I'm quite certain the following sentence is natural:

Ikuto was taking a picture of her.

But which of the following would be more common in spoken English?

Ikuto was recording a video of her.

Ikuto was taking a video of her.

My initial thought was that "recording" was the better choice here. But then I couldn't find evidence to back this up online.

Note that this sentence would be said when describing an illustration of a character named Ikuto recording a video of his friend. Since we have context, there would not be confusion when using "taking." In other words, it's clear that Ikuto isn't doing something like taking a DVD of "her" that was on the table, or anything like that.

Please help!

  • As a native speaker with three kids and many, many hours of video recordings, I would use recording a video to describe the actual filming (despite no film being involved any more) and making a video to describe the process of editing everything into a more finished product (with titles and such). making could also apply to a more involved production with multiple actors and sets and so on. Shooting a video would, to me, mean the same as the latter meaning of making. Jul 16 '18 at 17:44

In my experience, the most natural expression would be, "Ikuto was taping her." It sounds perfectly natural to say, ". . .taking a video of her," as well, although it wouldn't be my first choice in speech. If you wanted to use the word "recording," I would say, "Ikuto was recording her."

It mostly comes down to personal preference.

  • 1
    Is "taping" still relevant with modern-day video recorders, which are typically digital? I agree that "Ikuto was recording her" sounds natural. Thanks!
    – Niko
    Jul 16 '18 at 16:58
  • 1
    @Niko You could also say filming her and nobody would misunderstand. Jul 16 '18 at 16:59
  • @Niko At least where I am from (the Midwest), absolutely. The expression has become idiomatic. No one would think you were using actual magnetic tape. I agree with Jason that filming is also a perfectly natural construction (and similarly, does not carry connotation of being recorded using actual photographic film). Jul 16 '18 at 17:01

You could also say shooting a video or making a video.

There is nothing wrong with any of them.

However, if you're looking for what is the most common from among those four, Google Books Ngram Viewer suggests that making a video has the most use in print.

As for spoken English as opposed to written, I don't know. All would be equally understood.

  • 1
    In my experience, "making a video" refers to something a bit broader. For example, if Ikuto recorded his friend in a variety of different scenes, then combined them into a single video, that whole process is "making a video." I agree that "shooting a video" is good. Unfortunately, this sentence will be used as a sample answer to an ESL interview test question, and the students might not be familiar with the word "shooting."
    – Niko
    Jul 16 '18 at 16:56
  • @Niko, agreed- making a video is more about video-editing. If you look at actual instances of "making a video", it's things like "they will be making a video montage" and "Designing a System for Supporting the Process of Making a Video Sequence".
    – JavaLatte
    Jul 19 '18 at 3:19

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