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How to Make Professional Looking Cooking Videos

Make cooking videos that are so good your audience can't wait for your next video, even without a film crew
Michelle Johnson
1,438 students enrolled
English [Auto-generated]
The importance of lighting and ways to get the best light for your video and thumbnail images
How to get the best audio for your video
The foundation to all great videos
How to format your video for your online audience
What to consider when selecting your hardware and software
How to use tools you probably already have to create great thumbnail images
Key tools to use when organizing your time to make cooking videos
The secret sauce for my cooking videos and how it makes editing easy

Cooking videos are extremely popular on YouTube. If you search, you'll find hundreds of thousands. Unfortunately, most don't look very good. Some are even painful to watch…

Don't think that you have to have thousands of dollars in professional equipment to produce decent quality cooking videos or a crew of people to help you. It's possible to produce quality cooking videos all by yourself as long as you understand what really matters when it comes to making them. Believe me. I've been producing 1 video a week for over 2 years now and have over 16,000 subscribers. My audience thinks I have a film background, but I don't!

Let me let you in on a little secret: it's not all about your equipment! You can have have the best equipment, but if you don't understand the fundamentals to making great cooking videos, you still won't produce great work.

Although lots of people will watch cooking videos with less than stellar quality, they actually do appreciate it when you take the time to learn what it takes (and implement it of course) to improve your production quality. Well, unless your personality is so amazing that they just want to hear you tell stories and jokes!

Production quality doesn't just mean that your video is pretty. It also means that your video is a superb teaching tool. There are many small details that matter when someone is preparing a dish. Make sure they can see them!

What's Included

The course is divided into 5 main sections and is composed primarily of video. Each video explains key concepts and shows you what they look like. There are also a few cheat sheets, templates and several lists of resources for reference.

  1. Ingredients for an amazing cooking video
  2. Tools of the Trade
  3. Making Time
  4. Pre-Production
  5. Recording Audio Separately

Who is This Course for?

This course is for anyone who currently makes cooking videos on YouTube and for anyone who has been thinking about it for some time.

If you currently have a YouTube channel and want to take your cooking videos to the next level, this course is for you. You'll learn key concepts that will help you see your production process differently and what you need to focus on to improve your videos.

If you are thinking about making cooking videos and haven't yet gotten started, this is the perfect course for you. You'll get an idea of what's involved and find out what not only what equipment you'll need, but also key concepts that will make your first video look like it's not.

What's Not Included

This course does not teach you how to edit your cooking videos. That information is in a separate course, "How to Edit Professional Looking Cooking Videos in an Hour or Less."

I do briefly discuss how my pre-production process makes editing a breeze!



In this lecture, I review each of the upcoming sections and you'll get to see previews of what you'll learn. You'll notice that equipment is not first. Stay with me and you'll soon understand how having the best equipment won't guarantee a great video :)

Using the Udemy Platform

This is a quick tour of the Udemy platform showing you how to rate this course, manage notifications from Udemy, send me questions and take notes.

Ingredients for an Amazing Cooking Video


In this short video, you'll find out what's coming next in this course. You'll learn what I consider to be the foundation of great cooking videos and why your video's lighting and audio (or sound) are critical.

Light for Filming

A good light source is essential to your video. In this lecture, we'll look at ways to use the natural light in and around your home as well as alternative lighting solutions that you can purchase.

Resource List: Lighting for Video

Here is a list of lighting products as well as links to videos describing DIY set ups.

Light for Thumbnail Shots

You have a lot more flexibility when finding light for your thumbnail shots. In this video, I show you some places where I take mine.

Resource List: Food Photography

This resource guide includes links to articles, books and a few products that will be helpful to you as you practice taking photos for your thumbnail shots.


Just like lighting, good audio is key to making cooking videos. You'll learn about several options for capturing audio for your voiceover (walkthrough of the cooking demonstration) and for your introduction if you plan to talk directly to the camera.

Shots - The Basics

Shots are the foundation of all videos. In this brief lecture, I introduce this pivotal book on the topic and show you examples of shots from videos. I walk you through how to "see" them and give you an opportunity to practice as well. Great shots make great videos!

Shots - Composition

Learn about the best places to put your food in the frame of your video. We explore the rule of thirds and popular angles for viewing food through the camera lens.

Shots - In Action

In this lecture, you get to see behind the scenes footage of me recording shots for one of my videos, Vegan BBQ Sandwich.

The 10 Second Rule & a Tip

Learn how you can apply the 10 second rule when you record shots for your cooking videos.


Learn about the basic structure that most cooking videos follow. You'll learn about the best place to insert your logo or branding and the importance of a hook.


In this lecture, I summarize the 4 key ingredients for amazing cooking videos that have been explored in previous lectures.

Tools of the Trade


This is an introduction to the next section of the course, which was placed second, not first for a reason :) When we talk about making cooking videos, you must know and practice the fundamentals before buying expensive gear. In the next sections, we'll explore a few "must have" tools.


In this lecture, we talk about the specs you want to look for in a camera. We also discuss other essential hardware like a microphone, SD cards, a tripod and a computer.


Here we review what video editing actually is and is not. We also look at key features you should look for in video editing software, for the Mac and PC.

Creating Assets Using Keynote

In this lecture, you can watch as I create a thumbnail photo using Keynote.

Cheatsheet: Creating Thumbnail Images Using Keynote

Here's a quick reference guide to making sure that you export your Keynote file correctly to use it as a thumbnail image for YouTube.

Creating Assets Using PowerPoint

You can also use PowerPoint to create your thumbnail images. Watch as I show you which options to choose to get the correct size.

Cheatsheet: Creating Thumbnail Images using PowerPoint

Here's a quick reference guide to making sure that you export your PowerPoint file correctly to use it as a thumbnail image for YouTube.

How to Create Images for Facebook and Instagram

In this lecture, I show you how I create images for Facebook and Instagram after I create my thumbnail image for YouTube.

Recording and Editing Audio with Audacity

Audacity is a free program available for those with Macs or PCs. I'll show you how to easily record audio, delete sections and export it for use in your video editing program.


In this lecture I remind you that there are many different ways to arrive at a destination. You will have some trial and error. Remember to be open to learning, experimenting and growing!

Making Time


Making time to produce cooking videos is undoubtedly more challenging than recording and editing them. In this lecture, I share a bit of my story and struggle with making time and how I created a sustainable schedule that I follow to this day.

Editorial Calendar

In this lecture, I introduce editorial calendars and the benefits of planning around tent pole events. I have also provided an editorial calendar template and a list of 2014 events and holidays by season.

Weekly Schedule

In addition to an editorial calendar, a weekly schedule will prove to be indipensible if you commit to making at least one cooking video a week. In this lecture, I show you exactly what I do each week to meet this goal.


This lecture reviews the previous tools used for making time and reminds you to use these as inspiration and guides as you create tools that work for you and your work style.



In this section, we explore key steps during the pre-production phase.

The Shot List

The shot list is my secret weapon! In this lecture, you'll see an example of one I've written, how I've structured it and how it is used during my video production process.


In this brief lecture, I reiterate the need for a director in your video production process.

Recording Audio Separately


In this section, I provide a demonstration of how to record audio separately when you don't have a microphone that produced quality audio when plugged directly into your camera.


This video demonstrates the process of recording audio separately and the process of syncing it using video editing software.


In Closing...

Thank you for taking this course! Please leave a review to help others who are considering purchasing it and to help me to make it better.

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