6 Reasons You Must Shoot Video Every Day

Cameraman Silhouette

Over the past month, I’ve been doing something. And I’ve come to this determination:

You should be shooting video every day. We all should be.

Here are 6 reasons why:

1. You become intimately familiar with your equipment

Has this ever happened to you? Occasionally I find myself reviewing a piece of equipment’s manual before heading out to shoot.

I’m usually relearning something I’ve known before. The issue is that I’ve forgotten what I’ve previously known because I haven’t used that particular gear in a while.

That doesn’t happen with equipment I use every day.

In fact, I intimately know the camera I use for daily video. I know how it feels in my hands. My fingers find their way to the buttons and switches, and I don’t even have to look.

I know where the controls are and how the camera operates. I know what the camera can and can’t do visually.

Why? Because I use it every single day.

2. Practice makes perfect (or at least improvement)

When I’m shooting video every day, I’m hyper aware that the footage isn’t always usable.

My attitude is that I’m practicing. I’m honing my skills.

The more we do something, the more we improve.

If you want to get better at shooting video, try doing it daily. My bet is that you’ll see immediate improvements.

3. Daily video encourages you to experiment

When you know you’re practicing, you give yourself more freedom to experiment.

Experimenting leads to discovery. And discovery leads to improvement.

You can experiment with all kinds of things:

  • Camera angles
  • Under- and over-exposure
  • Framing
  • Subjects
  • Camera movements
  • Shot duration

And there are plenty of other things to experiment with too.

Can you see how experimenting can lead to better video?

4. You begin to identify your video strengths and weaknesses

You might find that your handheld footage is too shaky, so you try new ways to stabilize yourself.

You might find that you’re not happy with your framing, so you identify what you don’t like and make an effort to improve it.

On the other hand, you might find that you love the low angle of having a camera on the ground. So you decide to do it more often.

5. Build a video habit

If you shoot video every day, it will become a habit. A habit can be your friend (or your enemy – a topic for a different article).

The power of building video into a habit is that it becomes something you can do without thinking.

Wouldn’t it be great to build a habit out of capturing moments and telling stories with video?

6. The search inspires you

When you shoot video every day, you look for more subjects to shoot. You search for stories, people, objects, and actions.

You ask yourself “What’s video-worthy?” And you see amazing possibilities everywhere.

You develop a video perspective that inspires you. You get new ideas.


Keep in mind that I’m not always talking about formal video. In other words, it might not be feasible to bring out a tripod, lights, sandbags, and c-stands for video every day (though if you’re a pro, this might be the case for you).

You might be a video enthusiast (a large portion of my audience is).

No matter who you are, you can carry a small video camera with you and be ready to shoot anytime.

After all, they’re small enough to fit in your pocket…

In fact, you likely have one in your pocket right now.

If so, have you shot video with it today? I hope so. And I hope you shoot video tomorrow too.

Are there more benefits from shooting video daily that I didn’t include in this list? If so, let me know in the comments…

38 thoughts on “6 Reasons You Must Shoot Video Every Day

  1. Good article Izzy practice certainly makes perfect. I would add another point in that if you can create a video per day with some content of value then it should be a habit to post it to video sharing sites and embed in your website blog. The more content you have out there the more chance of clients finding you.

    It can also be shared on social media to keep fans engaged and keep you top of mind.

    1. Good points, Matt. That’s certainly true as well.

      Not everyone in my audience is trying to build a business, but many are, and your tips would certainly apply to them too.

  2. Izzy,
    Very thought provoking. I would also add ‘B-roll’ to the list. As an amateur enthusiast I often find myself putting together little things for church or wherever where I need an interesting background of some kind – and I’m off to search for old footage – a clip for Motion 5, or something.

    1. Ken, I like that. I hadn’t thought of that reason. When you shoot every day you get a large library of video clips that you can repurpose in other projects. Very cool idea!

  3. Great advice Izzy!

    I wrote a similar article for nature and wildlife filmmakers about getting out into the field even when you don’t feel like it.

    Another tip if you have more than one camera is to go out and use a different one.

    I have my “A” camera that I use almost all the time so when I have to break out my “B” camera there’s usually a bit of time where I have to reacquaint myself with the differences between the two.

    By switching them up’ you are less likely to make a mistake or miss a shot because you have to look away to the camera controls to figure out how to operate that model.

    Peace and smiles,

  4. Great suggestions, Izzy. Some of them also apply to editing. If I’m away from the editor awhile, I start forgetting keyboard shortcuts, etc. Also, when I edit random stuff, I can experiment and get as ludicrous as I want. I just might happen upon something good that I can use in a real project.

  5. Couldn’t agree with you more. I started this practice many months ago myself and currently I’m increasing to even newer levels. I have learned my equipment much better and I’ve become a much better editor.

  6. I heard once that “practice really DOESN’T make “perfect”.
    “Practice” DOES make “PERMANENT!”
    Your suggestions are so helpful in making my learning habits become permanent.
    Thanks Izzy!!

    1. My wife, Noell, told me that same quote last night when she proofread my blog post. It was my first time hearing that. “Practice makes permanent.” So good.

      Thanks for the comment!

  7. Great tips, I started my business way back in 1982 and went into it full-time in 1990 that’s what I’ve been doing ever sense. Just because you been doing something along time doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep learning, the best way is to just do it every day. I can definitely relate to what one of the comments, specifically I went to a very important shoot had my brand-new cameras that I had paid a lot of money for, had 20 years of experience under my belt and felt quite confident, until just a few minutes before showtime and I realize that I wasn’t familiar with how the new cameras Irish control worked luckily I figured it out just about one minute prior to showtime. This was a show that had a lot of spotlights and changing stage lights all the time, a manual Iris was imperative. Also don’t be a snob a lot of us professionals think that the cell phone cameras are just toys and beneath us. You should always remember the old saying what’s the best camera in the world? the one you have with you. One tip that I would like to contribute is when you were naming your videos always start with the year first, even if the video files that you have are from old VHS tape or even old 8mm film you might not know the exact year but look at the cars look at how old the people are how old the kids are you can usually it’s come up with a pretty good guess. This way your computer will stack them in chronological order and when you’re looking for a particular piece of footage it helps a lot to know the approximate Year.

  8. To Date most of my video’s are done in a controlled environment,but I think I’ll start taking it out in the field daily and shoot some real life plumbing scenarios! Thanks for the tips Izzy!

    1. I love shooting in a controlled studio environment. But there’s definitely value to getting out of the comfort zone and shooting in the wild too. :)

      Thanks for the comment!

  9. What a great reminder! Especially since I got a new camera yesterday, similar to my last one, but buttons are in a few new places. Daily practicing will help my fingers learn the new spots. I love too, what you said about trying different framings, I tend sometimes to hesitate to frame things properly especially when people are involved, it feels invasive. Yet, I’m learning to be bold (not obnoxious), when working with people, knowing that it always looks SO much better and they LOVE the end product when I get close in and frame well…Daily practice will help me to not lose that proper boldness needed in videography!

  10. This sure is wake-up call for me personally. I only use my 5D camera when needed which is once or twice a month and have to go thru all the settings the day before. Thanks for your invaluable advice Izzy. Being a musician who practices virtually every day, I should’ve known better!!!
    PS. I do go over & over your advanced FCPX course though – if that’s any consolation???

  11. I’ve been shooting video, if not daily, several times a week since April 2006.
    In the early years, Izzy was there to help me with composition, lighting and the rest, thank you. I’ve shared some 2,000 of my videos online with family and friends.
    As pointed out, there are lots of advantage of keeping those cameras rolling.
    Another, and for me, huge, advantage of shooting video daily, is the moments I’ve captured. I look back to see how my kids have grown, to see how I’ve matured (a little) and to remember moments with friends and acquaintances.
    I’m saving memories, so when I get old, and forget how to feed myself, I can still look back and remember. I’m saving moments for my family and future generations.

  12. Izzy, dabbled with this myself, and when I can stick to it, the rewards are always worth it. And been meaning to get back to it, so thanks for the motivation.

    One tip: To set up a time to make a video, and stick to it. I’ve been doing this to be more comfortable on cam.

  13. great article Izzy :-) I wonder if tomorrow I will handle my cell camera shooting one target viewed from 5 different locations

  14. I don’t do nearly enough video because my schedule is so busy with many hobbies and things to do, and I’m retired. I have some hobbies that take up a lot of time, like astronomy and that is another huge planning hobby. Also although I don’t do event video much anymore, I may shoot an event, with many cameras, once or twice a year. Practicing everyday is a good idea, but not always possible. Some things to remember from a concept of not shooting as much are as follows:
    1. If your using consumer or presumer video equipment, which is kind of on the cheap to begin with and expanding to more than one camera, so you can mix multiple camera angles, then it’s good to have the same camera for both your cameras. This allows you to become familiar with one set of controls and move from one camera to another. Having different cameras gives strengths and weaknesses of each device, but the lack of familiarity can often hurt you at a once in a lifetime event.
    2. There is a temptation for equipment geeks to buy new stuff and use it at the new shoot, or event, even if it’s for your personal use, and we may use it within days of buying the new stuffl. That’s a mistake waiting to happen. Keep your basic tried and true techniques and equipment that was tested and works in play and add the extra stuff as extra stuff, not replacing the tested stuff that your familiar with. For example I have a 3d jvc prosumer camera that I bought. It’s awesome, but in testing it I turned off the low light gain up mode and didn’t realize it was off and buried in an unfamiliar menu. When I was at an event with three other Sony single chip prosumer camcorders and this jvc, my display was dark. I thought it was due to the screen being turned down to save energy, from a dark concert video I shot earlier. It wasn’t. It was dark because I had the low light auto gain off from a daytime experiment, and that made the low light event video, consisting of dinner speeches and some singing, worthless.
    3. Have a basic setup list figured out and written down for a basic setup for each rig. Have it handy and make it short and sweet. Maybe something on a 3 by 5 card, so you will be prepared for those standard setups. Most setups fall into one of a few basic setups. Indoors and to dark with very bright spotlights. Dark and almost unable to film. Indoors even lighting like in an office. Outdoors, in the shade, or with heavy contrast with subjects in the shade and sunlight, overcast days, controlled lighting which is a rarity. Special event lighting, light shows. In all cases the automatic controls can help and sometimes there is a special adjustment you can use, but you need to plan a bit and be flexible. Every camera and camcorder should have three manual settings available not buried in a menu, or hard to find non ergonomic setup. But most don’t. Every one for a semi pro or pro should have manual iris, manual focus and manual zoom controls. The iris or exposure should ideal be set to a dial easy to adjust and you need a proper monitor, viewfinder and experience, knowing how video looks good in the viewfind and translates to the screen. That takes practice. Also zebra bars are a big advantage for unfamiliar events. But we don’t always have those options. The great cinematic long establishing shot is okay for a quick opening and closing shot, but usually doesnt work well during most of the event, because everyone is far away and details are missing. Cameras like the GoPro Hero that are esoteric and not setup for normal single push button start and stop operation should be trained on as well a lot before the shoot if you use them, but they should be extra. And your normal cameras should cover much of the action.
    4. Kit bag planning. It’s also a good idea to have small kit bags for each camera and have everything you need in each one for the basic event. If you put all the chargers in one bag or all the sim chips in one bag and that bag goes missing your entire event video project might suffer. I went to a summer event to film it last summer and had all my camera chargers in one laptop bag which I forgot to load, five hundred miles later I realized I didn’t have chargers or AC power support for any of my cameras.
    5. Have a practice of handling your media down pat and backup the media and have enough spare space on your camcorder so you can record, Plan that before your big shoot, and keep a spare empty sim chip or whatever media you use in your car, so your able to fetch it should you need more room and run out of space. At times I forget to take a sim chip out of a PC after uploading the video, and found myself out at an astronomy event with a still camera before a comet was to appear, and realized I didn’t have a sim chip to record images onto. Having a spare SIMM chip in my car would have saved the day, but I didn’t have one. Fortunately I was able to record stills to a laptop directly.
    6. Organize and plan your media assets as well. You can have a library of stock video you shot, but if you didn’t take the time and effort to organize it, it will be useless to you, because it may be lost in stacks and stacks of tapes, or in some obscure USB drive sitting somewhere.
    7. Vital backup video can be stored on a cheap USB laptop drive and stored in a safety deposit box in a bank. It’s really cheap insurance and better than having five or six super priced hard drive arrays sitting in your house loaded with redundant video backups, but all lost in a house fire.
    8. There is so much to say for every day video preparation. Smart phones are a great and convinient way to shoot video, but you have to leave some space and offload the video to some organized disk drive to free up space. That takes more time.

    Just a few thoughts. Also using your smartphone, for example an iPhone as a video memo or brainstorming device can be interesting and it’s easier to take notes, and get some brainstorming ideas using that than practically any other way.

    1. Greg, this might be the most in-depth comment anyone has ever left on my site. It’s like an article itself. Thanks for the additional tips.

      I’ve learned many of these things the “hard way” for sure… And I can tell you’re speaking from experience.

  15. very good advice Izzey. I have been a teacher of video making for some 20 years and find when I go on a trip that just having the cam in hand each and every day makes a huge difference, e.g. one big benefit is that there is less to edit as the weeks go by. Because you are back in the habit, you are using all your senses to see, hear and discriminate. You also know what you have already covered and when distilling hours down to 90 minutes that is a big big help. Sure there might be stuff you shot that could be made into shorter works but if you want to get a DVD out for sale to the other participants speed is vital.

  16. Izzy, I’m 8 videos into the FCPX training video and you’re a great teacher. Even when you forget something or goof, you just use it as a teaching exercise. I have a question: I am using a Canon XF 100 video cam which uses CF memory cards and stores the video in MXF file format. It seems the only program that will let me edit those files in FCPX is Calibrated Q MXF which costs almost as much as FCPX, but works. When I am done editing in FCPX, can I export the MXF file to a .mov or some other file format I can upload to YouTube? Or do I need another file converter to do that? Thanks.

  17. Hello Izzy,

    I will start now with your corse. (FCPX i use already the last update 10.0.1)
    Were can i find the practice_clip.zip
    You mentioned on the website but i can’t find it there.

    I like yore way of teaching, a little bit fast for me but i listen it more than.
    Piet Kuijten
    The Netherlands

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