Dakota Studios: What to Expect From Your First Video Shoot

When it comes to shooting video for your company or nonprofit, just committing to getting in front of the camera is a great first step. 

You might already be thinking that getting in front of the camera is also the hardest part. You're not alone if you are! 

At Dakota, video has become part of everything we do, from our weekly Dakota Live! Calls, monthly Emerging Manager Growth Shows, and our philanthropic branch, Dakota Gives, we know firsthand how video can transform an organization and really bring your story to life.  

In fact, Dakota Studios was created in 2020 with the goal of helping others create videos that will grow their business and mission. 

Dakota Studios is a full-service studio space for investment firms, nonprofits, and companies who want to create engaging, shareable videos about their missions. Working with our world-class production team, you can rest assured that your vision will be brought to life. 

We understand that most of us have never filmed a video before, and don’t know what to expect when we step into a studio like Dakota Studios for the first time. What should you wear? What should you talk about? Are there things you shouldn’t do? 

It can be overwhelming. 

That’s why, in this article, we’re breaking down everything you need to know before you shoot your first video for your company or nonprofit. By the end of the article, you’ll have a clear understanding of what you can expect and how you can prepare ahead of time. 

Dress the part

Getting camera-ready is one of the first steps you’ll take the day of your shoot, and it’s important to know what does and does not work in front of the camera. 


  • Wear clothes you are comfortable in.
  • Keep jewelry to a minimum.
  • Ensure that your hair is out of your face.
  • Wear your contacts if you have them (glasses can reflect the glare from the studio lights).
  • Wear knee-length socks if you are wearing pants.


  • Wear bold patterns (Stripes, plaid, herringbone, etc.).
  • Wear shirts with big logos.
  • Wear short skirts.

2. Schedule a prep call 

Whether you’re new to filming video or you’ve done it before, we want to ensure that your time at Dakota Studios is as productive and successful as possible, which is why we offer two prep calls for everyone who books time in the studio. 

What can you expect from your prep call? 

  • Goal setting: Our team will want to hear from you! What is the goal of your video, how do you want it to look, feel, and sound? Who is the audience? These are just a few things you should be thinking about before that first prep call, so that we can start making preparations and ensuring that we’re all on the same page before anyone steps in front of the camera
  • Video sample viewing: Most people who come into Dakota Studios have not created video before, and if that’s true for you, we’ll share samples of videos we’ve done for other clients in the past, so you have a complete understanding of what is possible, and what is right for your company. 
  • Script creation: Whether you have a script or want some help drafting it, we’re here for you. We’ll run through the script on the prep call to make sure everything is included to tell your complete story, and you’ll have a chance to practice reading it aloud before your shoot. 
  • Branding and look/feel: We’ll ask you for your logo, company colors, and other imagery ahead of time, providing you with a Dropbox where you can supply everything you need included in the video so it’s properly branded and ready to go after the shoot. 
  • Second prep call scheduling: We’ll get a second prep call on the books with your team that’s closer to the shoot to finalize everything and address any last minute details. 

3. Work with the Dakota Studios video team to bring your vision to life 

During the prep calls, shoot, and post-production, you’ll be working hand in hand with our experienced video team. They’ll make sure you’re comfortable, looking professional, and that the final, finished video product is in line with your company goals. 

Typically, the Dakota Studios delivery time is two weeks, depending on the length. At that time, you’ll be able to review your videos, ensuring that everything's the way you want it. You’ll be able to leave comments directly on the videos so that our team gets your feedback in real time and can make adjustments as needed. 

Ready to start shooting video for your company or nonprofit? Schedule a Dakota Studios tour and share your video goals. We can’t wait to work with you!


Written By: Amy Sariego, Director of Content Marketing

Amy Sariego is the Director of Content Marketing at Dakota.