How Filming Yourself Can Make You A Better Shooter

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Starring In Your Own Shooting Videos
If you shoot anywhere that allows cameras or recording, you’ve probably seen someone with their cell phone out, taking photos or videos of a shooter. Besides making for some cool social media content, there are some really good reasons you might want to join in on getting images of yourself, especially video.
When you’re shooting, it’s nearly impossible to see or remember exactly what it is you’re doing behind the trigger. As humans, we just don’t perceive and remember enough to be able to fully analyze things like how we’re controlling recoil, the way in which we shoot multiple shots or targets, and even exactly how we move between positions in action shooting. For one, it’s hard to look at your feet when you’re looking downrange!
 
 


 
Slow-motion video (like in the one above) is a helpful when analyzing quick movements
Video gives you the ability to go back and take that look, over and over again and in slow motion if you like. You can see yourself shooting from different angles, and focus on different details every time you watch. If you are dedicated to getting regular recordings of your performance, you can also get a feel for how much you’re improving over time, and you’re more likely to capture that one awesome time you did something really right, to remind yourself in the future that you did it once and can do it again.


Part of my stash of “videos to remind me I do know what I’m doing sometimes”
You might also want to record video of other people, especially at a match where you might have the opportunity to watch a top shooter, so that you can study what they did and see how you compare. Just make sure you limit public sharing to videos of yourself, and only post videos of other people shooting with their permission.
While you might enjoy sharing video with your friends and fans, don’t forget that it’s not required. I often get video, watch it once, and decide it will never see the light of day again. After all, building a positive self-image of myself as a shooter means not dwelling on my mistakes. I also may only share it with my coaches or teammates to help me evaluate what I did right or wrong.
Before posting, you should also carefully consider whether your video reflects good and safe gun-handling skills. You don’t need to be a Grand Master to feel good about sharing your videos, but you might think about whether your shooting might appear to be unsafe due to camera angles or if a non-shooter might misinterpret the drill you are performing. Unfortunately, some content may be misused as “evidence” by people who are looking for ways to discredit gun owners. Don’t give them <ahem> ammunition.


Staying behind the shooter is both safer for the camera person, and less distracting for the shooter
The best video clearly shows what you are doing behind the gun. That’s commonly third-person video that you can get just by using a cell phone camera, although downrange cameras remotely controlled (or set to record well before the gun shooting begins) and drone cameras are also an option. Instead of just staying behind the shooter’s back, it’s helpful to get a more over-the-shoulder view. For more visual interest, include as much of the shooter’s body and the targets as you can.

This third-person video makes more sense because of how much of the stage can be seen
If there are walls in the way of your camera person, or if you don’t have a friend handy to take video, try first-person or point of view video, using something like a GoPro camera or Pivothead glasses. By sitting somewhere on your head, these cameras let your viewers see something very much like you see as you shoot, including what targets you’re looking at and even the recoil of your gun from your perspective.
 


An example of a first person video
One word of advice before you post your videos though – you might not want to just upload them to Facebook from your phone until you cut out the extra time before you start shooting and after you’re done. Depending on how the sound turns out, you also might want to add a soundtrack (royalty-free options are available) to cover noise that doesn’t add to the video or to add interest. I also like to combine several stages in a match together into one video and sometimes add text commentary. There are several free and low-cost video editing apps out there that are simple to use and add a bit more polish than just throwing up some raw video.


Editing video to mix points of view takes a little longer, but lets the viewer see what you see in context.
You’ve seen some of my shooting videos and have my advice, so let’s see your shooting videos now! Also, make sure you like Gun Carrier’s Facebook Page.

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