This week I have been editing some client provided video in to a string of customer testimonials. Video is great for web sites. Most people are visual and would rather watch a video than read through pages of text.

The client filmed most of the video using their Android phone. Thankfully they used the camera in the horizontal format to capture a wide screen type image. But some videos were recorded by the clients themselves and in several cases were recorded in a vertical format by holding an iPhone in an upright manner just as you would when making a phone call.

Modern iPhones and Android phones and tablets are capable of recording very good quality video but PLEASE PLEASE Please when recording, use the horizontal format!!!

A light hearted video explaining why… There’s so much more to see when filming horizontally…

Tips for using your phone as a video camera

  1. Use a tripod to steady the phone. If you search on ebay there are numerous small and low cost smartphone tripods that cost less than £10. If you don’t have a tripod then simply prop the phone up against something sturdy.
  2. Use natural light. Go outside, or sit by a window. Often a window can produce strong side light producing strong shadows. Try to reflect some light back on to your subject with a white bed sheet or large light paper sheets. Also avoid a very bright day. We may love them but the camera can have problems exposing the image correctly.
  3. If outside be aware of any noise that may be present. Often you get used to the outdoor drone that is modern towns and cities and don’t notice it. This background noise can be picked up by the microphone and make it much more obvious. Also cars driving by, police sirens, a neighbour cutting their grass, etc.
  4. Speak more loudly and clearer than you normally do. Often phone microphones are not very sensitive and your subject can sound quiet or distant.
  5. If talking straight to camera, always leave 3 or 4 seconds at the start and end of your recording. Look straight to camera and count in your head, then start talking. When finished, carry on looking straight at camera and count to 5 then move. This enables the video to be edited better and if needed titles and other video to be edited together.
  6. Don’t take deep breaths just prior to speaking. Relax and be yourself. Have a moist mouth as a dry mouth can produce strange sounds that are picked up my the microphone that you would not normally hear.
  7. Lastly… Film horizontally!