October 23, 2016

Tips for Getting Better Video from Smartphones

Posted : May 4, 2015

Videography tipsHave you noticed the huge increase in videos in your Facebook feed lately? According to a recent study, Facebook has come to be seen as YouTube’s biggest rival, and in the US, people are posting 94% more videos than they did a year ago. That’s thanks in large part to smartphones’ ability to capture, edit and quickly post videos directly to these social media channels. Now that everyone has a camcorder in their pocket, the opportunities are endless for small businesses to create and distribute their content to their audience. But a few guidelines are in order to make sure your videos are doing their job and are a welcome addition to your followers.

We’ve collected some helpful links and a few of our own in-house tips to make your video posting experience fun and – hopefully – fast!

First, if you’re not yet a fan of Bear Valley’s daily weather report, courtesy of ski patrol director Mattly Trent, check out these examples of niche content that can be quickly shot and posted directly to YouTube from a smartphone, no editing required. Not only does this deliver very practical information to Bear Valley’s customers, it has created a community of followers who have come to love and expect these entertaining weather reports.

Interesting for inspirationVine is an app for smartphones that only allows six second videos.   See what people are doing within those limitations to get creative.

Take a few minutes to sit back and see what newer phones can do that shoot slow motion and timelapse footage. Play, experiment, use all this video stuff as a way to showcase additional aspects of your business or your personality!

Things to Remember:

Keep it short and sweet. Few stories need more than a minute or two to be told. Have a plan about what it is you want to promote and if it helps, write yourself a quick script to keep yourself on message and away from the ums, likes and other verbal pollution.

Orientation. Keep it horizontal. Those vertical videos just don’t work well for the viewer. Really they don’t.

Stabilize it. There are lots of little gizmos and tripod tools for your phone you can buy, but one easy trick is to use both hands with your elbows snug against your body (see Dan’s video below). If you have a wall or chair nearby, prop your back against that too for additional human tripod stability. And keep that finger off the lens!   Even better if you can put the camera on a stable surface like a table or stack of books. A small beanbag is a great little trick to use on a tabletop to help level the camera as well.

Audio is an overlooked but critical piece of a decent video. Before filming, take a listen. All that background noise will be there on the video so try your best to minimize it. If you are outdoors and it’s breezy, try positioning your back to the wind so your body can help block it out.

Avoid Terrible Lighting. If you’re standing directly under a light, expect weird shadows in your eye sockets and under the nose. It’s generally better in places that are evenly lit or where the surfaces (floors, snow, pavement) are reflective enough to light up the face a bit. Do a quick test shoot to see if you find it acceptable.   Outdoors, avoid shooting in shade with bright sun in the background. Pick one, either all in the sun or all in the shade to cut down on contrasty or blown out faces.


This short tutorial from Dan at Australia’s Broadcast Company gives you the quickest, need-to-know tips on getting better video with your phone – plus he’s fun!

If you’re already making videos and need a few more pointers about good in-phone apps for editing and publishing, as well as useful tips on audio, lighting and data storage, check out these ideas from Next Web.

Finally, don’t forget to share them on your social media channels and send us a heads up at our CVB Facebook page so we can share them even further.  Happy shooting!

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