Medium Shot

What is a Medium Shot?

The term ‘Medium Shot’ is commonly used in video production and cinematography. It refers to a type of camera shot that frames a subject from roughly the waist up. This is a versatile shot that maintains a balance between detail and context, offering enough close-up to convey the emotions and actions of the subject without losing the surrounding context.

Importance of Medium Shot

Medium shots play a critical role in visual storytelling. They are often used in different types of videos, from films to YouTube vlogs. Here’s why:

  • Context and Detail: Medium shots provide a balance between context and detail. They allow the viewer to see the subject’s actions and expressions without losing sight of the surrounding environment.
  • Comfortable Viewing: Medium shots are often perceived as comfortable for the viewer as they simulate how humans typically see others during conversations.
  • Versatility: Medium shots can be used in various scenarios, including interviews, dialogue scenes, and instructional videos.

How to Use a Medium Shot?

Using a medium shot effectively requires understanding of both the technical aspects and the storytelling value it offers. Here are some recommendations:

  • Framing: The subject should be framed from roughly the waist up. Make sure to leave some space at the top of the frame, known as ‘headroom.’
  • Focus: The subject should be in sharp focus, while the background can be slightly out of focus to draw attention to the subject.
  • Use Cases: Use medium shots during conversations, when demonstrating actions, or when you want to show the subject’s body language along with their facial expressions.


Mastering the medium shot can enhance your visual storytelling capabilities. It’s not just about understanding the technical aspects, but also about knowing when and how to use it to enhance your narrative. Whether you’re a filmmaker, a YouTuber, or a video editor, knowing how to leverage the medium shot can elevate your work to new heights.

Related Glossary:

Let's have a demo

Allow us to introduce you to the fascinating world of VideoMonkey!

Wait! Would you like a flat 25% discount?

You have nothing to lose – but the discount

No Contracts • Cancel Anytime