DIY Video Shooter

Here are some simple rules to follow for
shooting video with your cell phone.

DIY Cell Phone Video

As someone who shoots a good amount of video for clients every week I really want to tell you that you need to put down that cell phone and hire us to do that video instead. 2 years ago this was basically true if you wanted to use that video for anything other than facebook. Today however, with cell phone cameras as robust as they are, it just is not the case. So instead of of telling you to stop shooting video on that cell phone I am saying go ahead do it - but hire us to do the editing instead. Editing is where the art is they say and editing is the difference between a good video and a great video that sells. 

So with you shooitng in mind, and or team constantly wincing as we see DIY shooters making some pretty basic mistakes, we put togethe this simple cheat sheet to help you shoot video we can edit. 

For my videographer friends - obviously there are exceptions to everything stated here. This is a simple cheat sheet for people to shoot simple usable video. Don't hate.

For our DIY Shooters here some simple tips to keep in mind while capturing video on your cell phone. 

Always - 

  • Always Shoot with the phone horizontal. The exception to this is if you are shooting tik toks or instagram stories. 
  • Always upload footage directly from the device or SD card to Google Drive. 
    • Emailing, texting, and air dropping degrades footage and images. 
  • Always shoot in 4k
  • Always shoot interviews at 24 FPS
  • Always Shoot B-Roll at 60 FPS (this allows to make it slow mo)
  • Always shoot interviews with the subject looking off camera (instead of at it) 

Other things to note -

  • Device - Shoot with a newer phone. Iphone X or better (12 is best right now) or any of the Samsung Galaxy phones from the last couple years. Rule of thumb if it is older than 2018 it's probably not the right device. 
  • Interview videos should be shot from a tripod (if you have one), you want very stable footage.
  • B-Roll should use some sort of stabilization. Seriously those handheld stabilizers for phones are so inexpensive it is ridiculous.
  • Get Closer - Especially B-roll. 
  • Shoot to edit - It is really easy to overshoot and now you are spending more time than you should editing.
  • Aspect Ratio - Use 16:9 not 4:3


Audio quality is probably more important than video quality when it comes to interviews. You need to either upgrade sound equipment, shoot somewhere very quiet, or both. Sound pollution will RUIN your video, make it unwatchable, and waste a lot of time. 

For Interviews a lapel mic is best but shotgun mics are also ok. You’ll need to do a little research to find the best audio capture device for your phone.

This is not all the answers but for most of you shooting some videos for your website or social profiles - this will help. 

The two biggest sins I see are orientation (holding your phone vertical when it should be horizontal) and audio. Audio is so important. People will watch a video that has shaky footage but audio that is muffled, has a ton of hum, or is non existent will lead to instant click aways. 

Have a question or comment? Shoot us an email. Oh and if you want to download this little cheat sheet - click below. 

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