Self-Taping: Step-By-Step Guide & Essentials

Did you recently sign up for an audition but don’t know how to record yourself? Don’t worry. Self-taping is the digital and virtual way of auditioning. Some might find it easy, while others may consider it more daunting than real-life auditioning. Whatever out of the two it is, it has to be done, and we assure you that our self-taping guide will make it a fun experience. 

It will be a much smoother experience for you than you anticipated. Follow our guide for the right kind of tips and self-taping essentials.


First and foremost, a camera. The only tool that can allow you to record yourself. A smartphone with a good camera can also be an alternative if you do not have a camera at hand. We would advise you to get your hands on a decent camera to get the desired results. There are many video cameras such as Sony, Panasonic, Canon, and Nikon. An SLR will work just a fine as a DSLR.

Make sure the settings are put to MP4, although AVCHD is also okay. You should consider spending a bit over £150  to get yourself the right kind. If you like vlogging or videotaping themselves often, this will be a great investment into your future. Otherwise, your handy-dandy phone will do.


Always remember landscape mode, not portrait mode. That is key when filming on the phone. Moreover, phones do not have the best microphones. Therefore you must sit close to the device to get the desired sound. The clip can be shared with the preferred person via the Vimeo App or an app that will maintain the quality of the video.

Right Lighting

Of course, good lighting will make a huge difference in how the video turns out. Having a three-point softbox setup will make for an ideal setup. The light around in your room will be more even and consistent with a softbox.

EzyLite Softbox Three-Head Continuous Lighting Kit With Boom Stand (3x105W)

If you aren’t someone who does this often at home, a ring light will be a perfect investment. Ring lights are small and affordable and beautify your features in shots. Ring lights can be bought with stands or those that get attached to the top of your phone to get the best results.

We at Essential Photos UK, suggest photographers go for at least 18” LED ring light, which gives you sufficient brightness for your shoot.

Get your self-taping tailored kit here.

Get yourself ready for the shoot with the All-in-One lighting and microphone three lighting set up.  

Or get your hands on our professional All-in-One lighting, microphone, and background lighting set up---perfect for professional actors and performers who require a quality self audition on a regular basis.


RICO240B MKII Single-Light Self-Tape Audition Kit and RICO240B And Linear 80 Actor’s Three-Point Self-Tape Audition Kit With Comica BoomX-D For Smartphones

Know the Angles

Harsh lights or light coming from a smaller source will cause sharp shadows to form and ruin the bright feel in the video. Therefore, it is ideal to tape auditions using a larger light source or natural light for the perfect soft look in videos. Make sure you face the light instead of having it behind you; this will also make a difference in how the video turns out.


The room you choose must be bright, with the use of natural light or artificial light. The sound around the area is minimal, more so if you are filming on your phone. Some devices are too sensitive when picking up sound and tend to run audio with the slightest wind. Know the light angles to avoid casting shadows.

Lastly, having a plain background will be the best decision when filming for a digital audition. 

Stay Prepared

Make sure to have your lines rehearsed and your scenes practiced before you decide to hop on in front of the camera and film yourself. This will help keep you confident and make you less nervous. You can also take help from a friend to help you with the video and practicing those lines. Make sure the instructions for the tape sent by the company are thoroughly read and followed. You do not want to make the mistake of getting a video up without following the rules and regulations.

If you are looking for quality audio for your tape, here are some options for you to consider.


Another part of prep involves getting the right kind of costume for the role you are enacting. You need not rent out anything unless it’s some demanding character you are auditioning for, like the grinch. Don’t overdo the whole get-up while focusing less on the actual part, which is the acting. Your performance will cover up for all the other things, even if something is missing.


While filming, you must focus on a few main things to hit the nail on the head. Firstly, you must make sure that your entire face is in the shot and your eye line is close to the camera. The frame must have your mid-close shot, which is your chest up; unless there requested otherwise.

If you are taking help from a friend to read out the lines to you, make sure they aren’t too loud to disrupt the actual audio of your video. If the scene requires you to be out of the frame, make sure you have an external microphone covering the audio for you. Try to get your best shot in the first three takes; if it’s taking longer, take a break, try not to overthink it, and try again after some time.

Editing and Sending

Make sure you convert the video to MP4 standard, which is the universal standard for videos. You can also transfer the clip to your PC to edit it on any software that your computer supports (many have in-built ones) and send it to the casting director or company.

Make sure to label your clip with your name and the project you are auditioning for. Try to send in as few takes as possible unless requested otherwise.

All Ready and Need The Gear To Start?

Essential Photos UK is your one-stop online shop for all the equipment you need for filming videos professionally or at home. Check out the homepage now.