You don’t always want to pay for a film crew – but you still want video for your business. We know that video is great for social media postings. It can be used in Facebook and Twitter posts and in email communication with customers and can even be the basis of a YouTube channel to promote your business. So what can you do to take more video? Our cell phones function as a terrific video camera if you want to take some quick video – perhaps a customer testimonial, or to showcase a new product or share information with customers. You’ll want to get the best video you can. Here are my six tips to get the best video using your cell phone:

1. Turn your Phone Sideways! It’s always best to take phone video with the phone turned sideways. TVs and computers have a horizontal aspect ratio so video that is destined for those displays should not be taken with a “portrait” aspect. Video which is taken with a vertical aspect will show on televisions and computers with a lot of wasted space on either side – and looks plain wrong.

2. Keep the Phone Steady Try not to shake: it sometimes helps to hold the phone with two hands and keep your elbows locked by your sides to provide some stability.

3. Get in Close It’s almost always best to move in close. Moving in close reduces the impact of camera shake and considerably improves the quality of the audio.

4. Turn Off Background Noise To improve the quality of your phone’s audio listen for extraneous noise like a TV in another room, or a radio or music, or even air conditioning. And, if possible, turn it off. If there is mowing or blowing going on outside, or a plane flying over, wait for it to stop.

5. Natural Light is Best Ambient or natural light is usually best – preferably not direct sun. Shade or cloudy conditions work best. When filming inside with your phone, try to position the action in front of a window and position yourself between the subject and the light source. If you film with an artificial light source, have the light on the subject’s face and not behind them.

6. Preview the Footage The great thing about digital – versus the old world of film and tape – is that the recording medium is virtually limitless and costless.

So, do a test and check your set up and audio – not great? Try again. You’ll learn from your mistakes and just keep doing retakes until it is perfect. And, have fun with it!


By Jane Shafron 

Your Story Here
Jane Shafron co-founded Your Story Here LLC, a boutique award winning documentary production company that specializes in creating compelling content video for small businesses, tribute videos and business and personal history documentaries. Jane’s passion is to bring stories to life, insisting on the highest standards in all phases of the production process.