Most of us have a video camera in our pockets these days, but not everyone knows how best to use it. A little bit of planning ahead goes a long way. Here’s how to shoot great video at home and significantly improve the look of your smartphone shots.
First, place the phone at, or slightly above, eye level and about two to three feet in front of you. Use a stand or mount if possible, but otherwise, prop it up to the appropriate level using books or a shelf. Make sure that the phone is secure and will not tip over or fall.
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If you are using a stand, stabilize it with weights if it seems like it might be shaky. It’s especially important to pay attention to this if you are shooting outside in windy conditions.
Make sure you are looking into the lens of the camera. If you’re shooting in selfie mode, the camera is located at the top of most phones. Also, make sure you are not covering the microphone with your hand if you are holding the phone.
NOTE: iPhones default to shooting in “High Efficiency” mode, which should be set to “Most Compatible” depending on the computer and editing program you will be using. If you’re unsure, change it to “Most Compatible” to be safe.
Creating depth in a shot will make your background look much better. This means leaving a lot of empty space behind you (aka don’t stand right against a wall). If you are shooting in tight spaces, shoot diagonally to get the most out of your room.
If your background is fairly wide, make sure there is nothing inappropriate in your background. Also make sure there is nothing in front of you in your foreground.
Natural light is great, but you can also use lights to brighten the shot.
Try to face the source of light as squarely as possible in order to get a nice even light on your face. Also, try to avoid any shadows.
If you are using an external light, you should position it directly behind and above your phone or camera for the evenest distribution of light. If you can set the color temperature of the light, you can usually match indoor lighting by lowering the range closer to 3300.
That’s your quick guide to on how to shoot great video at home!