Recently my congregation started live streaming our church services. One of the questions we had to answer was about church camera placement. What is the best spot? How high should the camera be? What about side angles? What about congregation shots?
All of these questions needed to be answered, so once again I went researching and came up with some great answers that I am now passing on to you.
Church Video Camera Placement Using A Single Camera
This may seem obvious, but not everyone thinks about the way the video will look like the number 1 thing when choosing where to place the camera.
If you are only going to use one camera in your production, then it needs to be at the center of the church. You want a full frontal shot of the person you are videoing. You want to be able to zoom in on the speaker and zoom out to capture the whole worship team.
However unless your sound booth is in the middle of the sanctuary instead of at the back, you may not want to place your camera in the center aisle. Not only will you have a problem with people blocking the view as they are entering or leaving the sanctuary, but it may violate fire codes.
The best place to put your video camera is at the back of the church behind the center aisle. You will also want to consider raising the camera up on a platform if you are using a tripod, or mounting it on the wall if you are using a PTZ camera. It should be about 8 feet high so that it will zoom over the heads of the congregation when they are standing.
Church Camera Placement Using Multiple Cameras
If you are going to use multiple cameras, then you will want to add to the placement of the center camera with placements that provide different angles.
There are two positions you can add to your production along the side of the sanctuary. If you place your church cameras about halfway down on either side of your sanctuary, you can get some great shots. Not only can you give a side view of your speaker or worship team, but you can also pan across the congregation as well to get some great side shots.
You usually do not have to mount your side position cameras as high as your rear camera in the center. They are closer to the stage and do not need as high of an angle. Depending on whether or not you are using camera operators or remote controlled PTZ cameras will determine if you should build a platform for your camera.
POV means “point of view.” This placement is the place where you try to emulate what it looks like from the perspective of someone who is sitting in the congregation. You can place a camera operator in the front row of the church looking up at the platform.
This will give the impression that the viewer is sitting right in the church. It is an excellent camera placement for those that like to feel they are right there in the building participating in the service.
The final place you can put your church video camera is behind the speaker on the platform itself pointing out towards the sanctuary. This will give you the ability to have a different angle if your pastor or worship leader likes to move around a lot.
It also gives you the ability to capture the reactions of the congregation when exceptionally moving moments are happening.
Further Considerations When Placing Your Cameras
A couple of other things you want to be aware of when thinking of church camera placement.
You want to think through how you are going to run the cables to your cameras. You may have to run them through a false ceiling or snake them through the walls. If you cannot do that, then you might have to run conduit.
Whatever you do, think ahead and prepare for the future when technology changes and you have to run different cables.
Alternatively, you might make sure that you use wi-fi enabled cameras that can be controlled wirelessly.
As I briefly mentioned above, make sure your placements are not breaking any fire or building codes. Placing a camera in the aisle or in other places that are used for emergency exit routes may be against specific laws. The same with your wiring. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row in these areas.
If you are more of a visual learner, I found this video on church camera placement that may help you.
Well, that should get you started in picking out the best church camera placement for your church. Let me know if this helped you at all. That is the reason I built this site after all. I want to help you with all your church tech needs.