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How to capture good video using a mobile phone15 May 2020

One of my favourite things about lock down, is that whenever you put the telly on, there’s a celebrity, or politician appearing on a show via live video stream from their own house. Who doesn’t love to nosy at someone else’s bookshelves or find out that James McAvoy has a ginormous orange sofa by watching The One Show?

In these times of social distancing and uncertainty, video is becoming the best way to connect with people. Whether that be live, or pre-recorded to show a friendly face. Just because we aren’t celebrities, it doesn’t mean our videos have to look like they’re being recorded using a potato. If you follow these top tips, you’ll be creating brilliant, shareable video with very little pain.

Film in landscape

This is really super-duper important. Video filmed in portrait when shown on TV or on a computer screen looks awful and is not making the best use of the space. It can be forgiven for a quick video of a cat doing something funny, but if you are wanting to create videos for your customers and potential customers, making sure your phone is horizontal is important.

There are some exceptions to this rule if you’re filming for a Facebook or Instagram story, or maybe even for Snapchat, you’ll want to film vertically. For the majority of the time though, your content will be watched horizontally so get into the habit of filming in Landscape!

Keep still

If you can use a tripod, then brilliant. If you don’t have a tripod, maybe use a stack of books, some cardboard and a bulldog clip or whatever else you have to hand in order to create a makeshift stand. This will avoid any movement in your video caused by camera shake, and will instantly make it easier to watch and more professional-looking.

Lighting

Think about where you’re capturing your video. Is there light shining in your eyes causing you to squint? If so, you need to shuffle round, but not too far round so that you are cast into mysterious shadow.

The general rule, is have a light source in front of you so that your face is clearly visible on video. Whether this is the sun, a lamp, or a tablet propped up with the torch on, just have a little play and see what works.

Think about where the subject is

Whether you’re filming yourself or another person, make sure that the subject is roughly central, and not hiding at the side of the shot, or with lots of space above their head. Not only does this look better, but if you do need to crop the picture a bit for some reason, you know you won’t need to cut something really important.

What’s in the background?

You know I mentioned James McAvoy’s orange sofa? Well if you don’t want people to know certain things about you, think about where you’re filming. You might not want the world to know that you have a collection of Cliff Richard calendars dating back to the 1970s on your study wall. We become desensitised to our surroundings, so you might not think much about what’s in the background, but just take a minute to think about what someone watching your video might see.

And if you’d like to see someone using video really well to connect with both their tenants and landlords, have a look at Maxine Lester Lettings’ Facebook page and scroll through their posts, you’ll see how Maxine has been using video to provide no-nonsense information, whilst also being a reassuring presence – follow these tips, and you too can be a camera natural!

Watch these tips in video form, presented by the lovely Charlott:

If you would like some advice on how best to utilise video as part of your digital strategy going forward, get in touch with us. Not only can we help you with tips and tricks to help you look your best, we can also provide assistance with marketing your videos and getting them seen by the widest audience possible.