Highlight Photography UK

Photography & Videography for the Business & Events Industries

Recording with your mobile phone

I have had quite a few requests recently to edit together videos that my clients have recorded on their mobile.

Here are six tips and tricks for you to follow when you're doing yours! Whether for professional use or just a fun video to make for your friends, I hope these guidelines can help you.

- Charlotte

Landscape Orientation

Well lit with no windows behind you

  • Ensure when making a recording, you do so with your device on its side (landscape) - this is very important as it allows us more to work with when editing. It also prevents the microphone of your device being blocked, which could reduce the audio quality of the recording.

  • Try to position your device at head height so that you’re not looking down at the camera.

  • Avoid recording handheld where possible, and if you do, avoid moving too much or too quickly. If you must record handheld, try to keep your hand steady, this is important as the video could end up wobbly and potentially make viewers feel sick!

  • Make sure you have your lights on if you are inside, avoid filming in direct sunlight if you are outside.

  • Make sure there isn’t a window or mirror behind you

  • Do not record with any “filters” enabled – this can make it tricky for us to edit!

  • If you know how to choose your camera settings on your phone, lock your exposure so it doesn’t keep changing as you move.

Framing- leave space around you

  • Ensure, as much as possible you are positioned in the middle of the picture, and try and stay there as much as you can.

  • Make sure that you leave a little space around you (including above your head), so that you don’t accidentally cut this out of the frame. This is also a great help for us when editing!

  • If you can, when indoors, film with a nice feature behind you/either side of you e.g. bookcase, photos, wallpaper, plants, so there isn't just a blank white wall.  This adds a little more interest, as well as location context to the video -  you could perhaps incorporate your company logo subtly here!

Record a few times and listen to tracks through headphones

  • If you have the option to use a plug in microphone, do so – this will help us greatly!

  • If you are able, do more than one version of the recording.

  • If we’re creating a performance video for you, and need to listen to a track to perform along to, ensure you listen to this through headphones rather than out loud. This gives us more opportunity to make you sound even better.

  • If you’re recording along to a track whilst playing an instrument and singing, please send us over versions of your recording with each element separated, as well as one with you singing and playing. This allows us to get the best results as we are able to mix the tracks separately.

Make sure you're in a quiet environment and listen back to your recording

  • When recording, as much as possible, make sure there is no background noise e.g. washing machines, other people speaking etc.

  • When you start recording, wait a couple of seconds before talking/singing. Do the same at the end.

  • Listen to the recording afterwards with the volume of your device set to maximum, check the sound isn’t too quiet or distorted/crackly (too loud).

    • If it is too quiet then try again, but move slightly closer to your device.

    • If it is too loud, try again, moving a little further away from your device.

Upload your high quality video using suitable file sharing services

  • Where possible, do not use messaging services such as WhatsApp / Apple Messenger / Facebook Messenger / etc to send your recording to us. These services reduce the quality of your video instantly without you knowing about it.

  • Send the video straight from your device using a file sharing service such as Google Drive, Drop Box, WeTransfer or OneDrive.

  • These are all free to send small files to another person. If you’re doing this as part of a group, you can even create a folder in Google Drive or Drop Box that everyone else can upload their videos to.

Need a hand with your recording? Please get in touch and I would be happy to help.