7 tricks for shooting professional-quality video with your phone

October 6, 2017

You don’t need a fancy camera to create quality video. Your smart phone camera has the capability to take amazing shots – if you know how to use it properly. Here are just a few tips and tricks from the experts at Yours.co on how to get professional-quality video using your phone:

  1. Clean your camera lens.

Before you shoot, clean your camera lens with a microfiber cloth or moistened cotton swab. When you remove all the dust and dirt that accumulates on the glass, it can drastically increase the video quality. Do not use household cleaners or other chemicals. According to the New York Times, “these can damage the screen and other parts of the handset.”

  1. Shoot horizontally, not vertically.

If you want to improve the overall viewing experience, shoot horizontally and not vertically. It may feel more natural to hold your phone upright, but the end result won’t look as good on a widescreen TV or computer monitor. When you record horizontally, you don’t get the black bars on the sides of the image.

Vertical video:

Horizontal video:

  1. Choose good lighting.

Bad lighting ruins everything. Choose your location wisely. Your ideal filming spot should be brightly lit. Avoid places where the lighting changes quickly. You want it to be consistent. Make sure the light is in front or on top of the subject, not behind or below, so you don’t get any weird shadows. Never point the camera directly at the light.

  1. Hold your phone steady.

Shaky images are hard to view. If you want great video, then you need steady shots. Use two hands and keep your elbows near your body to control your movement. If you have a hard time staying still, you can also use a small phone tripod (like this Amazon bestseller).

Photo Credit: Amazon

  1. Do not zoom.

Resist the urge. Do not, under any circumstances, use the zoom feature! It lowers the overall quality of the video, and you end up with pixelated images. If you want a close-up view of your subject, move your body closer to it.

  1. Set the exposure and focus.

Most smartphones automatically adjust the exposure and focus to help give you the best shot possible. However, if you don’t like what you’re seeing, you can tap the subject on your screen and manually lock the focus and exposure. You can also use 3rd party apps to help manually control your camera settings.

  1. Edit your videos.

After you’ve taken all the footage that you need, edit your videos on your computer or phone using an editing app. If you’re not sure which one to use, check out Hootesuite’s list of “The 11 Best Video Editing Apps You Must Use in 2017.” Editing is a great way to add dimension and interest to your videos.