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Tips for Recording Yourself on Video with a Smartphone

1. Find the perfect spot

  • Pick a quiet location with plenty of sunlight or indoor lighting with a non-distracting background.

  • If you’re going to sit down for the video, use a chair that doesn’t swivel or squeak.

  • Avoid spots where there’s an echo.


2. Pay attention to lighting

  • Ideally, film yourself in daylight.  If you’re indoors, position yourself so that the windows are facing you.

  • Avoid overhead lighting and backlight.

  • Don’t use your phone’s flash.

  • Clip-on ring lights are also a good option.

  • If you’re indoors and there isn’t enough natural light, you could position two lamps at 45 degree angles from the front of your face and place your smartphone in the middle.


3. Technical specifications

  • Resolution: select either 1080 HD or 4K.

  • Frame rate: Most videos are shot at the standard 30 fps. For smoother footage, you can select 60 fps.

  • If you’re not sure about these specs, then don’t worry. The “default setting” should work just fine.


4. Set up your smartphone

  • To avoid shaky footage, don’t hold your phone in your hand while recording yourself.

  • Use a tripod with a smartphone clip and set your device up on a steady surface.

  • Keep smartphone camera at eye level. The results will not do you justice if your device is looking up or down at you.


5. Shoot in landscape mode

  • A video shot in landscape format fits well into most social media newsfeeds and looks good on video hosting platforms like YouTube and on our church Projectors.

  • Horizontal videos are generally more aesthetically pleasing. If you upload a video shot vertically on platforms that are more landscape friendly, your video will have vertical bars on the sides.


6. Pay attention to composition

  • Don’t keep the camera so close that your face fills up the entire frame.

  • If you’re talking directly to your “audience”, look into the camera and position yourself in the center. This creates symmetry.

  • Don’t forget about the headroom. Typically, you don’t want the top of your head leaving the frame.

  • Don’t use the digital zoom feature. You’ll lose details and appear pixilated.

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