How to shoot a video of a model wearing a coat

We show you how to make a video showing off a coat for e-commerce - with tips on how to style, light, and direct your model 

 

In this live model tutorial, we'll show you how to get your model moving in the right way to show off a winter coat on video.

We'll cover tips on directing your model, lighting your set, as well as what you need to do to get the right clips and how they are edited together. 

Why video?

Video has the added benefit of showing how your product looks when moving - it shows how a garment interacts with light. When it comes to coats and outerwear, this can be a great way of showing the full look when worn.

It also gives customers a better impression of fit and material, as well as giving your whole site a much higher quality feel. 

What do you need to get started?

  • A model that fits your brand look 
  • A coat and matching products from your collection
  • A studio setup with lighting and pro-grade camera
  • A photographer and stylist to get the visuals right
  • A hair and make-up artist (not essential but very useful)
  • A style guide to keep your imagery consistent and on-brand

What do we go through?

  1. Styling and preparation
  2. Lighting your video
  3. Recording your video

Need some more guidance on making good content?

Learn how to get started with making a style guide and creating better photos and videos. Check here for our introductory guide to improving your e-commerce content.

 

 
 
 

Styling and preparation

Preparing your look

First, we want to make sure the outfit looks good and matches the story you're trying to tell. In this instance we've gone for a casual urban winter look. 

To put this together, we've chosen some boots, cropped pants and a brown coat with faux fur cuffs. We've also gone for a light red sweater to add a pop of color into the mix. 

Choosing a model

Your model choice is one of the most important things to get right. In this series of tutorials, we chose our model Juliet because of her versatility and her ability to work well on video. She's also been featured in a lot of our work so it can help have a recognizable face from a branding perspective. 

There are lots of ways to find the right model, and a model agency is usually a sure bet. You can of course find your own, but trained models can be hard to come by. 

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On set styling

Before any recording is done, take time to style your model and do hair and makeup. We've made sure the belt is neatly fastened around the model's waist and checked for bits of lint, or creases anywhere on the outfit. 

Remember, with video, you can't edit out a mistake like you can with a still image. So make sure your backdrop is dirt free, and you don't have any stray threads. 

Hair and make-up

When you're shooting for a whole day it can be a good idea to have a hair and makeup artist on set. They will work closely with your stylist to make sure your model matches the look you're going for. 

 

Lighting

Lighting your video

Now it's time to get the lighting right. Begin by setting your key light, which is the main source and direction of your light, across your model from her left to create a little shadowing and contrast. 

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Directional lighting

As you can see from the image above, the key light is hitting the left side of Juliet's face. 

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Bounce light back in with a reflector

A reflector fills darker areas with light and still helps retain the directional shadowing. We've upped the amount of light bouncing back onto our model by using a reflector. 

We've also added some more light fill into the foreground and background to make sure the video is crisp and all the details are brought out. 

 

Recording your video

The basics of video

Now, we'll show you what individual clips to record, and how they are sequenced. Video requires well-timed and careful movements to sell the product. A lot of models don't have experience with this form of work, so spend some time working out the basics.

Make sure you're in good sync with your model, and allow them time to practice the movements before you hit record. Remember, you can always record multiple clips of each segment to get the right final cut. 

 

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Put markers down and time movements

Putting markers down is super helpful for models to make the right path or stop themselves at the right time. Combining this with a countdown, for instance 5 seconds, helps get everything flowing nicely. 

 

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Getting the establishing shot

This clip is a simple walk in to frame and and turn to face the camera. The movement can be finished by moving the hands into the pockets, smiling, or folding the arms. Work with your models to strike that perfect pose. 

This helps establish a full view of the product and works well for the first sequence in a video. 

 

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Elevator shot for detail

Now we introduce a camera slide movement. This is where the camera will move up - as if on an elevator - to record the full body of the model in portrait. 

This gives a greater look into the details of the product. Direct your model to be rather static in pose, but you can also add small elements of movement like doing up a belt.

At the end of the recording, add a little turn to the camera to get an added chance to show the product interacting with light. 

 

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Walk out

Now it's time for a simple walk out as the last clip in the sequence. This gives an 'ending' to the video and again lets customers see the product from all angles. 

Have your model standing in a marked starting position, then simply pivot, and walk off frame with a controlled, aesthetic movement.

 

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Now these videos need to be sequenced together

In your video editing suite of choice, import your files and put the clips together in the required sequence.

If you can't do this by yourself, it helps to use a videographer or video editor who will be able to handle this professionally. We're using a special studio setup called StyleShoots Live, which handles this automatically. 

 
 

Check out more of our product photography tutorials

Stephen Warr