Tips From the Editor: Shooting Great Footage

Posted by Katie Fagan on Jul 16, 2015 11:26:00 AM


Want to know the greatest way to make the most of your VidMob experience? Start by giving your editors the best possible video content! Below are the top tips straight from our editors on how to capture professional video with your smartphone.

If you’re shooting for Snapchat or other vertically-favored social feeds, stay vertical. Shooting horizontally will force your audience to flip their phones in order to view your content in full (read: annoying!). But if you’re looking forward to showing off your videos on devices other than your phone—like on YouTube or on a TV or computer screen—vertical won’t look nearly as polished.

No Zoom!

Zooming significantly decreases the quality of the video’s image. Just like when you zoom while taking a photo, the image gets grainy and looks far less sharp than if you had just cropped the photo post-shot. Same with video. So if you’re hoping for a zoomed-in shot, simply mention it in your editor notes. That way your editor can maintain the quality of the content while still getting the shot you hoped for!


Unless you’re a Blair Witch Project super fan (unlikely!), stabilizing your smartphone will do wonders for your video quality. It will prevent image distortion which provides greater clarity and, of course, a better final product. So, if you’re not into the fancy, professional accessories available for stabilizing (although this one looks pretty awesome), then be sure to take advantage of flat surfaces when available. Or do your best to keep that hand steady.


Okay, this is a lot easier said than done. We understand. But if you have the choice, shooting in areas that have little to no background noise will help improve the sound quality so those moments come in as crystal clear as possible. Other ways to help get better sound? Invest in an accessory microphone or to get as close as you can to the subject. The only exception to this would be when you actually want background noise—like the sound of a stadium erupting after a touchdown or to show off a really fun party.


Lenses, spotlights, drones, sliders, GoPros, etc. are all super bennies as far as our editors are concerned. So if you’re feeling fancy, look into some of these upgrades to take your average smartphone to a professional camera.

Topics: video, editing, camera phones, shooting