5 Tips For Recording Video From Your Smartphone


Today, the smartphone right in your pocket can be incredibly helpful when it comes to capturing any moment in action. With a little practice and these tips, you can start recording quick, engaging videos for social media, all from your phone. 

Landscape or Portrait?

When choosing how you'll be filming, you first need to consider where you plan to post the video. If you're posting videos to Snapchat or Instagram 'Stories,' you'll want to record in portrait orientation. This is also common practice when recording yourself and posting on Facebook and Instagram as this format also looks best on mobile (where the majority of people are watching video).


It's All About The Lighting

Without good lighting, especially on a smartphone, the quality of your video will suffer. With that said, the best source of lighting is your friend, mother nature. But if you're indoors, try to have as many light sources as possible. PRO TIP: Set up your camera so that light comes from behind it to avoid overexposure and lens flare.

Nice and Steady

Keeping your smartphone camera steady is crucial for the best quality video. If you prefer stationary shots, consider using a tripod for the ultimate steady and clear photo. Don't have a tripod? Improvise! Try to find something to support your smartphone on, such as a railing or table. If you're all about mobility and taking quick shots when the moment is right, release the shutter only when your hands are steady. 


Crop (Don't Zoom)

Our smartphone cameras are equipped with some awesome features at our disposal, but the zoom function is one we shouldn't use. Why? Unfortunately, our phones don't have fancy lenses. Instead, smartphone cameras use a digital zoom that essentially guesses the details of the image and reducing the quality dramatically. Instead of zooming in, move the camera closer, or just crop your enlarged photo later. 

Keep it Short

SQUIRRELL! Whether it's due to a short attention span or not, video needs to get to its point quicker than ever. Studies reveal that videos have just 10 seconds to grab an audience without a dropoff in engagement. Twitter videos are capped at 30 seconds, Instagram at 60-second maximum and Snapchat videos are capped at 10 seconds. So do your best to keep them short, sweet, and to the point.

Visual Content That Works

Everything you have ever wanted, is
Everything you have ever wanted, is

We've said it before and we'll say it again, visual content is crucial to social media success. Data and analytics have proven that adding visual content to Twitter and Facebook posts increases engagement, shares, retweets, SEO, etc. And psychology has proven that people process visuals way faster and retain more information when looking at visuals. So what kind of visuals make for good content? We are here to show you some examples!

1. Infographics

Infographics are one of the most shared visual contents out there. They are those really cool charts/diagrams that explain information visually. No matter your industry, making an infographic is a fun and visually appealing way to share information with your audience.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 11.57.36 AM
Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 11.57.36 AM

Here are 3 great and free websites you can use to make infographics with ease:



2. Multiple Pictures

According to, posts with multiple images have a greater chance of going viral and frequently get over 100,000 shares. Use this type of post to tell a story or to make comparisons with pictures. Posts with multiple photos on Facebook also receive more interaction than posts with a single photo because users must click on the individual photos to expand them. Here are a couple examples where we've used multiple images for Facebook posts.

Tip: Use the free website to combine multiple images into one large image (as seen below with the combined Facebook posts), which is a great tool for blogs, Pinterest, etc.


3. Videos

Facebook, Twitter & Instagram all have automatic video capabilities and your audience on these networks love videos. Even with the rise of Snapchat, short videos are popular among millennials. You don't need a camera crew or actors to create a video. Just shoot something short and simple that could tell a great story, show a behind-the-scenes clip, or show your audience how something in your business or industry is made.

Tip: Use an app or Instagram filter to spice up your video with slow-mo or black & white. Hyperlapse is an Instagram app that speeds up video shot at normal speed. GIFs are another great and easy way to share a short video; add a funny GIF to your posts or create your own (we've written a blog about using & making GIFs, so check it out). We love this example of Birdsong Brewing showing how they can their beers through a short video!

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 1.15.10 PM
Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 1.15.10 PM

Canning fresh #JalapenoPale cans today! #CanDoWillDo

A video posted by Birdsong Brewing Company (@birdsongbrewing) on Jun 18, 2015 at 7:38am PDT

4. Inspiring Quote Cards

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 12.44.40 PM
Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 12.44.40 PM

Social media is a great place to throw in some inspiring words. In the midst of a constant flow of negativity sometimes seen in social media, reading something inspiring or funny will brighten the day of your followers. Find an inspirational quote on Pinterest, or use one of the many free apps and websites make your own original quote art. (Speaking of being original, the photo below was found on this article. but I thought it fit well for this blog.)

Here are 2 free websites/apps to inspire you to inspire:



5. Informative/Relevant Screenshots

Screenshots have a bad connotation when it comes to Snapchatting and blasting other's text messages to the public. However, screenshots are proof. They can be used for the good to show a sneak peek of something or share a good review. We use screen shots a lot on our blog to use original examples of our work, show data & analytics, creating step-by-step directions and even annotating them for clarity. By using screen shots, you can use real-life examples to prove a point. Here is a screenshot of screenshots on our blog, or as we like to call it, Screenshot Inception.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 1.03.30 PM
Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 1.03.30 PM

What other fun visual content have you found that really works?  Tweet at us @socialapemktg and let us know!

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