Below is a list of tips and tricks for recording video at home as well as setting up polished-looking ‘sets’ for virtual meetings and live streams!

This list was put together by our video production team.

Recording Video on a Mobile Device:

There are a few best practices for recording on a mobile device, such as an iPhone, that you can do to make sure you are getting the best quality out of your recording.

Set your phone to its highest recording setting possible

  • Go into your phone camera settings and locate your video resolution settings. There, you should be able to select from a few options. 1920×1080 should be the minimum that you select.
  • Make sure you are changing the settings for which ever camera on your phone you will be using, whether that is the front facing, or rear facing.
  • If your phone is capable of filming in 4K, do it! 

Film horizontally (landscape)

  • Unless otherwise directed, always film while holding your phone horizontally. This will allow for more room on the sides for video and will eliminate the black borders.
  • Note: Always consider where your target audience will be watching. For example, if you are creating a video for Facebook or Instagram, you would want to use the portrait setting. If you are working with a video editor, ask them which direction is best for the project you are working on. 

Use a tripod if you can

  • Using a tripod or setting down your device on a stable surface will keep the camera still and leave you free to talk with your hands.

Recording Video on a Laptop or Desktop Computer:

If possible, use an external microphone

  • Laptop and computer microphones are not always the best quality. If you have access to a USB microphone, that is an easy way to increase your recording quality.
  • If you do not have access to a USB microphone, using headphones with a microphone will work also.

Test for feedback

  • When in a virtual meeting or recording session, using both the internal microphone and speakers can sometimes cause feedback. If you are experiencing this, turn down the volume of your speakers.
  • If you are still experiencing feedback after this, use headphones during your recording session or meeting.

Use a wired internet connection

  • If you are doing a remote recording or virtual meeting call, connect to the internet using an ethernet connection to ensure the best signal possible.

Creating a Beautiful Set

You can create a beautiful and polished set in your own home quite easily and without any professional gear!

Pick a bright, quiet room with a clean background

  • A nice bright room with natural light is ideal for filming.
  • When choosing where to sit, make sure the background is free of distracting elements.
    • Filming in front of a bookshelf is great and provides a homey, personal touch. You can also choose a simple wall with a piece of nice art, or even have some furniture in your background
    • Filming in front of an opening or doorway where people may walk past is not recommended for both sound, and aesthetic.

If filming in a room with a window, have the window lighting your face from the front and do not sit with it behind you

  • Natural lighting from a window is soft and great for getting even lighting without harsh shadows.
  • Phone cameras and webcams use automatic lighting settings and a window behind you will create a silhouette and confuse the camera.
  • If you must have a window behind you, close the curtains.

If you do not have a room with good natural light, select a room with good artificial lighting

  • Avoid lighting from directly over your head or from under your chin. This will create harsh shadows.
  • Light your face with a desk/table lamp if you feel like you are not getting enough light.

Props can come in handy to spruce up a room

  • Having a plant nearby is a quick and easy way to make an emptier area look more inviting.

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