The Holidays are rapidly approaching and many of us use our cell phones as the go-to recording device for special events. At Croom Video Services, we’ve recently had a number of projects where we’ve converted phone video to digital files or DVDs. The quality of cell phone video can vary wildly due to the large variety of phones available today. However, there are a few basic recording techniques that everyone should follow.
Here are 6 tips on how to make sure that your holiday cell phone videos live up their highest potential:
1. Shoot Horizontally!
Most people make this cardinal mistake. All cell phone videos should be shot horizontally. Although shooting vertically may seem like the best idea at the time, when you watch the video on a TV or computer it will look narrow and cut off. Remember, most TV’s are wider than they are higher, so make sure you shoot the same way.
2. Steady as She Goes!
The slightest jiggle or tremor can show up in your recording. Try to maintain good posture, and stand with your feet slightly apart for balance. Brace your elbows at your sides to minimize movement, and use two hands when shooting.
3. Light it Up!
Lighting is extremely important when shooting video. Anyone who has tried to take a video on their phone at night probably knows this. Even poor indoor lighting can compromise quality, which is why if you’ve shooting video on a bright and sunny day, the video probably ended up looking much better than the one you took in that dimly lit restaurant the other night. Try to get as much light as possible in front of your subject.
4. Check your shot!
This may seem obvious to some, but many cell phone videos have come out blurry because the shooter didn’t wipe the lens before pressing record. Or maybe they didn’t realize that their finger was covering the corner of the lens, resulting in an unsightly pink blob in the corner of their shot. This is an easy mistake to make, and is something that everyone with a smart phone should keep in mind. Take the time to examine all aspects of how your subject looks on your camera phone BEFORE you hit record.
5. Audio is important.
You might think that the video of your child’s first words sounds great while recording it, but when you view it, the audio sounds muffled or distant. Being aware of where the microphone is on your phone can be just as important as knowing where the camera lens is. Try to make sure you don’t accidentally cover the microphone, and try to get as close to the subject that you are filming as possible. Lastly, if possible, reducing the background noise can make or break how the video turns out. If you have music or TV playing in the background, turn it off or mute it until the video is completed.
6. Check Battery and Space
Video recording uses much more power and space than photos. The latest phones record in HD and now even in 4K. Make sure your batteries are charged and that you have enough space to store all the video you want to record. Then make sure to off-load it from your camera to free up space.