Home video tip #1: Turn your cell phone

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It’s finally all hitting me how closely my passions are intertwined. I absolutely love telling stories. Whether I’m reading one from a storybook, writing one for work, or telling my own. I’ve been learning how to tell stories through video since high school. After having done it for more than a decade, I’ve forgotten that it’s not something everyone knows how to do.

Granted, you can learn almost anything by searching online or watching YouTube videos, but maybe you don’t know where to start. I’m going to start sharing some home video tips (and editing and photography tips) I’ve learned along the way, some more recent than others, like this tip I’m presenting today… Why not to hold your phone vertical when you’re recording video. I made this mistake a lot in the beginning when I first got a smartphone. If you only record and watch your videos on your phone, it may seem like the way to do it, but once you try to upload it to share, or edit it into a video, you’ll realize that you can’t turn it after it’s filmed that way (not without cropping at least).

For a video explanation check out my video:

Let me know if you have any specific questions you want me to address next, otherwise I’ll just keep winging tips as I think of them. And if you aren’t already taking video of some of your special day to day moments, START. Every video I have to look back on brings a smile to my face, whether I edited into something or not.

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28 Comments

    1. You know, I’m not positive, does a blackberry take photos in portrait orientation when it’s held vertically? I feel like it goes the same way as the screen dimensions which would mean, no, the same wouldn’t go for you. Try it!

  1. Totally awesome – so simple and yet I always video “Selfie Style” because when I watch the video on my phone – it’s all sideways and stupid. But yes – when I pull them off my phone, I always have the black dead space! Love it… I’m learning already. 🙂

    Keep those tips comin’ woman!

    1. Thanks! Will do! Don’t worry, my first year of Lil’J videos are the wrong direction too. On YouTube they look silly, but I still treasure them. Going forward our videos will rock! 😉

  2. You are too awesome. I love simple tips that make a big difference. Thanks for sharing. And by the way, you looked great on Sunday!

  3. You have totally inspired me…just thought I’d let you know! I have a Nikon D7000 and I’m trying to use my video on it more…my poor daughter doesn’t have much video of her at all, but like a million photos. So I’m trying to do better, but I just don’t know if I’m doing it right. I feel like it is out of focus for half of the time and constantly tries to refocus. Any tips????

    1. Does your camera auto-focus in video mode? That’s pretty uncommon for DSLRs. A lot of my video is out of focus momentarily when I shoot with mine because I have to manually focus the lens. Shooting with a higher fstop will help this so there’s less depth of field.

      I can elaborate on this more later in a video about the different kinds of cameras or lenses I use for different scenarios.

      Thanks for the great question!

  4. Something so simple makes such a huge impact. Thanks for sharing!

    I would love to know if you have any tips on how to lessen the time it takes to upload a video to Youtube. I would love to do more videos but the process from filming to editing to uploading seems to take ALL day. I’d be interested in seeing if you have tips for that!

    1. So this video took me a couple hours to do including kid-interruptions. I can definitely do a post about this. For now I’ll say I think the main helpful thing to go is have a visual plan before you start shooting. It’ll save time in what you spend time saying/capturing. Less to download to your computer and have to weed through, and you won’t have to do as many takes. Using multiple cameras (like a cell phone as one as I did here) can make a simple 1-take videos stand out a lot more and look like a lot more effort than it was 🙂

      I’ll elaborate in another post soon. Thanks for the great question!

  5. You are awesome for sharing these tips! I made that portrait/landscape error when I first got my phone! I know you have lots of media experience so I assume the main video camera you used for this clip was something awesome? 🙂

    Also, have you ever posted a “house tour?” I saw photos as you were building & a few things here & there (your playroom is amazing!)

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