Sep 15, 2020

5 Tips for Filming Videos on Your Smartphone like a Pro

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Post by 
Trudy-Ann Lemonias
Knowing how to record yourself with a smartphone can allow you to share your message [effectively] no matter what time of day it is. It can allow you to grow an audience, sell more products, book more events, book out your services calendar, and close more deals all from the comfort of your office, home, or wherever you are. It's great to have a production crew for more involved video productions and for pre-produced content. But, in the times where you don't have a crew available to you, that shouldn't mean you can't create content. These 5 tips will get you up and running with self recording in no time.
5 Tips for Filming Videos on Your Smartphone like a Pro
Get yourself a tripod or a phone stand to hold your phone while recording. Always set up your iPhone camera horizontally unless you’re recording video content for Tik Tok, Instagram Stories, IGTV or Instagram Reels. You want to be able to record hands-free so that you can control what shows in your background, so you can use your hands if you need, and so that your viewers won’t get uninterested with watching (in case the footage is shaky). You can also use a selfie-stick if you prefer to hold your camera but want the frame to show more of your body. This also stabilizes your footage so that it isn’t shaky. Invest into a remote dog that you can stop your recordings without getting up. This is optional and can be purchased down the line after you’ve been filming videos for a while. It’s better to use the lens on the back of your phone as opposed to the front facing camera because it has much better quality than the front camera. The downside is that you can’t see yourself while recording. But, that can actually be a good thing. Not being able to see yourself while recording will prevent you from trying to look at yourself—distracting you from consistently maintaining eye contact with your viewers. Also, wipe your lens off right before every recording session. Our makeup, hair products, finger prints, and other things end up on our phone camera lens' all the time and it can severely impact the quality of your video.

When choosing a location for your video, consider your niche and your brand to discern what props, decor, or accent colors would be appealing to those watching your video. For example, if you make videos about health and wellness, consider filming in a settled, still, and plant-filled environment such as a reading nook. Or, if you make videos about photography, consider installing a floating shelf on the wall behind you where you can have some of your lenses displayed. In general, ensure that your background is clear of clutter but without empty space. Tastefully fill all of the spaces in your shot with relevant items that will add to the look of your background without looking overwhelming.
Proper Lighting
The easiest and most affordable camera lighting there is—is the sun. Sit in front of a window during the day time to record your video. Make sure that the blinds or window coverings are open and that your face is looking directly towards the sun or the window at least. The second type of lighting we recommend is studio lights. You can get a set of 2 for under $100 on Amazon and even sometimes under $60. The lighting on studio lights will be even instead of harsh as opposed to ring lights. Be sure to get studio lights NOT a ring light. Now, when it comes to getting light from your smartphone itself, there is one setting you want to know about--exposure. Exposure is the amount of light that is being let into the camera. It allows you to balance out the final lighting look between your light source and your phone camera lens, letting in only the amount of light that you need. Exposure, i’s important because it allows your viewers to see you optimally as opposed to so-so despite what the lighting is like in your environment. To adjust the exposure on your iPhone, open the camera app and press on video. Press and hold the screen in the area where you want it to be the brightest (more than likely that’s your face) until the AE lock button appears on the screen. AE means ‘automatic exposure’ and the lock part means that it will set the exposure to let in a constant amount of light. Click the yellow AE button and then a yellow square will appear on the screen. Adjust the brightness by sliding the little sun up or down and then let it go. This will lock your exposure in and make it easy to film in natural light that may be otherwise inconsistent.

The sound on iPhone’s is pretty good as long as you're standing or sitting within arms length of your device. If you’re further away than arm's length, the audio tends to sound echoey. To take your audio quality up a notch, you can purchase a lavalier mic that plugs directly into your iPhone socket [with a Headphone Jack Adapter for newer iPhone models] and gets clipped unto your shirt. You can record the sound while creating your video or as a voiceover after.

Be Confident!
Have your talking points outlined and talked-through ahead of time. This helps you to have a speaking flow when the camera turns on instead of freezing up or not quite being yourself. It’s better to have a talking outline as opposed to a script because that keep things authentic and avoids you from spending tons of time trying to memorize a script. It also makes the video editing process easier since you won't need to edit out parts of the script that you messed up on due to unpreparedness. Talking points allow you to speak from the heart and not from memory. So be sure to prepare your talking outline in-advance and familiarize yourself with it. When you're filming, record your talking points in (1-2 minute) chunks so you end up with short clips to edit—relieving you from the pressure of having to get everything perfect in one long take.