Who needs a video camera when you've got one in your pocket? Here are our tips & tricks for taking great video. Once you're done, be sure to upload your video to share with us!

Want some next level video tips? Go here.

  1. Clean your lens
    This one is obvious but not everyone remembers to check.
     
  2. Check your settings
    Make sure you're filming at 1080p with 30 frames per second.

    On android, video settings are usually right inside the main camera app, either tucked behind the settings gear wheel or accessible via a toggle button. Apple, however, has these options in the main settings menu. You have to back out of the camera app, go into Settings, scroll down to Photos & Camera, and then scroll down to the Camera section.
     
  3. Shoot horizontal, not upright

     
  4. Stay steady & smooth Lock your elbows into your body to help steady the camera, so you don't get the Blair Witch project effect. Want to move your camera? Keep your legs as a base (don't move them) and just move your upper body with your elbows continuously tucked in. If you're filming yourself, use a tripod or stand your phone up on a table top (use a drinking glass or something else you can lean the phone against). 
  5. Lighting matters
    Outside: Filming at high-noon has some of the most harsh light (read: shadows on faces). Try to film during early morning or just before sunset. Make sure your back is to the sun when filming. If you're the one in front of the camera, you should be facing toward the sun.

    Inside: Overhead lighting can also produce some harsh results (more shadows on faces), so try to film in a room with plenty of natural light. Position yourself or your subject near a window (again, in the morning or late afternoon) for pretty light. If you don't have a space that fits this bill, purchase a cheap ring light that can attach to your phone. (Amazon has plenty of options.)
     
  6. Sound matters Background noise is super easy to pick up, so try to film in an area that is quiet! You can also use an external microphone that can attach directly to your phone.
  7. Know what's possible (and what's not)
    The zoom feature on your phone reduces the quality of your video. Get closer to your subject instead of relying on zoom. They should fill the frame, and for a more visually interesting scene, put him or her slightly off center. (Or position yourself in this way if filming yourself.)

    Be aware of available memory and battery life. Video takes up a lot of both.