Top 6 Tips for Shooting Great Video with your Smartphone

By on Nov 15, 2012

shooting video with smartphoneVideo should be a key part of every insurance producer’s sales toolkit. Smartphone video has improved in quality to the point that today’s phones allow you to take High Definition (HD) quality video quickly and easily. Insurance producers currently can use video to create great connections with people they can’t see in person, explain complicated processes to an underwriter, and demonstrate why certain coverage is important for a prospect to consider.

But, creating a good video is not as easy as pushing the start button. With the right knowledge, skills, and equipment anyone can transform your mobile device into a powerful video camera to record effective video.

Here are 6 key things to remember when using your cell phone to shoot video:

1. Audio is Key

People will put up with lower quality video with good quality audio much longer than the reverse. It is important to take steps to record the audio well. Unfortunately, the built-in microphone in most smartphones is not very high quality. And, it is susceptible to recording wind and other ambient noise.

If at all possible, record your video in a quiet place. You also might want to invest in an external microphone that plugs into your phone. There are a number of different types you can use to improve the audio quality of your video. Simply search for “audio microphone [Your smartphone brand]” to see listings of possible products.

2. Hold it Steady

As with all cameras (both still and video), a steady hand is the key to achieving a shot that’s free from blurring and distortion. Grip the phone with both hands when recording video, taking care to avoid blocking both the camera and the onboard mic with your fingertips. If you have a tough time limiting movement, consider resting your phone on a table to help add stability. You also can purchase a small tripod that will help steady the camera.

3. Shoot Horizontally

Most people are accustomed to holding their cell phone handset vertically, however, video recorded like this doesn’t look very good when it’s replayed on a horizontal computer screen or television. Once you’ve launched the video camera, hold the camera horizontally during all video shoots to maintain consistency between clips.

4. Get Closer

Since most mobile phones do not offer an optical video zoom feature, you’ll need to move closer to your subject to ensure your subject is clearly visible on the video. This also helps your viewers know exactly what the subject of your video is, since video that’s shot in widescreen can be confusing and filled with numerous subjects that distract from your main point.

5. Light it Up

Aim to record cell phone video in well-lit areas to prevent shadows and dark areas on the clip, however, don’t aim directly at any light source — this will make your video virtually impossible to watch. Because the sensors in cell phone cameras tend to be very basic they are unable to handle wide variations in lighting, so be sure to record in an area that has a steady light source.

6. Make Sure There’s Room

Video files are large and can quickly max out the onboard memory on your mobile phone. Before you begin recording, check how much memory is available on your device. If possible, expand the memory capacity of your phone by adding an optional memory card such as a micro-SD card.

By following these 6 tips, you’ll be able to record great videos using your cell phone or other mobile device.

What tips have you learned using your smartphone as a video camera? Share them with us in the comments section below.

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