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4 Tips for Shooting Great Video on Your Phone


Capturing great video on your cell phone is easier than ever, but are you getting the most out of your phone’s camera? Whether you’re shooting for a Facebook post or for a professional editor, these simple tips will help maximize the quality of your cell phone videos.


I know it’s a little easier to shoot vertically, but when it comes to video, horizontal is the way to go. Movies are widescreen, TV is widescreen, and our eyes see in widescreen.

Shooting horizontally allows you to capture a larger image that can be used anywhere. Who wants to watch a little sliver of a video on their computer or TV screen? Even if you plan on using it for something like Instagram, it’s a better idea to film it widescreen and crop it down. That way, you’ll always have the full picture if you need it.


Some simple knowledge of how lighting works can go a long way. First of all, don’t shoot directly into a light source. If your subject is backlit, you’ll end up with nothing but a black silhouette. Instead, keep the light behind and above you. Think of a TV studio with the big lights above the cameras. Also, try to position yourself so the light is bright and even. Your video can look weird if half the shot is lit up and the other half is in darkness.


This one might seem obvious, but it’s important to keep your phone as even and steady as possible while filming. A quick jerk or twitch can completely ruin your video. Hold onto your phone with both hands and keep your elbows close to your body to get a stable image that you’ll be happy to save and share.


I know most phones make it easy to use the built in LED, but it’s really not an effective light source. If your subject is nearby and it’s truly dark, the built in light might be your best option. But if there’s some other light source around or you’re shooting something far away (a concert), then the LED will be useless other than to annoy the people around you.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you whip out your phone to take a video and you’ll be surprised by how much better it comes out!