5 tips for making stellar iPhone videos

With less access to equipment during the COVID-19 crisis, communicators can still get by with their trusty smartphone.


The past few months, it’s been difficult for videographers to be on-site to shoot video for projects and clients, considering current health and safety precautions. That’s forced us to get creative when seeking video footage, such as asking subjects to film video themselves.

And often the only option for shooting is an iPhone.

As a videographer who has been editing many iPhone videos recently, I’ve made a few notes to myself about easy ways to make amateur videos look professional and more polished that require minimal investment.

Here are five tips for shooting iPhone video that will help your video editor deliver a high-quality product:

1. Use a tripod. They’re inexpensive and make your videos look much more professional. If you absolutely cannot buy a tripod (or your tripod didn’t arrive in the mail in time), at least prop your phone up on a stable surface. Having a video that isn’t wobbly not only adds to the viewing experience, but it also makes it easier to edit if using crossfades between cuts because the frame stays consistent.

2. Check out portable mics while you’re shopping for a tripod. Again, you don’t need to invest in anything fancy or expensive. A simple lavalier mic that plugs into your phone will do wonders for capturing audio while keeping background noise down. And it saves loads of editing time, too, when editors don’t have to try and filter out those background noises.

3. Invest in a gimbal or stabilizer, if you have some extra funds to invest in making your videos look even better. If you’re shooting moving video instead of stationary interviews, a handheld stabilizer is going to make your work look flawless for about $100, and give it that cinematic look most people like.

4. Provide clear instructions and helpful tips for those filming video. Ahead of filming, send those who will be filming iPhone video instructions to help them get the best shot. Simple advice like “incorporate the rule of thirds,” “be aware of headspace,” “wipe off your camera lens,” and “don’t use zoom” can make a huge difference in quality.

5. Consider how and where audiences will view the video. If it will be shared via social media, audiences are more likely to watch on their cell phones, whereas YouTubers may watch more videos from their laptops or desktops. Identifying where the video will be shared helps determine whether to shoot it in portrait or landscape. If the video may be viewed across multiple platforms, ask the person shooting it to do two takes—one horizontal and one vertical.

While iPhone video may not be ideal in all instances, it’s not difficult to shoot usable, professional video if those filming follow simple tips and have some basic tools that make a big difference.

It’s easier than you may think to take iPhone video from amateur to awesome.

Lauren Prettyman is an account manager and videographer and Inspire PR Group, a national public relations firm based in Columbus, Ohio.

Looking for more tips on storytelling and branded content? Join us for our Brand Storytelling During a Crisis Virtual Conference Aug. 4.


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