When it comes to setting the scene for your church broadcast, camera placement can make or break the online viewer’s experience. Live stream shot selection helps you identify how you want to engage your online attendees in each moment of your service. In this round up of shot selections we break down not only how to set it up, but why or why not.

Live Stream Shot Selection for Engagement

Medium Full Shot

The medium full shot typically shows the subject from the knees up. It allows the viewer to be close enough to see their expressions, while still capturing the character’s body language and background movement.

Medium Shot

This is a waist up, which can be slightly above or below the belt line. The medium shot is suitable to capture a single person speaking or delivering a sermon as it directs the viewer’s attention to the speaker. What is great about this shot is it requires less tracking of a moving subject than the closer shots, so you can use it frequently in your sermon or services.

Medium Close Shot

Getting more up close and personal, this is a usually a chest or shoulders up shot. It’s an excellent shot for establishing a connection with your online attendee. You can use it to show more emotion and even eye contact.

Live Stream Shot Selection to Show Off Your Church

Wide or Long Shot

This frames the entire stage or church with the subject in the centre. The background scenery of the church dominates the shot. It is also useful for showing an entire congregation or displaying the design and physical features of a church.

Use it to give the viewer perspective and establish their place in your venue. You can use this as an establishing shot in a normal service to make your online attendee feel like they are stepping into the church, but after that you want to avoid this shot because the action and the intimacy is often lost.

Live Stream Shot Selection for Events

Full Shot

Shows the subject from top to bottom. This is usually a head to toe shot, but you can also choose to either leave some headroom or fill the entire frame. This shot is useful when your speaker uses a lot of body language and facial nuances. You can use it show ample background in order to maintain a the sense of space. But transition through this shot to something closer so your attendee can engage better with the event that is taking place.

Close-up Shot

With a close shot, the subject’s face takes up the majority of the frame, allowing their expressions and emotions to dictate the scene. These shots are especially useful to show moments during a wedding or baptism. Close-up shots can also be useful for showing elements of a service or event, rather than the individual speaking.

Extreme Close-Up Shot

An extreme close shot is so close that only one specific detail of the face. Unless you intend to create a very dramatic moment, this shot is not a great choice for churches.


A variant of the full shot, this shot frames two subjects side by side. For example, two musicians side by side. There should be enough room for either subject to move around slightly and not be out of frame.


As you can probably tell, the distance to your subject entirely alters the impact of the video. Just like in reality, the closer you get to your subject, the more personal it feels. Moving in close gives a feeling of intimacy, whereas moving far away gives us a feeling of detachment.