DIY Series: The best camera is the one you have with you

Part of our DO IT YOURSELF VIDEO Series

It’s often said ‘The best camera is often the one you have with you’. You might think this phrase is a cliche and you’d be right, but some cliches are cliches for a reason.

More and more people have incredible cameras in their pockets these days than ever before: Smartphones.

Whether you’re an Android user or an Apple devotee the power in your pocket is unparalleled, and for businesses who feel they can’t afford professional photo or video services it’s time to take note.

From idea inception to video editing, each and every business has the ability to craft gorgeous video in house for a fraction of the cost.

Apple iPhone

Apple iPhone

Video

We won’t make any recommendations for cameras, as at this stage we expect all to be shooting on whatever smartphone you have to hand. As for techniques, tips and tricks, read on.

Composition

Firstly, if your grids aren’t on. Turn them on. For all who don’t know, and this applies to taking photos and videos, there’s a rule when taking images called the Rule Of Thirds. The Rule Of Thirds is a very basic principle that will help you compose your shot to take more visually pleasing shots. Place your subject someone on the intersecting lines or bang in the middle of frame for the best results.

Lighting

The most versatile bit of a kit we feel you can buy when you’re first starting out and don’t want to invest in a full lighting setup is actually not a light at all. It’s a 5-in-1 reflector (https://amzn.to/2svYtGI).. A reflector of any kind is always super useful to have on hand but none more than a handy 5-in-1. This type of reflector will feature a white side, black side, silver, gold and usually even a diffuser.

In an interview scenario for example, we would recommend having your subject near a window, facing it. This will (hopefully) provide plenty of natural light on your subjects face. If it appears too dark on one side of their face however - then this is where the white side comes in. You would use this to bounce light coming in from the window to hit the darker side of your subjects face, brightening it up and leaving you with a more balanced look and well lit frame.

The black side does the exact opposite to the white. If you have your subject sat near a white wall and the light is too bright on that particular side of their face then you may use the black side to either stop that light at all or use the diffuser to diffuse the light, creating a softer look.

The biggest rule of thumb when lighting people is ‘Softer light is far more flattering on people and helping to retain skin tones’.

A lamp turned to face someone will be giving off hard light. Place a diffuser in front of it or point it away from your subject and use the white side of your reflector to bounce the light back on to them, this will create a softer and more natural look and will be far more flattering.

Editing

The mobile editing tool of the moment has to be Adobe Premiere Rush CC. This free software is available on iOS, Mac, PC and soon is coming to Android. You can use this kit to piece all your video, audio and graphics together. Rush has free audio tracks to choose from to go with your edits, as well as graphics packs available for free and for purchase from Adobe Stock. Speaking of Adobe Stock - If you aren’t confident in your shooting ability or would just like to use stock images/video for your work then luckily that’s all at your fingertips in Premiere Rush.

Audio

Audio is often one of the most overlooked aspects of video production, but boy! It’s important.

Essential Audio Equipment

RODE SC6-L Mobile Interview Kit

(http://www.rode.com/microphones/sc6-lik).

Want to capture talking heads for an internal promotion video, or client testimonials to output on your social channels? This mobile-friendly audio kit is the perfect audio package for the job.

RODE VideoMic Me-L

(http://www.rode.com/microphones/videomicmel)

Need a directional microphone that packs punch, captures crisp and quality audio all in a tight, affordable package?  This is your option.