Shots showing different perspectives are a great way to add interest to your videos and give them a more professional feel. In fact, it’s one of the fundamental techniques that pro film-makers use and you can easily do it too.

In this post, we’ll look at five main ways to frame shots. Once you’re aware of them, you’ll start to see them in all sorts of videos, from TV news stories to feature films.

1. Wide shot

Shows the situation or location. It’s often used as an establishing shot. An example is a landscape, a building or a street scene to position the action.

Think of a TV news story about a factory closure. It’ll often start by showing the front of the factory – sometimes even from the air – and some scenes inside showing the production lines.

2. Mid shot

Shows some part of the subject in more detail, while still giving an impression of the whole subject. A person shown from the waist up is a good example.

In our factory story, this type of shot could be used in an interview with the chief executive or an employee.

3. Tight shot

Shows a close-up shot of the subject or action. This could be the subject’s face or hands, or some detail on a product, a company sign on their building.

Back in the factory, we could show a worker’s hands packing product into trays on the production line, shot from in front of the employee.

4. Point of view shot

Shows a view from the subject’s perspective, such as looking over their shoulder at what they’re doing or seeing.

In the factory story, we’d move the camera behind the worker looking down at their hands from their point of view.

5. Wildcard shot

This is an extra angle or perspective that’s specific to the subject of your video.

Back at the factory, it could be part of the production line whirring along, for example.

Getting the shots

Making sure you get the right shots usually comes down to a combination of planning in advance and thinking on your feet. Unless you’re covering a breaking news story, you should always storyboard your video beforehand, making it easier to write a tick-list of shots that you need.

If you know the location well or have a chance to visit in advance, you can even plan out the backdrops you’ll use and the various angles you’ll film from. Otherwise, you’ll have to get your thinking cap on when you arrive and work out what your wide shots will be, for example.

Having a good range of shots will make it much easier for you to tell your story when you get to the editing stage, and you’ll end up with a richer film that your viewers will find much more engaging.

Watch out for a blog post coming up soon on how to storyboard a video.