Written On

Jul 30, 2016

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Hey, guess what? You don't need a large budget and fancy equipment to record a professional looking video for your business. Improve the quality of videos you take on your phone, by following these 10 best practices!

1. Always Record Horizontally!

Have you noticed that everywhere you look the screens are wider than longer? Make the video fit by recording it in the same orientation. Don't shoot vertically!


2. Use support

Invest in a tripod or ensure the phone is in a fixed location. Editors and software can only do so much to reduce your shaking hands during the recording.  Stabilize your shots and your audience will thank you for it. Not having a stable shot is a clear indication of an amateur recording.


3. Good lighting goes a long way

Flash can only do so much. The more light you have around the subject, you'll produce a better quality of video. Professional lighting doesn't have to be expensive, but if you are really strapped set up your shoot outside or during the daylight hours.

As with taking a photo, we recommend positioning yourself facing a light source like a window and having your subject be between you and the source.


4. Don't use the digital zoom

Just like you would never take a photo in a compressed format, you should avoid using the zoom functionality and position the camera to where you would want it. By zooming on the camera, you are only enlarging the picture digitally, which means the video quality will start to decrease. 

Editors can crop and zoom the raw video as needed so don't be afraid to go wide.


5. The sound challenge

You want clear audio, but that may be difficult from far since the closer the mic is to the subject, the better the audio will be. There are a couple of ways you can get around this. 

You can position a second phone or recording device directly above the subject's head to record the audio. This can be recorded in any voice recording application.

Another option is to use an external microphone. There are several affordable option that you can plug into the microphone adapter, and it'll send the audio from the microphone directly into your phone.


6. Use the exposure and focus locks

Most phones will automatically expose and focus your shot. These auto functions really make taking images a snap but when shooting a video where there is significant movement, the phone will keep adjusting and refocusing leading to jittery-looking footage. 

Locking these features will keep everything constant throughout your shot.


7. Take and make multiples 

Don't run the risk of realizing the video you took is not adequate for the final product, or worse yet, risk losing that video by accidently deleting it off the phone. Take several recordings of the same scene and make sure you use a service like Dropbox that will automatically back up your recordings to the cloud. You'll thank your lucky stars for going the extra mile when things are about to hit the fan.


8. Don't go crazy with in app features

Slow motion is cool and filters are fun, but you should save those effects for the editing process. Capturing the video in a raw and unaltered format allows you to play with the effects afterwards to see which really look the best.


9. Always edit your work!

The typical attention span for your viewers is around 2 minutes but research shows videos that are shorter have higher share and view rates.  When you finish shooting, sign into Vydere.com and create a project for our professional editors to edit down to the most important and exciting parts.


10. "App-grade" your recording

Don't settle for the default camera application that comes with your phone. There are a number of quality applications that allow you to record at a higher bitrate while giving more control over focus, exposure, and other pro features that really improve the quality. But if you follow the above 9 steps, there shouldn't be any reason that you can't make professional looking recordings with your phone.


**Bonus Tip!**

Don't let someone interrupt your shoot and make you start over. Put the phone in airplane mode and focus on what is important at the moment.