ActiveRain Tutorials: Creating Better Videos- Steadying Your Shot

Creating Better Videos- Steadying Your Shot

TripodThe other day I started a series of posts on creating better videos.  The series came from some recent presentations I have given as a social media speaker on using video more effectively in your online marketing strategy.  The first post dealt with picking the right angles for your indoor shots.  Today we are going to tackle another one of the issues I see in too many videos.  The fact that you feel like you are riding a roller coaster throughout the entire video due to the shakiness.  If you wonder what I am talking about, here's an example from one of my golf outings.

So how do we go about fixing this problem?  Well, absolute easiest is to just use a tripod.  It steadies your camera and removes all the shake.  You can purchase one for anywhere from $20 for an inexpensive one to some that can cost you several thousands.  Personally, I use a tripod/monopod combo from Sunpak that is around $85. (aff link) This tripod is a little taller than some of the others out there which comes in handy if you are taller or interviewing someone who is taller than 5'7".

In addition to this tripod, I also use a smaller lightweight one, but that can can be hard to use since it is so lightweight it causes some vibration when you try to do pan shots.  The third tripod I carry in my bag always is a small desktop tripod.  This one might get more use than any other tripod I own as it is with me all the time.  It doesn't always work the best with the DSLR camera due to the cameras weight, but with the pocket cameras it is perfect.

Here is a quick demonstration video showing the importance of steadying your camera:

So what if you want to shoot a video and do not have a tripod handy?  What should you do?  Well, obviously you wouldn't want to just give up on shooting the video.  Instead, lets think of some other ways to imitate the tripod.  Here are just a few things I have done in the past when I don't have a tripod nearby to steady my video camera:  

  • Find a steady flat surface to sit/prop the camera.  I've used everything from sidewalks, desks, railings, you name it to steady the camera.  I've even used my wallet before to prop a camera up & get that perfect shot.  
  • Put your camera strap on & pull the camera tight against your neck.  This will help to steady the camera more than just using your arms.  
  • Find something to lean on.  If you can find something to lean your elbows against you can use your arms as a tripod fairly well.

These are just a few ideas, there are plenty more crazy things I've done in the past to try & get the right shot.  Have you ever used any of the things I mentioned in the past?  Or maybe you have another idea.  If you do, please share!

Originally Posted at: 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors

I'm a full time Myrtle Beach Real Estate Agent that focuses on homes for sale in Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest Real Estate.


 Search Myrtle Beach Homes  


Let me help you find your next dream home here in Myrtle Beach.


I am also the Co-Founder of 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors.  I have traveled the country as a social media speaker.  If you would like more information on any of the topics discussed in this blog, please contact me directly.  We specialize in social media training, online consulting, and the creation of your own custom WordPress site.


Get a Custom WordPress Site


Also, let's connect on these great social networks:

Follow Me on Twitter   Follow Me on Facebook   Lets get Linkedin      Follow my Photo Stream on Flickr   Myrtle Beach Real Estate Videos

Comment balloon 23 commentsJeremy Blanton • November 07 2011 06:51PM


The shakiness is agents trying to do a one take, continuous video. Won't work unless you are on a dolly, in a one floor all the floors are even ranch. You need to set up shots, do pans and if you are steady, have not had too much coffee, the slow motion and leveling features of new video cameras (not the same still shooting iron you use) means you can create the loops to stitch together.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 8 years ago

Buying a tripod was the best investment I could have made for my videos and photos. I also have a remote that lets me set the camera all the way in a corner - I can stand to the side or out of the room and snap away.


Posted by Emmary Simpson, Serving Las Cruces, NM (Las Cruces Homes and Land) almost 8 years ago

Emmy- Tripods can be inexpensive but one of the best investments to your video arsenal!

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) almost 8 years ago


Thanks for this tip, some of my associates have this issue, so ill share this post with them.  Thanks and have a great day.

Posted by Michele Cadogan-Cell 917-861-9166, Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker - (Fillmore Real Estate 2990 Av U, Bklyn , NY 11229) almost 8 years ago

Jeremy, all over it. I fully agree any tripod will be better than free standing. 

Posted by Frank Rubi, (Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC) almost 8 years ago

camera standI had my 8 year old son film a few seconds of me talking the other day. Oh boy were his hands shaky?

Here is what we did...

My perfect camera stand... LOL!

A few seconds of video with lots of out takes! We laughed so hard!

Posted by Judit Crace (Top Idaho Real Estate) almost 8 years ago

Where's that LOVE button, Jer?!  I do not use a tripod nearly enough and always regret it.  Now I use my Mac iMovie software that takes away the shakiness--thank God!!  I do need to get more in the habit of using the tripod...maybe next time!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) almost 8 years ago

Thanks for the information. I have seen a few videos and have to reach for the anti-nausea mediation.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 8 years ago

Jeremy, what a great series! Practical, one step at a time tips for better videos - love it :)


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) almost 8 years ago

Jeremy, thanks for the suggestion!  I am about to venture into videos so I will definitely add a tripod to my list.

Posted by Lisa Dunham, Associate Broker, Alexandria Virginia Real Estate almost 8 years ago

Jeremy - Tripods make such a difference.  I learned this years ago with cameras, long befor video cameras came along.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) almost 8 years ago


I always try to use a tripod with my SLR.  I can't wait to get a good camcorder and start doing more videos.  I have been avoiding them though.

Posted by Larry Story, Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate (Total Care Realty) almost 8 years ago

Hi Jeremy--I would say your video makes the point perfectly. The second half is actually enjoyable to watch while the first part is hard to concentrate on.  I often use a tripod for my digital camera and as I venture into videos will apparently have to do the same thing! 

Posted by Janet Jones, Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (Just Your Style Interiors, LLC) almost 8 years ago

Hi Jeremy, There seems to be a lot of emphasis on making good videos these days. I understand why you would recommend using a tripod. I am bookmarking this great post, and will come make a start making those videos.

Posted by Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation (Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, almost 8 years ago

Thank you for the information and advice.I will bookmark this post for the future.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 8 years ago

Hi Jeremy - Tripods are very useful, especially when filming a long video event.

Posted by FN LN almost 8 years ago

Wast that your wife? The one who cooks up those amazing dishes you post on Facebook? I kep waiting for the dog to take a leak on the white picket fence. I have two tripods. Problem is when you're running around w/your cell and you need to capture that perfect video! Well, not perfect (no tripod)

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) almost 8 years ago

Larry, my DSLR actually now shoots HD video as well, so I use that a  lot for video nowadays.

Greg- yes, that is my wife.  Isn't she hot?  I am very lucky to have her.  I too was worried that my dog was going to do something in the video I would have to edit out LOL.  Luckily she was just sniffing around.  As for capturing with your phone, they do make cradles now to connect your phone to a tripod even.  I've got one for my phone albeit junky.

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) almost 8 years ago


Welcome to the VBloggers Group Jeremy!  What a pleasure to have you sharing your knowledge with us here!  

Thanks for taking the time to put this together! 

Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) almost 8 years ago


You are so right - a tripod is the best piece of equipment we can invest in...a nice fluid head for panning is a nice addition, bit will obviously cost more...

Love your suggestions about using hard surfaces in a pinch...I've done that! This a great post and welcome to the group, I look foward to seeing your future posts.  D

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 8 years ago

There's nothing worse than watching a vdieo with poor sound or with a lot of shakes going on (or both).

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) almost 8 years ago

As Martha Stewart likes to say "It's [tripod] a Good Thing"

I think it all depends on your objective. I do walking tours of homes so it isn't possible. But when I am just shooting something like an interview or such then it is a great tool. 


Posted by Cathy Criado, Making Real Estate Profitable (Criado Realty ) almost 8 years ago

I've used everything from fences to lamp posts to steady my camera!

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 7 years ago