Confessions of a Flip cam novice

Plenty of lessons from (and derisive laughter at) a Ragan reporter’s trial-and-error video misadventures. Take a look at her videos and see if you’ve made the same mistakes.

I’d never tried it myself, though.

That changed when I took an office Flip cam to Swedish Medical Center’s “Innovation in the Age of Reform” conference in October.

All I had to do was press the big red button, right? How hard could this thing really be?

That’s the beauty of the Flip cam. It’s deceptively easy to use. But just because it’s easy, it doesn’t mean I was doing anything right.

Well, OK—I might’ve done a few things right. But it was mostly by accident.

When I came back to the office, I sat down with our video producer, Jonny Gomez, to review the 45 videos I shot. I know, I know—45 videos is a lot to shoot. But that was just because I didn’t know how to work the delete button.

I thought I’d share with you what I learned.

1. Shooting yourself is tricky…

Watch the top part of my head—it’s about to go on a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island. Because the Flip cam doesn’t have a reversible screen, you’ll end up chopping off various parts of your body when you film yourself. Your best bet for self-framing is to hold the camera out, steady in front of you, at arm’s length. Maybe if I do this right next time, I’ll sing the entire “I’m on a Boat” song.

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