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6 Tips for Making Better Smartphone Videos: Lights, Listen, Looks!

November 18, 2015

There is no shortage of new technologies for consumers and pros alike. When it comes to sharing video online for your business, you no longer need to have the most expensive gear or extensive skills. Since you can use smart phones and tablets, it’s easier than ever to share your experiences. But that doesn’t mean it looks & sounds great! Here are some tips for getting a better video before you upload it to your followers!

 

1. Lights. Pay attention to lighting. If there are windows in the room you are recording, make sure to use that light to brighten your subject. Avoid pointing your camera straight at the subject with a window behind them. A “back lit” subject will create a dark silhouette with a bright background. If you’re in a dimly lit room, try turning on more lights or use your camera’s flashlight setting. 

 

2.Listen. Pay attention to the sound. Think about your surroundings. If you’re in a noisy space with people or activity all around you, consider stepping out to a more quiet environment. If there’s music playing somewhere or traffic noise, take an extra few seconds to turn the volume down or close your windows. Distracting noises can turn a decent video into a terrible one.

 

3. Looks. Pay attention to your angle. We have all probably witnessed too many low angle, “up the nose” shots. If you want to take selfie videos and you don’t have a selfie stick (I can’t believe I said that), please at least remember that you want people to be able to watch you and not immediately start counting your nose hairs. Of course you want a flattering angle, so raise your arms to get the device at eye level to your face or higher. I suggest you set your device on something sturdy. It can be a table or shelf, pretty much anything!

 

 

4. Turn your phone horizontal to look more professional. I am more accepting of vertical video for some purposes such as periscope, but generally, most video platforms are still a horizontal medium. The black space on either side of vertical videos is wasted space. All it takes is a shift in perspective by turning the phone sideways, and voilà! Your video looks better.  

 

5. Practice being natural on camera. Please remember to blink. It sounds funny, but when you are looking at the lens and have things to say, you can get caught up in seeing your own image or trying to make direct eye contact. This is awkward to viewers who may feel like you are staring at them. It’s okay to look away from time to time, that is natural. It may be more difficult for you to see yourself as you talk, so you can be more comfortable setting your phone with the screen turned away and testing your shot. Record yourself for a few seconds to make sure you’ve set up a good shot. Then talk into the camera without the added distraction of looking at yourself.

 

6. Use an app to edit and enhance clips before sharing. There are numerous apps that you can download for editing clips together. This is a topic that I will expand into another post just about editing. So keep an eye out for it!

 

I hope these tips help you make the most of your smartphone video production. Just remember the main 3… lights, listen, looks. Video is a great way to connect with others, so using even a few of these tips can make that experience better. Sometimes you'll want video that is more highly produced than what you can make on your own. Contact me at Thespis Media for a custom video production quote for your business.

 

**Bonus Holiday Tip: A safety tip for consumers at the holidays.

ALWAYS check what you are sharing in the background. If you have expensive gifts or electronics, make sure to adjust camera angle to cut those items out of the shot. You do not want to make yourself a target for theft.

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