videography

Videography – A Beginner’s Basics


I bought my first and only camera the summer before I started high school, in July 2016. Since then, I have taken every opportunity I am given to expand my knowledge on photography, learning different techniques and coming up with various ideas. Although a seriously expensive hobby, being able to capture moments and tiny parts of life into a single shot is what I find so incredible. Expressing my creativity through complex shots, preparing ideas for photoshoots or just taking simple photos of what I see around me is one of my favorite things ever.

In the past year, I wanted to start capturing longer moments and putting them together into mini movies. Videography takes a huge amount of patience, and seeing as how I didn’t have much, I didn’t start indulging in that interest until a few months ago. The process of shooting, sorting through and organizing footage, trimming video lengths, finding the right editing tools and then trying to attain a certain idea that you have in mind seemed like a useless waste of time. On top of all that, many people (including myself) find that they don’t have steady hands, which leads to shaky footage.

One of my best friends has a big interest in videography and through him, I started playing around with different editing softwares and techniques. Not having a steady hand is common amongst many successful videographers but there are tricks that you can do to work with it. Additionally, through different editing software, you can make things appear clearer or add effects to work with the trembling (if it isn’t that significant). For those of us on a strict budget, there are many DIY hacks and small things you can try on your own, and if you can, there is certain equipment meant to keep your camera and your hand steady while filming.

EQUIPMENT

Let’s start with the equipment first. If you have a strict budget, try to match it reasonably with some of the options listed below, as the prices range quite drastically:

  1. The Glidecam HD:
    • Starts at $529 USD
    • Glidecam Industries is one of the top hand-held camera stabilizing lines
    • Lightweight and easy to use
    • Good for cameras between two to six lbs
    • Smooth shots whether you’re running, going up stairs or even walking, all despite shaky hands
    • For more info and purchasing: Glidecam HD
  2. The SteadyTracker:
    • Two types; SteadyTracker Xtreme ($299 USD) and SteadyTracker Ultralite ($199 USD)
    • The Xtreme can hold cameras up to around 7 lbs and is steady for running and/or high action shots
    • The Ultralite weighs around 3 lbs and can handle cameras up to 5 lbs
    • For more info and purchasing: The SteadyTracker
  3. The Aviator Travel Jib:
    • Weighs less than 4 lbs, supports a camera up to 6.5 lbs
    • Fast and easy to set up and extends to around 6ft (24 inches)
    • For more info and purchasing: Aviator Camera Gear

DIY Stabilizer

For someone like me who has a strict budget, these options would be great if I could actually afford them. Luckily, there are a few other tricks and hacks we can use to stabilize our camera without spending an arm and a leg.

  1. Find something to rest your camera on. A table, chair or even a pile of books. This trick is more useful for one angle shots, seeing as you can put your camera down and start filming.
  2. Use your camera strap. There are two ways of using this technique. Either you could wrap the strap tightly around your wrist to provide extra support and stability. Another idea is to have the strap around your neck, and while holding your camera, extend your arms in front of you to the furthest the strap goes.
  3. Keep your camera close to you. The closer your camera is to you, the more control you have over it, meaning the easier it is to take a steady shot. Try tucking your elbows close to your side and hold the camera in front of your chest to stabilize the shot.

These ideas are usually what I personally tend to lean more towards, but investing a little money would never hurt anyone. Now that you have your perfect shot, its time to get to editing.

EDITING SOFTWARE AND PROGRAMS

There are many different computer and mobile software programs that you can use to effectively to edit your video. Just like camera equipment, some require purchasing while others are more easily accessible.

  1. iMovie:
    • Works only on Macbooks and Apple products
    • Easily add simple transitions, music and titles in very few steps
    • Quick and smooth
    • No purchase necessary
  2. Adobe Premiere Elements:
    • For Windows, Macbooks and Androids
    • Costs $99.99 USD
    • Easy to use and a variety of video editing features
    • By selecting a certain theme, you can simply make a collage including your photos and videos
  3. Corel VideoStudio:
    • Similar to iMovie
    • Can be used on Macbooks and Androids
    • No purchase necessary
    • Quick and efficient to get both simple and complex editing done\

Videography and photography is no simple hobby, nor is it a cheap one. As seen before, “cheap” is very broad term in this industry. There are many more little hacks that you can try out in order to avoid spending a lot of money. But despite all the roadblocks, capturing memories and moments is something that you can treasure forever, so why not work to improve how the memories come out?


For some amazing shots to watch my journey and love for photography and videography, visit my Instagram page or VSCO page.

Starting a Podcast

Image credit: Unsplash | Juja Han

Podcasts are this untapped world full of creativity, knowledge and storytelling – they are like radio talk shows, without the music breaks. Podcasts have multiple genres and different outlets on which you distribute your podcast on. They have been around for a while now, and Agents Digital has decided to join in on the fun and start experimenting with our own podcasts!

As we get closer and closer to our first upload, we noticed there are 3 main things you should think about before starting a podcast:

1. Equipment & Software

The physical equipment used for the podcast are a computer and microphone(s). The microphone we ended up using is the, “Snowball Ice by Blue – A Plug and Play USB Microphone”. It is really simple to use too. The product comes with a “USB type B cable” to plug into your computer and a stand for which the mic sits on top of.

This is our microphone being used in our office

The box says the microphone is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers. We used it on a Windows 10 computer and it worked perfectly! When tested, there was no feedback in the audio. Meaning the room did not sound “echo-ey”, and it is important to make sure your not in a big, empty, “echo-ey” space when recording because it will effect your audio.

It should also be noted that the further you are in distance from the microphone the worse the volume quality in the audio will be. Also, the size & design of the room can trigger the audio quality as well. Recording in a small room with carpet, has less of an echo than, recording in a big room with hardwood flooring; but after looking into the product online, there is no doubt that this product is perfect for an entry level podcast.

The microphone obviously is what you use record but how do you edit your audio? Audacity is what we use. There are a multiple other editing software options but we choose Audacity because a) its an open source software therefore, free to download, b) its easy to use and I (the editor) am familiar with it and c) it come with all the features needed to create a successful podcast audio file.

Some of the other popular options for editing software include: Apple’s GarageBand and Adobe Audition CC. Adobe Audition CC is a bit more complex built to please your need as you do get complete control of everything. But takes a lot more time and energy to get used to, and learn. But Audition costs money; so, if you plan on taking this podcast seriously and to the next level, than this is the software would be a great investment for you. GarageBand is only available for apple products, MaciOS and iOS. It’s free for those users. GarageBand comes with all the necessary tools needed to edit a podcast and more. Audacity is available for both Apple and Windows users. Its completely free and comes with all the needed features including:

  • Records live audio
  • Imports and exports sound files of multiple formats from outsourced files
  • Editing tools – cut, delete, copy, paste, trim, silence +
  • Audio analysis –
  • Automatic Multi-tracking
  • and more…

That’s why we chose it.

2. Podcast Hosting

How do you get your podcast out into the universe?

Through podcast hosting. A podcast host, is your podcasts house. It is where you upload your podcast, this is where your podcast officially lives. But if you want to get technical its, “a file server on the internet that lets people download the file.”

There are lots of homes to choose from. Some are free, others are not. But it all depends on what you are looking for in a host. Some hosts provide different features like analytics/statistics, and some allow you to monetize your podcast. But some hosts are much harder to use, compared to others and may come with limitations, but I will do comparisons of hosts in another blog.

Your host should be able to accommodate to you, and your needs. Agents Digital is planning on using CastBox. Our second choice would be SoundCloud. As a beginner type podcast, we want the process to be simple and have as little stress as possible.

Not everyone may know who or what CastBox is as much as SoundCloud, that’s okay. We went for the underdog. Not all your audience is going to be on that one host. You can distribute your podcast to other platforms like Spotify, iTunes, SoundCloud and more using an RSS link that most hosts provide for you.

These platforms offer features that are necessary to have in order to run a successful podcast. CastBox was specifically the choice we went with because it was free, easy to use and came with all the features they offer as a platform. Easy uploading process and unlimited storage. Provides the basic analytics, to help your podcast thrive. Plus, they have a monetize feature as well. Yes, you can make money just for talking into a microphone for an hour of your day. What a dream!

3. Content

Content is the main ingredient to your podcast. Content is the majority of your podcast, after your introduction, before your conclusion – the middle of your podcast. Each episode should have a main concept, or at least multiple mini topics inside.

Here’s an idea, before recording create an outline for your podcast, you can write it down on a piece of paper, your phone or even a whiteboard. Start the outline off with your shows introduction and gradually work your way through to the end of the podcast. You don’t have to write an essay or formulate a script, try to jot down some ideas/topics for that episode. It’s easy.

Being prepared and having a sense of direction for the podcast will relieve some of your pre-recording gitters. Plus if for some reason you start to get off topic, lost your train of thought you can look at your notes, and know exactly what you need to do and/or say.


A lot of planning goes into starting a podcast, but in the long run, it will be beneficial. But hey, If you don’t want to start a podcast, you should definitely try listening to one. There are so many to choose from, its a great way to optimize your time and maybe even motivate you!

I know a great one that you should totally listen to when it launches, created and record by yours truly at Agents Digital. 🙂

Create a WordPress Business Website Today!

Lately, we have been asked why should we use WordPress to create a Website as opposed to other tools out there. Isn’t WordPress just meant for Blogging? The answer is no, WordPress is a content management system that is so much more than the eye can see!

WordPress has evolved from a platform loved by Bloggers to a fully featured Website creation powerhouse. What’s more, WordPress 5.1 (latest version) standard editor helps you create your Website with point and click tools that are just as easy to use as everything else out there. Another great feature of WordPress is that it allows your to create user accounts with multiple levels of access making teamwork .. work. WordPress main components are:

Themes

Pages & Posts

Media

Plugins

WordPress Themes are basically your website’s skin, you can choose from thousands of themes, free and at cost. They provide the look and feel for your website. Checkout some cool WordPress themes here. We recommend themes from the WordPress site because you can check out the ratings, they are free to use and you get updates directly on the WordPress dashboard.

Pages and Posts are what makes up your website. You can create as many pages as your heart desires to describe your company, team, services, contact information, etc, etc, etc. WordPress provides a neat little place where you can upload all of your Media including logos, pictures and videos. Keep them neatly organized and available for all of your pages. Plugins .. these are add-ons and allows you to make your website extra cool. You need a cool looking form ? Check out Ninja Forms. You need to improve your SEO ? check out Yoast SEO! You need a beautiful looking gallery or slider? Tons to choose from. It is wise to check out the ratings and description for each one of these to figure out if it suites your needs.

Let’s face it, nowadays we all need to blog, that’s how we can improve our Search Engine rankings organically and this where WordPress really outshines the competition. You can crate a page that feeds all your stories and have them published in a jiffy! Done and Done. No kidding.

For more info check out WordPress.com


Welcome..

Welcome to the home of Agents Digital! If you have any questions, feedback, comments, please drop us a line. We would like to hear from you!

We are a technology and digital marketing team based out of Richmond Hill, Ontario.  Our mission is to help small to medium businesses embrace and leverage technology to transform and scale through Digital. We strive to find the right Digital solutions to meet your business needs.

Many Small Businesses continue to market their business through traditional methods (a.k.a. newspapers and flyers) and while there is still some use for traditional marketing, they are missing the Digital component. “Digital is the new marketplace with Scalability”. Digital facilitates the marketplace from local to global, it allows Businesses to keep in touch with their customers, to get feedback, to acquire new leads and the good news is that cost has reduced significantly in the last few years.

Technology products such as WordPress, Shopify and Salesforce are making it a breeze to setup your business online without the need of high development costs.

In the weeks to come we will go in depth how we (as Small Business) can leverage these technologies to market our products online. Stay tuned or signup to our newsletter to stay in touch!

Yours Truly,

Agents Digital