Being social today is about sharing stories on social media. And the trendiest way to do that, whether you are doing it for fun or as a business is through video.
Do you want your videos to stand out in a good way? Maybe you are not a professional video producer, but don’t let that stop you from “faking it ‘till you make it!” Or just do it!
Here are some tips to kick up the quality of your smartphone videos for your next Live video broadcast or “streamcast” no matter where you would like to share it.
To make a good video, it’s about your story. You want to take a moment before you begin—think about a beginning a middle and an end to your story. But if you want to know the secret sauce; it’s the message you convey that will make people share your video. There is usually a message, and sometimes a call to action to go with the message within your story. You don’t even have to state your message if it’s obvious in the way you share your story.
Audio: Perhaps you don’t have a professional microphone. Okay, most likely you don’t carry that around. However, you most likely carry your earbuds, right? The iPhone has a microphone built into the earbuds which you simply plug into your headphone jack and believe it or not, the quality of your audio for a live video will be highly improved by using that instead of not using it. Give it a test right now. Record three sentences without using it and the same three sentences using it. Play back the clips. You will notice one of them sounds better than the other. Also, the mic on your earbuds has a little noise cancellation that works great when you are outdoors. But indoors, it makes your voice sound richer and takes out the echo in the room.
Video: Turn your phone to the horizontal/landscape position. You may need to unlock your screen first. Let us see you like a pro. When you watch TV or a movie you watch them in this format. Psychologically, you are setting the mood as a pro for your viewers/audience. Let us see the “whole” picture.
Keep your hands off the camera unless you practice a lot and have a steady hand. Use a stabilizer if you can. You can lean on something to help keep your hands steady. Frame yourself putting your phone on something, using a gorilla grip tripod or a hand grip or hey, just set it on a bar stool or chair against something to prop it up, even your jacket will work. If you are going to hold it with your hand, then don’t move around too much. Be conscious about it.
Point the camera as a selfie and spin yourself around until you look good and the exposure of your shot is good. Turn on a light, even if it’s day time, and see if that helps. If there is a window and you are inside a room, face the window. Let the natural light shine on your face. If you are outdoors don’t stand with the sun behind you—stand with the sun at an angle to your face but not directly facing you because it can make you squint. Sometimes you can touch the screen to alter the exposure levels and if you hold it a couple of seconds it will lock the exposure and focus as well.
Cloudy days are actually best because the light is evenly distributed and not what we call “hard” and it will cause less shadows. Play around today with a flash light by shining it from above in front of a mirror and then from below. You will see shadows that will make your face creepy which is an effect. But if you use a more natural evenly distributed light like the light in a room, you will see less shadows and any shadows will be less dark. Think of the sun as a flash light.
Try not to be in the middle of the screen and put yourself a bit more to one side. Show your viewers part of your scene like those interviews you see on TV.
I personally enjoy editing my videos. There are apps to edit on the fly while you are out and about. iMovie is free for iPhone, your iPad and your Mac. There are free apps for Androids but they tend to add a watermark on your video. Or you can edit on your computer where you have more choices, even online…not just apps. You can add music you create using GarageBand which is also free from Apple. Android users have options too…just search for them and experiment with free apps.
Have you heard about B Roll? B Roll is basically the content that you share with your video to emphasize your point. Let’s say you are talking about the weather and it’s a beautiful day. Perhaps shoot some clips of flowers, maybe some sunshine beaming off the sprinkler watering the lawn, etc. You can do this during a live stream if you point the camera to some things around you that could represent what you are talking about and help make your point.
Have fun! If you are not having fun while making videos, it shows. If an artist does not enjoy creating art the result is lacking. Don’t make a video because you feel you have to just because everyone else is. Remember, you have a story to share and the message of your story is the secret that will make your video awesome and worth sharing.