As we’ve seen over the past few years, video content is key for social media success. When it comes to creating video content, know that your mobile device will likely have sufficient technical specs to capture and execute exactly what you need for most social or digital content. Don’t worry about fussing with a professional camera – don’t even worry about a professional editing software if you’re just starting out! If you’re interested in creating your own video content, then you’re in the right place. The tips in this post will help you execute mobile videography that’s on par with the pros.
As stated earlier, it’s likely that your mobile device will be able to capture video comparable to professional gear. For vertical social media content (such as TikTok videos or Instagram Reels), recording on a mobile device will enhance your content by making it feel more native to the platform, allowing your brand to be perceived as authentic and on-trend.
Additionally, depending on the content and location of your filming, you may need a light source to enhance your videos. A go-to for vloggers would be a ring light. However, a continuous light used by photographers and videographers is also an option – just make sure to purchase a portable one if you plan on shooting on-location.
One key tip on the pre-production side of things is to create a shot list of the subjects and angles you’re hoping to capture. Start with a general idea of what you want your final video concept to look like and build scenes from there. You should also take a look at video content that is in the realm of what you’d like to produce yourself. Take note of the videography utilized and try your best to use those techniques for your own project.
As a mobile videography expert, the most important settings that you want to pay attention to are your format and frame rate. For format, always select the highest resolution offered by your device. For the newest iPhone, this is going to be 4K. This will ensure that your image quality is as crisp as possible!
Selecting your frame rate will depend on how you are shooting. A higher frame rate generally means more crisp and detailed resolution. For handheld videography, you’ll want to select a lower frame rate such as 30 or 24 fps (frames per second). If, on the other hand, you’re using a tripod to support your mobile device while filming, feel free to bring the frame rate up higher to 60 fps. A high frame rate of 60 will be more suitable for when the camera is still and not picking up any additional shakiness (while on a tripod, for example).
As far as dimensions go, vertical video is the go-to for most social media content these days. Lucky for us mobile videographers, most devices will automatically record in the 9:16 aspect ratio used by popular content platforms such as TikTok. However, if creating video content for a platform such as YouTube, you can go ahead and turn your device horizontally and record the “old-fashioned” way.
Your mobile videography style is something that will progress with practice and experimentation. The amount of stylistic choices you can make for a single shoot is limitless, but I’ve condensed some brief tips to get you started.
First off, you’ll want to experiment with both quick cuts and long pans. Lots of trending videos will flip through clips rather quickly, but depending on your subject that may not be appropriate.
Similarly, you’ll likely want to test varying angles and shot sizes in order to captivate your viewers and make your content visually engaging. Try filming from high up, low down, and in between. If there is an opportunity to gain height, climb on up there and see how it looks (as long as it’s safe, of course)! In general, you’ll want to shoot a mix of wide shots and closeups/macro shots to keep a sense of variety in your video content.
Transitions are a great way to level up your mobile videography and “wow” your viewers with impressive visuals. For example, you can move from one scene to another by “tapping” a product or hand to the camera, by quickly panning upwards and back downwards into the new scene, or by panning to an object that obstructs the scene. As with most things creative, YouTube will be your best friend on your quest to elevate your mobile video transitions.
When it’s all said and done, the tools and techniques you end up using will ultimately depend on the concept you are executing. When filming and editing, continually play around with the length of your cuts until you find a style that works for your brand and the specific content piece you’re executing. Some videos, for example, may be stronger using just one angle and little variation between cuts. Creating a shot list ahead of time will ensure you make the most of your time filming.
Post-production for video content can seem daunting at first. But, have no fear! As video content continues to become ever-more popular on various platforms, so does the ease and efficiency of video editing software.
Those who are brand new to video editing might want to start out with beginner-friendly mobile video editing apps such as InShot or Mojo. Those who already have some design experience or who are interested in learning about more advanced techniques can use desktop software such as Adobe Premiere Pro. As mentioned earlier, YouTube will be your best friend as you work towards fine-tuning your video editing skills.
Whatever route you choose, know that with enough time and patience your shooting and editing will become faster, and your content will become stronger. And who knows, you might just love the entire process more and more each time you tackle a new project!
Written By: Christina Billias, Creative Producer