Working from home and changing restrictions has made it difficult for businesses to engage professional photographers and videographers to produce high-quality content. Fortunately, our humble phone camera can be a great substitute if you and your team members need high-quality content for your website, social media pages, or collateral. Here are some quick tips you should use to take high-quality images and videos on your phone.
How to capture high-quality photos from home
1. Find good lighting
We all know that great lighting can vastly improve the quality of our photos, but it can also set the mood, atmosphere and tone of our content. Finding a plain white wall in your home or outside that receives plenty of natural light will work wonders for your photo. Avoid artificial light such as ceiling lights or lamps as they can create unflattering shadows and highlights. However, if this is the only light source you have access to, find a room with ceiling lights with slightly warmer tones. Try to minimise any lighting that produces shadows on your face.
2. Shoot vertically
If you’re taking a portrait, it’s best practice to shoot vertically (i.e. with your phone upright) to ensure the photo includes your head and shoulders with plenty of room around the edges. You can set up your phone on a tripod, stand, or a gimbal if you have one, to keep your phone steady. Need a phone holder? Check out these DIY ideas.
3. Keep your phone level
Keep your photo level and centred by adding gridlines on your phone’s camera. You can access this feature either in settings or within the camera app itself, depending on your phone.
4. Use a timer
On most phones, you can set a timer for up to 10 seconds to give you plenty of time to get into position. You might find it useful to place a line of masking tape on the floor when you’ve found the right spot to stand.
5. Use the rear camera
As tempting as it may be to use the front-facing camera so you can see yourself (AKA selfie style), using your phone’s rear camera will look more professional as it’s usually twice the megapixels and therefore higher resolution.
6. Angle yourself
To get a flattering portrait, stand slightly off-angle to the camera while your head is aimed directly at it. However, if this feels awkward, try standing in a variety of different ways so there are plenty of options to choose from.
7. Take lots of photos
Experiment with a few different outfits, locations, and expressions. It never hurts to have too many photos as you may be able use them for different marketing purposes in the future.
How to capture high-quality videos from home
Filming yourself is a slightly different process. Watch our Digital Content Producer, James, share his top tips for filming on a phone, or read the tips below.
1. Choose a visually pleasing background
Just like we mentioned above with photos, filming in a well lit area will greatly improve the quality of your video. Where possible, face the light but avoid lighting that produces shadows on your face.
Look for a location inside or outside your home that has an interesting background. Depth and colour are more visually engaging than standing against a white wall. Think about what your video is about and if there are any backgrounds that will complement your video’s message.
2. Shoot horizontally
If you’re not planning on uploading your video straight to social media, it’s best practice to film your video horizontally (i.e. landscape). You can set up your phone on a tripod, stand, or a gimbal if you have one, to keep your phone steady and level whilst filming. Need a phone holder? Check out these DIY ideas.
3. Keep your phone level
Keep your video level by adding gridlines on your phone’s camera before you begin filming. You can access this feature either in settings or within the camera app itself, depending on your phone.
4. Capture the best audio possible
Find a quiet space that isn’t echoey and make sure your audio recording is clear, and free from background noise. It’s a good idea to record a test piece of audio, and then listen back using your headphones or by playing it on your computer. Next, make sure to position yourself closely to your phone. The farther you are away from it, the weaker the audio, and the more ambient noise you will pick up. Unfortunately, audio can’t be improved very much in post production.
When you’re presenting on camera, avoid reading from a script, as you may stumble over lines and come across in a stilted manner. Instead, write up some talking points and memorise the main themes of your video. If you make a mistake, simply stop, breathe, and start again.
5. Double check your video
Record a few takes of your video until you feel comfortable with the result. Review and play back your video clips to make sure that you can hear yourself clearly, and that you’re happy with how all your shots look and what you have said.
If you find that you are missing a clip or you aren’t happy with a take, then reshoot whilst you’re still set up. This will be much easier than having to organise a reshoot later, and will ensure consistency in your video’s sound, look and feel.
Need more tips? Get in touch
It can be difficult to take a photo portrait or film yourself without the support of your team or a professional to guide you. However, by following these tips, you’ll notice a significant improvement in the quality of your content. If you’d like more tips for content creation at home, get in touch with us or call (02) 9064 1768.