Here at J2, we are true believers when it comes to using video to get your message out. We also know that sometimes, a quick video from a phone or other personal device is all you need to get the job done. But even though your audience might forgive a few flaws, we want you to look great all the time! So below, we’ve listed a few things to keep in mind when you are shooting something yourself.
1. Shoot horizontally, not vertically
Unless you’re using Snapchat, there’s no reason to be shooting vertically. If you’re planning on viewing your video on a website, monitor, or any other device that’s not your smartphone, shooting horizontally lets your video take up the entire screen instead without having two black bars on either side of the frame.
2. Use some kind of “steady” device when possible
Nothing is worse than watching a shaky video (especially if you suffer from motion sickness)! Make it easy on yourself and invest in a “steady device” to avoid shaky video and keep your shots smooth and steady. Consider check out some phone accessories first!
3. Shoot in well lit areas
Make the lighting work for you. Whether you’re outdoors or indoors, find a position and location that lights your video evenly. If possible, shoot outdoor video when the sun is going down for the best lighting (it’s known as ‘golden hour’ for a reason!) and avoid standing directly in front of your light source.
4. Frame your shots
Center your subject matter! If your video is highlighting a new product, make sure it’s the focus of attention. If you’re filming a ribbon cutting for Facebook live, your focus needs to be the event displayed right in the middle of your screen. Try experimenting with your exposure settings on your smartphone by pressing and holding different parts of your screen to focus on your feature.
5. Allow some “head room” during interviews
Interviews and testimonials can add a lot to video. Remember the “rule of thirds” when recording an interview make sure your subject has a little looking room and the edge isn’t too close to their face. In a live event, make sure to allow some space in-between the top of their head and where the screen cuts off.
6. Back up videos right away
After doing all of that work – make sure you back it up! Take time to invest in a drive to store all of your video and hold on to it – you never know when something could go wrong or you might need a shot or two from a video you made a couple years ago. Do yourself a favor and store your video ASAP!