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Quick Tips for Recording Better Video on Your Smartphone

Thanks to smartphones and other financially accessible video production tools, it's becoming easier to shoot great videos without a huge budget. Still, there are many things you’ll want to consider when producing your online video content to ensure it’s professional and compelling. Your viewers need more than simple footage to get hooked, so it’s important to be prepared with the right content.

Below you’ll find some quick tips for creating better video content for your business with even if using your smartphone.

The Horizontal Rule

There are two major components of this rule. The first is always to record your videos horizontally. It might not seem like an issue to shoot your videos vertically on a smartphone, but most platforms still display video content in horizontal. Computer monitors, television screens and websites all have landscape displays, so your video will likely get awkwardly cropped or shrunk if it is vertically recorded. Plus, you don’t want your video to compete with two black bars on both sides. Do your viewers (and yourself) a favor and shoot horizontally. The one major exception to this rule is if you are looking to create a compelling Instagram story - Instagram is a platform that is built for vertical content.

Use light to your advantage.

For corporate video production in NJ and around the world, good lighting is essential. You can use the popup light or flash on your camera or smartphone to bring some light to your subject, but this often results in a flat, amateur-looking video so we recommend off-camera lighting when possible. Fortunately, you don’t need to invest in expensive lighting equipment. Lights around your office can easily be moved close to the subject or you can open a window and let in some beautiful light. If you do choose to use the sun, it’s helpful to know how to use it to your advantage. Check out this article on how to get the perfect lighting for your video. Don’t use digital zoom.

Another thing to avoid using is the digital zoom feature on your camera. All this does is enlarge the image, resulting in pixelated footage. If you want a closer look at something, walk closer to it. It’s a simple way to give viewers a better look at the subject without degrading the viewing experience.

Piece together short clips.

Many of the best videos on social media are made up of short, compelling clips. When capturing video to market your company online consider various angles and shot sizes (wide, medium, & close-up) to enable smooth edits from shot to shot. If you have a long visual process that can be shown with video content, you may even want to consider the time-lapse function to make it short, interesting and keep the viewers' attention. Following these simple guidelines will give you a variety of footage to work with, allowing you to put together a more appealing video for your business.

Use a tripod for stability.

No one wants to watch a shaky video. Frank Farrell, our founder & Director of Photography always says, “The camera is not a toy. Your movements need to be slow, leveled and chosen with intention.” To make your video appear more professional, and not give viewers a headache use a tripod. This simple and important tool will ensure your footage is smooth and stable. If you’re using your phone or don’t have access to a tripod, pay close attention to how you hold the phone, being mindful to keep the horizon line level and keep your movements as smooth as possible. It’s often a good idea to use both hands and lock your elbows into your body for stability or place your recording device on a flat and level surface such as a desk, table, pile of books. See some great tripod options here to help you produce better marketing videos.

Manually set focus and exposure.

By default smartphones automatically detect and adjust exposure and focus, but you’ll want to have more control over this when recording quality marketing videos for your NJ business. To get more control, simply lock these features so they don’t adjust on their own, then tap where you want to focus and slide your exposure up or down ensuring you have enough light in your shot.

Use a microphone.

The built-in microphone on your smartphone is fine for many tasks, but if your phone is also being used as the camera and is somewhat far from the important voice or sounds it will likely register very low on the device. We suggest using a different microphone that can be positioned close to the subject for the best sound quality. You can use an external microphone hooked up to your computer or another phone then the audio can then be synced during the editing of your marketing video. Any noisy or muffled audio should be removed. Here is a detailed guide on producing better audio for your online marketing video using your phone.

To produce a professional-looking marketing video with your phone for your NJ business, follow as many of the tips above as possible. For professional assistance filming and editing your videos, contact the video production experts at CVPNJ today.

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