Online video is a powerful tool for pushing your social media message, but is your video making your audience nauseous?

The rise of affordable handheld video cameras have made it easier than ever to publish a video, but these cameras are especially prone to accentuate even the slightest movement.  Even when you stand still and hold the camera in your hand, you may not be aware of how rocky your video is becoming.  Back when cameras all featured a viewfinder you held up to your eye, it helped smooth little movements because of the way you held the camera.  Now virtually all low-cost cameras have screens.  Try as you might, you’re not good at balancing between aiming the camera and holding it still.

A tripod can be the best $10-20 you can spend.  Not a day goes by when I see a video posted on Twitter where the shooter is hand-holding the camera (or worse — walking and shooting at the same time).  There have been times where I’m watching a YouTube video and I feel physically ill because of the motion.  It’s like the phenomenon during the release of The Blair Witch Project where moviegoers were sickened because the camera movements were so jarring.

You can purchase a tripod very cheap at most retailers where cameras are sold, including Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Murray Photo in Appleton.  They usually start around $10, and small tabletop models could be even less than that.  Combine this with a little forethought about where and how you’re going to shoot your video, and how you may piece it together in editing.

You’ll also benefit from reducing handling noise from getting into your soundtrack, and you’ll be able to pay more attention to your subject if you’re asking them questions on camera.