Seven tips to shoot successful YouTube videos without showing your face
Whenever I speak to people about starting up a YouTube channel, one of the biggest objections I hear is that they don’t want to be in front of the camera. They don’t want to be seen. Or at least, not initially. It can take time to build up the confidence to step in front of the camera if you’re not used to it. But is it possible to run a successful channel without getting in front of the camera?
Well, yes. It is. Of course, it does depend on the subject matter you want to present, but folks like AvE and Veg Oil Guy have been proving that the answer’s yes for quite a while now. And in this video, Justin Brown offers up a bunch of tips to help you understand how you can do it, too.
Video is obviously a visual medium, and visuals are important when it comes to creating content for YouTube. And while presenting yourself to the camera will generally result in larger audience growth and a better connection to your community, it’s not essential. There are a number of things you can do to create visual content that isn’t your face, even if what they’re hearing is your voice.
Here’s a breakdown of the seven tips Justin covers in the video that offer as alternatives to showing yourself on-screen and how you can utilise them in your content.
- 00:50 Record B-Roll
- 01:31 Create a Screen Recording
- 02:10 Stock Footage
- 02:45 Slide Presentations
- 03:48 Text on Screen
- 05:56 Animations
- 06:28 Photos
Justin does ultimately suggest that you should show your face and appear in front of the camera and he notes some of the reasons I mentioned above as to why. It’s not vital, though and you don’t even need a voice in some cases. There are plenty of woodworking and metalworking YouTubers out there that don’t speak, either. The important thing is that people can follow what you’re doing.
The list of successful YouTubers that don’t put their face in front of the camera – or at least not often – is quite large, and it contains some pretty big channels. I’m subscribed to at least a dozen channels that I have no idea what the host looks like, but I still watch their videos regularly and the content is extremely interesting. These are all people that have managed to grow to at least 100K subscribers without showing their faces, too.
So, it’s definitely possible. Of course, it might be difficult if you want to show behind the scenes on a photo shoot, for example, or walk us through how you made a shot, but even for photographers and filmmakers, there’s plenty you can do with desktop capture and software tutorials.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.