I hope this post give s you a starting point for creating your own videos. Don’t get hung up on needing all of the equipment in the beginning. All you need is a little creativity and your passion!

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored. Michelle was kind enough to give me an advance peek at the course but I would have gladly purchased it, as I believe it is a great value.

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  1. What an amazing post Cobi! Such great info. I need to check out that video!

  2. Great info Cobi! I’m always looking for ways to improve editing and filming! 🙂

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