5 Tips for Getting Great Video from your Phone

5 Tips for Getting Great Video from your Phone

With graduation season upon us, and wedding season right around the corner, we thought we’d share our top tips on shooting videos on your phone.
Andee Wilcott


Go Horizontal

1. Go Horizontal

This one should go without saying, but ALWAYS shoot video in landscape rather than portrait mode. We view the world horizontally, not vertically. Landscape videos look best when playing on a laptop, tv, tablet, or phone. NEVER hold your phone vertically when shooting video. 

Frame it Up

2. Frame It Up

Be aware of the composition of your shot. You should aim to follow the “rule of thirds”. Imagine dividing the frame into a grid of 3 squares across and down. Place your subject where those lines intersect to create more interesting compositions. If the subject is looking in a direction, let’s say to the right, place that person in or toward the left third of the frame to give them “lead room.” Also be aware of what is going on around and behind your subject, so you don’t end up with a streetlight or tree growing out of your subject’s head! 

Keep it Steady

3. Keep It Steady

If possible, use a tripod or stabilizer when shooting to keep a steady shot. If you don’t have a tripod, then you need to set yourself up to be as stable as possible. Stand with your feet square and hip-width apart. Keep your elbows down and close to your chest, and use both hands to hold the phone. If you need to move (pan) the shot, rotate your torso rather than swinging your arms. Also check to see if your phone has any stabilizing software or download a video stabilizing app. 

Light it Right

4. Light It Right

If you’re outdoors and it’s a bright day, try to keep your subject out of direct sunlight. If that’s not an option, position your subject with the sun in front of them. Do not position your subject in front of the sun. The intense backlight will make your subject appear too dark and wash out the background. If you are in a low-light situation, your camera’s flash will only illuminate about 3 feet in front of you. Try adjusting your camera’s settings or manually select the focus area (touch focusing) so the camera has an easier time auto-correcting for the shot. 

Trim It Up

5. Trim It Up

Most smartphones have some basic editing features, so before you publish your video, clean it up a bit by trimming the beginning and ending so your viewers can jump right into the action. You can also try out other editing features like transitions, adding titles or other effects. Have fun with it!! 

Plan it right

Bonus Tip:

From producer Kristen Flynn at KFP Media, “Regardless of how a video is shot (iPhone vs professional crew with state of the art equipment) the most important thing is the message because at the heart of every great video is the story. Knowing how to balance each element - compelling footage, strong narrative, graphics that enhance, music that evokes the wanted emotion - is where KFP truly excels.”