How to Shoot Great Videos on Your Mobile Phone

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Jun 23, 2017

It's easy to make a great video using your smartphone with these pro tips.

First and most importantly shoot with your camera horizontally

  • Shooting with your camera while it is vertical will lead to black bars on the side of the screen because your desktop and TV are all set up to display horizontally.
  • While shooting video the iPhone is easier to handle when it’s horizontal. This will lead to stable footage.
  • Put your phone in airplane mode to avoid pesky calls or messages ruining your recording

Stability of the camera is crucial

Here are a few quick tips on how to shoot stable footage with your mobile:

  • If you are shooting a static shot, prop your phone up against an object to keep it steady or use a tripod
  • If you are moving while shooting be sure to keep your arms against your body to keep a steady shot.
  • Your neck is also a natural stabilizer. Try resting your phone on your chin to help stabilize.
  • Tap and hold the screen the area where you want the image to be in focus. This will lock the focus for the duration of your recording.

Be attentive to lighting

 The iPhone does really well in natural light, so take advantage of it:

  • Find any available light source and get close to it.
  • Make sure that your subject is facing the light.
  • If no light is available, add some! Even just a flashlight or the light from your smartphone can make a big difference when shooting in low light. 

Use the rule of thirds

  • The rule of thirds is a concept in video and film production in which the frame is divided into nine imaginary sections. Think of it as a giant tic-tac toe board with each line creating a reference guide for framing the image. Instead of putting your subject directly in the center of the shot, move the subject to the upper third, as illustrated in the video above. The result is a dynamic and well-composed scene that is pleasing to the eye.

Rule of thirds video tipsRule of thirds phone video tipsRule of thirds phone video tips

Zoom in with your feet, not the zoom tool

If you want to capture close-up footage with the iPhone, move the phone physically closer to what you’re shooting; don’t use the zoom tool. The iPhone zoom feature is digital not optical, so using it results in lower quality, pixelated footage in close-in shots. The iPhone has a high quality camera but is limited by the iPhone camera app. To unleash the full video recording power, download a third party app and play with your settings.

Pay attention to sound

 There’s nothing worse than poor audio hampering your otherwise well-shot video. Here are a couple of quick tips to help you record a clean audio track:

  • Be aware of your surroundings - if you’re filming out in the open and it’s windy find shelter or wait for the wind to die down
  • Get as close to your subject as possible and ask them to raise their voice slightly above conversation level
  • Avoid blocking the microphone with your fingers while holding the device or recording video. The location of the microphones on the iPhone can be seen below:

iPhone microphone location

Editing your video

There are a number of great apps you can use to edit your video. We recommend:

iMovie for Mac users
VSDC for PC users
Clips for iPhone users
Adobe Premiere Clip for Android users

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