Looking to shoot some video…

But not sure how, and you only have a iPhone camera to work with?

Great, this is a great way to start if you have mild ability to use technology and computers.

First, most iphones/smartphones, tablets, etc. can actually shoot great video.

You don’t need a DSLR camera for this.

An iPhone does just fine.

Just a couple of things to know when shooting with a smartphone/tablet:

  • When using a smartphone or tablet, don’t use the zoom function. Just move the camera closer.
  • Make sure to get a tripod and holder to hold your phone or tablet.
  • And make sure you shoot in horizontal orientation, not vertically…. unless you are recording an Instagram story.

Here’s a great, short video about shooting with your phone: https://wistia.com/learn/production/shooting-video-with-an-iphone

(Wistia also has a really good learning area you can peruse as well.)

That being said, the things to worry more about are 1.) lighting, and 2.) sound.

Lighting

If you have a well lit space filled with natural light, you might not need lighting. But that is pretty rare.

Otherwise there are very affordable CFL (compact fluorescent) lighting softbox kits you can get, including a stand and everything.

Softboxes are where this fabric box goes around the light to make the light soft and more flattering (less harsh shadows).

Generally, you want to light from both sides of the camera so you aren’t all “emo” and shadowy. So you need at least two lights. More if you need to shoot more than your upper body.

A good, affordable light I’ve actually used is this one »

It has everything for one light – the stand, the soft box, the bulbs and fixture… all ready to go. Grab two of them

Sound

Sound is very important, and drops off rapidly the farther away the camera gets.

So unless you are right there in arms-length of your phone or tablet, the sound will get bad.

Distant and echoey and hard to hear clearly.

A reasonably clear sound does wonders for your videos.

Wistia has another great little video on microphones (including using a phone as a microphone) that you can check out here: https://wistia.com/learn/production/choosing-a-microphone

They do an excellent review of your options, which can be simple as a smartphone you aren’t using to record the video…

… or getting some nice and affordable recorders from Zoom or Tascam, which can often be used with a shotgun mic later for even better sound.

And before you record, if you can, turn off any heating or air conditioning that might turn on during your shoot, or other distracting noises.

Editing

One last thing is you’ll need a way to edit the video. And that can be done through a simple editing software like ScreenFlow (for Mac’s).

There are others for Windows, but I’m most familiar with Screenflow. It’s a nice middle ground in that it has good functionality without becoming a beast like Adobe Premier.

This is particularly important if you use a separate device to record your audio… as you need a way to combine the video and audio back together.

It’s easy to line up audio and video recordings with a nice loud clap at the beginning of the recording. It’s easy to see that spike in audio in both the audio and video recordings.

But Don’t Let Gear Become a Distraction!

The gear can be a real distraction.

The important thing is just getting your course, membership, or marketing going.

Being able to clearly see and hear is the important thing. Not super high fidelity sound and video that would be at home in the local movie theater.

A few tips to ease your mind:

1.) Less professionally produced video is actually more personable, and is the best option for anything on social media (including Facebook/Instagram ads).

2.) People care about the results you give them… period. Not that you spent thousands with a professional video company to create super polished cinematography.

3.) You can always revise and improve over time as you grow and have more cashflow and know that it’s making you money already.

4.) You don’t need to worry about fancy backdrops. Shoot in a nice room. There are some really simple backdrop ideas you can do as well.

Get started. Get it out there. Get fancy later, and focus instead on what it will take to get people IN THE DOOR.

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