10 Powerful Tips to Shooting Next-Level Phone Videos


From capturing our favorite memories to creating strategic videos and even filmmaking, people have been avid fans of mobile videography. While not everyone can afford to invest in high-end cameras, almost all of us have a smartphone on the go. We carry them in our pockets as mobile creativity tools aside from being communication tools, wherever and whenever. 

Video shooting has greatly evolved in today’s age. Several years ago, a professional filmmaker wouldn’t even consider mobile videography to make a film. But fast forward a few years later and there’s a film shot entirely using an iPhone. American film director Steven Soderbergh was the man behind the project “Unsane”. 

Top 10 Techniques on Mobile Video Shooting

Without a doubt, we all want to utilize our handy phones to make videos. So we bring you some helpful guides to mobile videography you can use to unleash the best quality video through your smartphone. 

Shoot in landscape mode.

When trying to make videos using your smartphone, it is important to do it in landscape orientation. You would probably agree that two vertical bars on the sides of video footage are not really good, and can be annoying to the viewers. Generally, landscape videos are more aesthetically appealing and are pleasing to watch on the big screen. Plus, you will be able to capture a wider area in the video. Always, always remember to orient your phone horizontally.

Master lighting.

A well-lit video gives a good impression of every cinematic scene. Lighting sets the mood and enhances the overall ambiance. It enhances your subject and evokes emotions. Being mindful of what the source of your main light is will help you greatly in video shooting.

However, one thing that you should carefully consider in mobile videography is backlighting. As much as possible, we try to avoid heavily backlit settings when we make videos. For instance, your subject should not have a window or light source behind him/ her as this will make the subject silhouetted.

Use both hands when shooting.

This may seem unimportant but using both hands when you make videos has a big difference. Phone lenses typically have optical image stabilization already so they are stable in themselves. However, using both hands produces steadier and more focused footage.

Proper use of zoom settings

A smooth digital zoom is hard to pull off – professional photographers will agree on this. Fortunately, our smartphones now have an “optimal zoom” feature which allows us to zoom smoothly without losing so much detail. In order to keep the quality vivid, you will need a device that offers decent optical zoom when video shooting. If your device has more than one camera lens at the back, one of the extra lenses is often a designated “telephoto” lens. 

Meanwhile, if you don’t have a smartphone with such functionality, you can accessorize your gadget with clip-on lenses. To maintain good quality and highlight the details, you can simply stay as close to the subject as possible.

Utilize the time-lapse feature.

Time-lapse photography is a good cinematographic technique used in capturing a sequence of motion such as city traffic and cloudy skies. This features a dramatic time manipulation so that action moves faster than in real-time. Events that would normally take hours, days, months, or years to shoot can be viewed at a faster rate – this is the magic of time-lapse.

If you want to try this when you make videos, this is the good news for you: This is already available for mobile videography since some smartphones already have this preinstalled in the camera app. In case your phone doesn’t have this, there are also some apps in the Play store for time-lapse.

Practice smooth video shooting.

Optical image stabilization is one of the key advancements in a smartphone’s camera features. It significantly reduces the shaking when the device is handheld (even with both hands). It functions well but if you are moving to follow a subject, you might want to use a physical gimbal to make the captured motion even smoother.

Enhance mobile videography through accessories.

Frankly, mobile phones are very handy but we must admit that they lack finer controls and other settings. They are clearly not as good as the cameras made by Canon, Nikon, or Sony despite the constant improvements. So to compensate for the features and functionalities that these powerhouses provide, you can consider accessorizing to reveal the full potential of your mobile’s camera. You can invest in USB mics and a tripod for better outputs. 

Amplify and improve your video’s audio.

Most professional videographers say that good quality audio is relevant to produce a powerful video. Amazingly, microphones on smartphones have greatly improved through constant innovations. Further, Bluetooth microphones are now available to make your footage more audible and outstanding.

An audio trick you can try is using a second mobile phone and placing it near your subject. You can always merge or sync the audio and the video later on during video editing.

Your “perspective” matters.

Where you direct your camera’s lens and from what angle you try to shoot the video greatly matter. More so, when you make videos for whatever purpose, consider how the point of view will help you tell the story. For instance, vlogs utilize selfie videos to connect and appeal to the audience. This establishes an emotional connection between the subject and the viewers. Setting the visual perspective right also helps in controlling the mood of the footage. 

Edit your video.

The conclusion of video recording boils down to this– video editing. We are aware that the finishing touches are frequently done in your fancy desktop software. Yet, today’s modern smartphones allow you to make some hardcore editing right at your fingertips!

To make your video more appealing, it is important to understand video content consumption among different generations. This helps you identify how you are going to edit your video – the mood, the colors, etc. From basic trimming of clips to adding transitions, titles, subtitles, captions, and countless adjustments and visual effects – these are now available in iOS and Android!

These guidelines we gave you play an essential role in the art of video storytelling. Bonus tips would be cleaning your lens and checking your camera settings prior to the actual video shooting. What are you waiting for? Time to step up and impress your viewers using this handful of tricks in your sleeves! 


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