Tips for Making a Cooking Video

Jonathan “Jon” Vrban lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he spends his days gardening and cooking. With a desire to publish his own cookbook, Jonathan Vrban looks for new opportunities to share his skills as a cook with others, and he is interested in making and launching cooking videos on YouTube.

When developing a cooking video, preparation of the cooking area, as well as presentation, are key for making an engaging show that encourages people to cook a dish. The following are tips to keep in mind when filming.

1. Take time to source fresh ingredients to showcase vibrant colors and add interest to a dish throughout the recording. Fresh tomatoes, for example, are more visually appealing than a can of tomatoes. Potted herbs are also nice to have on hand since they will not wilt.

2. When cooking with meat, discard the original packaging and place the ingredient on a clean plate or piece of parchment paper. This translates well on camera.

3. Select the proper dish size to hold ingredients and the final product. Plates and bowls that add height are great.

4. Make sure to take close-up shots of the ingredients being prepared and always favor the camera when chopping, dicing, and executing any cooking technique.

5. Because the audience cannot smell or taste the food, the cook should be very descriptive about the preparation and final dish. Offering measurements that are easily understood by viewers, like “a pinch of salt,” and vocalizing the doneness of products gives the viewer a better understanding of the overall recipe.

6. Remember to take a still shot of the dish at the end to be used as a thumbnail when uploading a video. Attempting to take a photo from a video may result in a low quality picture that will not pique people’s interest.

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