With the advancement in cell phones, everyone has a video camera in the pocket at all times. This means you will probably try to make a short home video at some point in the future. Whether it’s a short film of your kids or a family celebration, there are some basic tips to keep in mind to improve the quality of your home video.

Tip # 1

Hold your phone horizontally not vertically. While you can take a picture either vertically or horizontally, you can’t do the same for video. Since computer monitors are landscape orientation, you need to shoot horizontally so your footage will fill the entire screen. If you take a vertical video, your footage will appear as a small vertical strip in the middle of the screen.

Tip # 2

Find the best lighting and avoid backlighting. When the footage is dark, you can see every detail on your subject and your video will look outdated and poor quality. Try and find an area with good light or if you have the equipment, set up some additional lights. Make sure the source of light isn’t behind your subject otherwise you will not be able to see their face clearly but will instead just see an outline of their body.

Tip # 3

Frame your shot well. To frame your shot, you should use the rule of thirds. This is a guideline for composing visual images and is used for every type of creative work from designs and paintings to photographs and videos. The rule indicates that an image should be divided into nine equal parts with 2 equally spaced horizontal lines and 2 equally spaced vertical lines placed on the image. Important elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections to create a visually interesting composition. In your video, position your subject along these lines when you frame your shot. This rule doesn’t need to apply exclusively to your subject. When filming outside, you can align your horizon with one of these lines to give you a more interesting and better composed shot. The image below shows how to implement the rule of thirds.

rule_of_thirds_photo

Tip #4

Stabilize your shot. Shaky footage isn’t too appealing to an audience and will distract from the topic or person you are featuring. To make your shot smoother, you can rest your phone on a table, lean against a wall, or simply take a knee. If you have a tripod available to hold your camera, that will give you the best results.

Tip #5

Do not zoom! Phone cameras have come a long way, but one thing to avoid is the zoom. Camera phones only have digital zooms which means they are cropping down your original footage, resulting in a pixelated image. If you want a closer shot, then you’re better off doing it the old fashion way and moving closer to the subject.

If you’re looking for professional video, visit our video production page to find out how The Studio can help you capture your next project or life event.