First-person videos (where the camera records what you see) are great for product reviews or hands-on how-to videos. Here are three ways to make these videos without having to hold the camera, leaving both of your hands free to do whatever.

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1. The small tripod

This is the method I use most often. It’s simple, easy, and effective. While sitting at my desk, I use a Joby Gorillapod (that’s an Amazon link; it’ll cost $15-20 depending on where you buy it) that positions the camera in front of my chest. This tripod is super light and versatile. Here’s the setup:

Using the Gorillapod

Using the Gorillapod

And here’s a vid that shows my setup, including a couple other benefits of using the Gorillapod:

2. The big tripod

You can also use a larger, more “normal”-sized tripod to make these first-person videos. Here’s my setup for that:

Big Tripod

Using the big tripod

It’s a bit more awkward than the small tripod in front of your chest (it’ll have to go between your legs or right up against the outside of your leg), but it gets the job done.

3. The bookpod

If you’re not sure you want to spend the $15 or $20 on the Joby Gorillapod, try placing your camera on a stack of books or small box 5 or 6 inches high.

The book tripod.

The bookpod.

And I should probably note that the “High in Utah” book in the stack there is about mountain climbing, not about getting high.

Final words

Finally, I’ve always wanted to get one of these helmet-mounted cameras to document my climbing adventures, and it’d be perfect for doing first person video reviews, too :D

And that’s it! Let me know if you have any questions or other suggestions. And if you want to see the original videos that I made using this technique, you can check them out here.

  • What are your favorite video creation techniques and tricks?
  • What are your favorite kinds of videos? First person? Screencast? Talking head? Slideshow?
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