There is no denying the import of video these days. Whether you’re chasing the Instagram algorithm for reels, streaming live on YouTube, or pulling together a video bio for your website, it’s more valuable than ever to make good videos.
It hurts to admit that even bad videos play better on social media than a regular ole photo, but as long as you’re going to the trouble to make a video, why not make it better?
Video is probably not your primary medium, but think of making videos as another creative act.
Explore the tools available to you. Try new ones. Consider your subject. Refine your composition.
My guest for this episode of The Art Biz has more specific tips for you.
Zach Wolfson is a friend and filmmaker who hails from a family that values creativity. He and I have talked about the videos we’re seeing from artists, and I suggested it was past time to get some tips from him to help you improve those videos.
Zach came up with 4 video mistakes he sees artists making.
- Over-editing and over-producing your art videos.
- Not showing yourself in your videos.
- Relying too heavily on time-lapses.
- Obsessing over the quality rather than just diving in.
In the interview, we go over these one at a time and Zach shares his ideas for fixing them.
Listen to the Podcast
- Zach’s career in filmmaking led to teaching artists how to make mini art videos. (1:50)
- Horizontal or vertical filming—which does Zach prefer? (5:50)
- Mistakes artists make when editing transitions in videos. (7:38)
- Over-producing filters, text, and other distracting elements. (10:52)
- Slowing down to capture the perfect shots. (13:53)
- The best POV in your art films. (17:52)
- Tips for overcoming your fear of the camera. (20:15)
- Does Zach recommend time-lapse videos? (23:34)
- The importance of sharing your story in your videos. (27:31)
- Leaving the legacy of your art through videos. (32:55)
A peek inside Zach's Beyond the Gallery series.
Zach Wolfson Quotes
- “Too many elements can be overwhelming for both you when making the video as well as for the people watching it.”
- “Just record for longer than you think you should. Your future self will thank you for it.”
- “Your videos themselves don’t need to be art because your art is art.”
- “If you can find ways to include yourself in your videos, it will attach you more to your art so people can connect with you.”
- “Let us into your world and be able to see you in the context of your space.”
- “People aren’t following you because of how well crafted your videos are. They’re following you because of your art.”
About My Guest
Zach Wolfson is a filmmaker who helps artists make simple art videos to market their art. He is dedicated to empowering artists, and believes everyone can make “mini” art videos that document your journey with ease and joy.
Zach’s greatest passion has always been working directly with artists. He has shared the stories of dozens of artists through his video series, Beyond the Gallery, and taught hundreds more through his blog, in-person training, and now inside his membership community, Ready to Record.
In addition to his work with artists, Zach has made videos sharing human-centered stories for galleries, museums, and companies that include Adobe, Discovery, and Sony.
Follow Zach on Instagram @zach.wolfson
13 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 130: 4 Video Mistakes Artists Keep Making with Zach Wolfson”
Well, you got me, Alyson. While listening to this podcast, I made a reel and posted it on Instagram. While it doesn’t include me in the video (next time?), it highlights my chaotic studio and the gorgeous view outside. Thanks for the inspiration and the nudge.
Andrea: Way to take action. You’re fast!
This came at the perfect moment for me!!! Instagram invited me to participate in getting paid for posting reels. I’ve really been terrified to do this but money can be a motivator. I have now posted several and have learned so much. I will definitely try to show myself in real time soon, great advice!
So glad it was helpful, Penney! I think you’ll be great on video.
So much great information here! I do wonder about the short edits on reels specifically – trimming clips to 2-3 seconds – so that people barely catch the action. My understanding is that this makes people watch a reel over and over- thereby increasing the number of views and its eventual reach. Thanks for this interview Alyson and Zach- and some nice gentle encouragement to appear on camera, too!
Kristen: Isn’t that an annoying algorithm? Make it more difficult for people to watch so they have to keep watching. I don’t think I’d want to participate in that game.
Thank you Zach and Alyson for this wonderful podcast interview. Zach is so skilled at breaking down a complicated and often intimidating topic. Thanks to you both for sharing your expertise and encouraging artists to take the video-making plunge!
Diana: I think I speak for Zach when I say how happy we both are that you found this helpful. 😇
And let us know which tips you try!
Great topic, Thanks so much for sharing the insights. It is really difficult to sift through all the tips and tricks and lastest algorithm myths, to know how best to present in this moment. This was definitely helpful, I will try out showing myself once in a while(yikes), and I will be following Zach now too, for more tips😉
I’m happy to hear that this resonated with you, Tara. Zach’s the best.
FINALLY got to listen to this one. So very good. But EEEKS I DO wish my hands were enough in my reels! Going to have to work up to sharing myslef too. Hmmm. Such helpful and thought provoking information. And very happy to hear advice NOT to “over-produce” the videos because…A. I don’t know hot to and B I feel like it wouldn’t reflect me or my work. But have always felt I was SUPPOSED to be making things more “polished.” Lots to think about and to try. Going to follow Zach right now. Thanks again Alyson. This really resonated for me!
I’m so happy to hear that this resonated, Christine. I know that whatever you do will be marvelous. Thanks for listening!