How Far Should Camera Be From Video Subject?

When it comes to videography, one of the most important aspects is getting the right shot. This includes not only the angle and framing but also the distance between the camera and the subject.

So, how far should a camera be from a video subject? Let’s dive into some key factors to consider.

Impact of Distance on Shot Composition

The distance between a camera and its subject can have a significant impact on the composition of your shot. Depending on how close or far away you place your camera, you can create different types of shots, such as:

  • Close-up shot: This involves placing your camera at a very close distance to your subject. It’s great for capturing facial expressions and emotions in detail.
  • Medium shot: This type of shot is taken from a moderate distance and usually shows both the subject’s upper body and head.
  • Long shot: This type of shot is taken from a far distance and captures the entire scene or environment.

Focal Length Matters

One thing to keep in mind when determining how far to place your camera from your subject is focal length. Focal length determines how much of the scene will be captured by your lens.

For instance, if you’re using a wide-angle lens with a focal length of 24mm, you’ll need to get closer to your subject to fill up more space in your frame than if you’re using a telephoto lens with a focal length of 200mm.

The Importance of Context

Another factor that affects how far away you should place your camera is context. The context refers to what’s happening in the scene, what story do you want to tell through this video?

For example, if you’re shooting a video of a person walking down the street, you might want to use a long shot to capture the entire scene. On the other hand, if you’re shooting a video of someone playing guitar, you’ll want to use a closer shot to capture the details of their fingers on the strings.

Consider Lighting

Finally, it’s essential to consider lighting when determining how far away you should place your camera. If your subject is in low light, placing your camera close to them will help capture more detail and prevent grainy footage.

However, if there’s too much light in the scene or if your subject is placed too close to a bright light source, such as a window or lamp, it can cause overexposure.


In conclusion, there isn’t an exact answer when it comes to how far should a camera be from its subject. The distance depends on various factors such as shot composition, focal length, context and lighting. With practice and experimentation with these factors along with proper understanding of the story that needs to be conveyed through this video will help you achieve better results.