Presenting to camera

Top 10 tips for professional videos using your phone

lisa mcaskill Presenting Tips

  • Get clear:

    Clean your lens! Think about where your phone has been!! You would never treat a video camera like that!

  • Reduce Movement And Wobble:

    Use a tripod or if you don’t have one balance your phone on something stable that is the right height. If you do have to hold the phone, try holding your elbows in as close to your body as you can to reduce camera shakes.

  • Be Heard:

    Ideally, you need to plug a microphone into your phone unless you sit really close to the camera (within a metre the phone’s microphone will be ok). But if you want to get a wide shot or be further from the camera the phones inbuilt microphone won’t pick up the sound well enough. Obviously choose a quiet location and turn off any background noise like air conditioners.

  • Frame it up:

    A general photography rule of thumb is that your eye level should be on the top third line of the grid.

  • Get Horizontal:

    Shoot horizontally (unless you are taking video for Instagram or Facebook stories which upload vertically)

  • Mix It Up:

    Think about incorporating the time-lapse function or slow motion for your cutaway shots (these are the shots you will use at your edit points or to show detail in close up or wide shots to show more of you, a room, or product etc )

  • Take The Right Stand:

    Don’t stand right up against a wall, it’s better to be far enough away to check you are not casting a shadow on the wall.

  • Shed Some Light:

    Lighting is crucial to making your video look professional. Stand facing a window for natural light. If you can invest in a lighting set up it will give your more options – ring lights are all the rage for flattering social media videos but they will only light your face close up so good for makeup tutorials but not so great if you want to be further away from the camera. If you are filming outside film in the shade if possible it will be way more flattering than in full sun.

  • Talk It All Out:

    Film your script in one go, it’s easier to edit than buttoning on and off and then trying to edit your pieces together.

  • Use Some Tunes:

    Music can really help make your video seem more professional. If you use a “popular “well know track Facebook won’t let you upload the video without paying music rights (this could cost you $10K +!) You can however, use and credit artists on Instagram stories. There are lots of free sites for royalty free music or you can purchase tunes for under $100 for use multiple times on websites or social media videos. If your video is dialogue heavy, background music can add that professional touch, it should be very subtle almost that the viewer is not really even aware of it. For visual videos with little or no dialogue music is the anchor and so you may want to select the music first and edit your images to the beat.