4 Easy Shot Ideas for Handheld Cinematic B-Roll

Sometimes, you gotta focus on the angle. 

This post was written by Kellan Reck.

Getting the perfect shot isn’t always easy, but these four tips can help improve any standard B-roll shot. Just by making small adjustments to your camera movement and angles, you can add a whole new level of emotion and dynamics to your footage.

Check out my video, and then let's chat after! 

1. The Foreground Blur

One of the best ways to add depth to your B-roll is to introduce a foreground element.

Try placing your camera up against a plant or blades of grass. Keep your focus set on your subject. Watch as the out-of-focus foreground elements add motion and texture to your shots. This can help immerse your viewer into your footage, leaving them feeling as though they are there in the setting. Give it a try on your next shoot!

2. The Twirl

This is one of the more unique shot types on the list.

"The twirl" is a camera move that requires twisting your camera while moving it either forward or backward. For this shot, you’ll want to have autofocus on your camera, so you can move forward or backward without kicking your subject out of focus. Look for a location that you can move your camera through like a fence or branch of leaves. This will create a sense of motion as your camera travels along its path.

3. Natural Framing

Natural framing calls for you to look at your surroundings.

Do you see a fence? A window? A bridge? Look for something that you can use as a frame for your subject. This is a fun shot concept because it allows you to soak in your surroundings and put them to use to emphasize your subject.

4. The Slide Reveal

Finally, one of my favorite shots. The "slide reveal" is a fantastic way to establish or close out a scene.

Place your camera up against a wall, a tree trunk, a building, or anything else. Next, slide your camera away from that wall to reveal your subject. Keep your camera on manual focus and be sure to preset your subject before performing the move.

Give It a Shot!

In conclusion, these are just a few tricks you can use to achieve more cinematic handheld B-roll. Figure out your own favorite moves when you’re out shooting and share them below!

Kellan Reck is a content creator with a passion for telling stories. He spends most of his days at Fenway Park as Senior Manager of Red Sox Productions. In his time with the Red Sox, Reck has won six New England Emmy Awards for his video work.

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