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Your Story. Your Way.

Best Tips For Shooting Video On Your Smartphone

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Here at J2, we are true believers in using video to get your story out there. We also know that sometimes, a quick video from a phone or other personal device is all you need to get the job done. But even though your audience might forgive a few flaws, we want you to look great all the time! Below, we’ve listed a few things to keep in mind when you are shooting something yourself.

1. Understand how you should hold your phone

With the rise of Tik Tok and Instagram Reels comes the rise of vertical video. But should you always shoot this way? If you are planning on just posting to social media, then vertical video may be the best bet, but if you’re posting your video content on a website, monitor, or any other device that’s not your smartphone, shooting horizontally is the best way to make your video look clean and professional. By shooting horizontally, your video will fill the entire screen without having those two black bars on either side of the frame. So when it comes down to it, you need to know where your video will be hosted before pressing record.

2. Use a stabilizer for your smartphone

Nothing is worse than watching a shaky video (especially if you suffer from motion sickness)! Make it easy on yourself and invest in a “steady device” to avoid shaky video and keep your shots smooth and steady. Consider checking out some phone accessories first!

3. Shoot in well-lit areas

Make the lighting work for you. Whether you’re outdoors or indoors, find a position and location that lights your video evenly. If possible, shoot outdoor videos when the sun is going down for the best lighting (it’s known as ‘golden hour’ for a reason!) and avoid standing directly in front of your light source.

4. Frame your shots

Center your subject matter! If your video is highlighting a new product, make sure it’s the focus of attention. If you’re filming a ribbon cutting for Facebook live, your focus needs to be the event displayed right in the middle of your screen. Try experimenting with your exposure settings on your smartphone by pressing and holding different parts of your screen to focus on your feature.

5. Allow some headroom

Interviews and testimonials can add a lot to video. Remember the “rule of thirds” when recording an interview make sure your subject has a little looking room and the edge isn’t too close to their face. In a live event, make sure to allow some space in-between the top of their head and where the screen cuts off.

6. Back up videos right away

After doing all of that work – make sure you back it up! Take time to invest in a drive to store all of your videos and hold on to it – you never know when something could go wrong, or you might need a shot or two from a video you made a couple of years ago. Do yourself a favor and store your video ASAP!

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