Ask an Expert: How to Create Engaging Recipe Videos with Foolproof Living
Welcome back for our second edition of “Ask an Expert,” this time, discussing one of my favorite all-time guilty pleasures: recipe videos. I’m lucky enough to say that watching recipe videos is actually part of my day job, but I can also openly admit to watching hundreds of recipe videos in my spare time.
In order to help educate our partners on how to achieve these utterly engaging recipe videos, I reached out to one of our all-star content partners, Aysegul Sanford, the chef, author, photographer, and videographer behind Foolproof Living. Curious to check out her incredible videos? Be sure to follow along on her YouTube Channel. I promise, you will not be disappointed in what you find!
Back in late 2016 / early 2017, Aysegul decided that running her blog was no longer going to just be a hobby—it was going to be her full-time business. She also noticed a trend that using just static photography wasn’t cutting it anymore. Recipe videos were taking off at the time and in order to succeed, one would need some sort of video experience to create lasting and authentic engagement. Learning to create high-quality recipe videos was her new “project.”
Since she already knew the basics of photography, she jumped right in; trial and error is honestly the best way to learn. She started watching YouTube videos and asking other bloggers how they were producing recipe videos, what type of equipment they were using, and tips they had to share. Ask the experts; that’s certainly our philosophy!
When Aysegul originally started creating videos, she was only using one camera, but if you watch her latest videos, you’ll see multiple angles. That’s due to the fact that she’s up to three cameras now! One of the biggest reasons her videos are so enticing and engaging to watch is because of the angles. Changing angles not only makes the video more interesting but it also helps teach. At the end of the day, that’s what Aysegul sets out to do with her videos. For certain cooking instructions, different angles are best—and she wants to make sure you get the most out of her videos. Every movement she makes is well thought out before she even starts to film.
To learn more about the extensive video equipment she uses, check out this helpful blog post she created to share her knowledge! We just love how much she wants to share and teach others.
Bonus Tip: If you were to buy one camera to help produce engaging recipe videos, Aysegul suggests the Canon EOS 6D Mark II Digital SLR. Not only does this camera have a flip screen, which is essential when shooting so you can watch your hands work on camera, but it also has an auto focus feature, so when her hands move, it will follow her hands to keep everything crystal clear the entire time!
If you weren’t aware, Aysegul lives in Vermont, which means she can’t always rely on natural light! In order to complete her work in a timely manner, she uses artificial light. She highly recommends investing in LED lighting—one for each side of your workspace. Again, you can find all of her professional recommendations in her Equipment Blog Post.
When it comes to video editing, Aysegul currently uses Final Cut Pro. She shared with me that she utilized Lynda.com (which I also personally recommend for anything you want to learn; it’s a great service!). She was able to take a crash course on video editing over one weekend and jump right in after learning the ropes. Another bonus about Final Cut Pro? It’s a one-time investment to purchase the software vs. having to pay a monthly fee for Adobe.
Although she currently uses Final Cut Pro, it’s her goal to learn how to use Adobe Premiere, which is another great software! The Ahalogy Creative Team also uses Premiere, but it’s all about what you’re most comfortable using every day!
Oh, and we can’t forget to talk about the music! Using the right props is just as important as finding the right music to set the overall mood of your video. Aysegul uses Epidemic Sound.
Aysegul creates content not only for her blog but she also creates videos to use across all of her social platforms: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. And the length and style of those videos is highly dependent on which platform she is sharing them on. This all leads back to her extensive research. Currently, her main focus is on Pinterest video. In the last few months, three of her Pinterest videos have gone viral with over 2.7 millions views. She’s always in test mode to learn what works best. Since video is still relatively new to the Pinterest platform, she’s able to get ahead of the game. Check out her Pinterest Board filled with her famous recipe videos to see what works best!
Based on her research she’s found:
Hands in Pan Style Video: ~60 seconds
In Front of Camera / Teaching Video: 3 - 4 Minutes
While chatting with Aysegul, she admitted, “It’s not hard to create recipe videos, but taking the time to learn what works is very hard.” She’s also currently working with a coach specifically for Facebook Live, so don’t be afraid to get out there and seek additional instructions or advice from the experts!
After our chat, if I took anything away from Aysegul—it’s that research and making sure you’re fully prepared are what’s most important when creating video content. Before she even touches her camera, she tests her recipe, preps ingredients, creates a step-by-step shot list, and decides on the perfect camera angle for each step of the recipe.
From start to finish, she estimates each video takes her ~4 hours, and since it’s a long process, the prep will help ensure your video turns out well every time!
Woah, what great advice! And honestly, I have a feeling that if all of your video questions weren’t answered here in our blog post—Aysegul would be more than happy to answer them for you because she loves to teach. Whether you’re just now thinking about diving into the video game or you’ve been trying to improve your skills this year, I hope this blog post inspires you to create amazing recipe videos because we all love to watch them!
We’d love to hear from you!
If there’s something you’d love to learn more about, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get it in the works! Otherwise, check back regularly to see what new tips we share and what experts we feature!
About the Author | Cassie Saddlemire, Manager of Influencer Relations
Cassie spearheads the Influencer Relations team at Ahalogy. Helping content creators succeed, learn, and grow is what she’s all about.