Seems like everyone is shooting and posting video these days and for good reason too. YouTube isn’t the second most popular search engine for nothing (behind Google of course). Our society has less of an attention span than just 5 years ago. If we want to learn how to install something, make something or bake something, we are turning to videos to learn. Which brings us to tips for shooting quality mobile videos.
There’s a time and place for shooting high-quality, professional videos. But sometimes a video shot on your smart phone or tablet will do just fine. If you decide to do so, here are some tips.
PICK THE RIGHT LIGHTING:
– If the lighting seems to dim for your eyes, good chance it will make your final video grainy. If possible, move to a brighter room or turn on extra lights or bring in a few extra lights to brighten up the shot.
– Don’t back light your subject(s). Unless it’s the intended effect. This will often darken their faces and make it hard to read their expressions. It detracts from your final video.
SELECT THE BEST AUDIO:
– Sometimes at events or large gatherings, getting the right sound is tough, so try moving closer to your subject(s). If they are soft spoken, ask them to speak up or move them, if possible, to a quieter location.
CONSIDER SMART FRAMING:
– Just as important as your subject, is the environment. Practice smart framing by using the rule of thirds to position your subject(s).
– Pick an interesting, but not overly busy background. And make sure their isn’t anything negative in the background, such as, unsafe conditions, horse-play, or trademarked logos or iconography.
-Make sure their is significant head room (space between top of subject’s head and top of the frame). Aim for about 10% of the total height of the shot.
– Hold your device horizontally when shooting because all screens are widescreen format.
CAMERA OPTIONS and OPERATIONS:
– Choose 720p, 1080p or higher for camera quality settings
– Hold the camera steady or better yet, use a tripod if possible.
– Take a quick 5 second test video to make sure you’ll get what you want.
– Shoot 2-5 seconds before the action and after the action in case you need it later.
– Consider shooting some B-roll footage as well. This covers the details around your subject that you won’t be shooting while you are shooting your subject(s). For example, the crowd or vendors at a festival. It can also get intercut with your main footage. You can never have too much B-roll footage so have fun with it. Also, try different angles. Shoot low, high, close up, far away and don’t be afraid to get creative.
THINGS TO AVOID:
– Zooming in and out because it can result in poor image quality later. With most mobile cameras, when you zoom, it is just magnifying the pixels, so it’s not really zooming in the traditional sense.
– Moving or walking can create shaky, unusable footage. Not to mention the viewer may experience vertigo if they are watching a moving subject in your video.
– And as mentioned before, make sure your subject isn’t backlit and watch the background environment. Subtle and muted is better than busy and distracting as far as backgrounds go.
– Don’t just shoot with your mobile device if the subject matter or information really calls for a professional. If you are in need of a company commercial, need to explain complex solutions or other highly important information, having a professional involved may be much better than the mobile route. There is a time and place for both, take care in deciding which is most appropriate.
That about wraps it up. Hopefully these quick tips for shooting quality mobile videos helps you on your next shoot. And if you have anything to add or questions, please connect here. Happy shooting!