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6 Tips for Creating Better Video at Home or On the Go

Have you ever had to do a an unexpected video conference and had to find the perfect spot that gives you the right angle and lighting? No? Well, I hove… on more than one occasion. The biggest problem? Lighting! Sit with a light above and in front of you and your face is too bright. Sit with a light above and behind you and your face is too dark.  I have moved my laptop from spot to spot trying to find the perfect lighting. I’ve even taken over a hotel breakfast nook when it was not in use and stacked my phone on top of books and a bowl to get the right angle and lighting. LOL! Of course if the conference would have been planned I would have been better prepared. I have decided that from now on I will always be prepared.

With the continuing increase in the popularity of online media on sites like YouTube, Vine, and Periscope more and more people are jumping on the video bandwagon. And while some are doing it correctly, let’s be honest… some are not. 🙂 There are steps that you can take to make sure that your videos are always great.

Invest in a smartphone tripod

Instead of doing like I did and propping your phone against a book, invest in a smartphone tripod. They are very portable and can easily be kept in your bag for whenever you need it. This way you can just pop your phone in and always have the right angle.

Install a SD card

While some newer smartphones do come with a nice sized hard drive installed, older smartphones have a way of running out of space once app happy users install one too many apps, or when snap happy photographers fill up their phones with photos. If your phone is equipped with a miniSD or microSD card slot you can easily add more storage to your phone. This way you can save your videos for later use. And of course you will have more room for your photos.

Invest in a Mobile Lamp

So it’s not feasible to carry around a lamp in your bag. Or is it? I was on Kickstarter to support a friend’s project then I saw this campaign to develop lighting for selfies or video chat and I was amazed at what they had come up with. This light attaches to the top of your smartphone, tablet, or laptop and provides lighting for videos. Genius! I may check out some other Kickstarter success stories to see what else I can find.

Ensure that You have a Good Internet Connection

I cannot tell you how many times I have attempted to watch a Periscope broadcast and I’ve been greeted with buffering notices because the presenters WiFi or mobile connection is not strong enough. Check this before you start!

Find a Quiet Place

You would be surprised how many people try to stream a video in a loud, crowded environment. Unless you are streaming a party or concert finding a quiet place is key. Find a room where you can close the door if possible. And if using your laptop make sure that your microphone is working correctly before you get started.

Turn Your Smartphone to the Side

This one drives me nuts!! Even Periscope has now made the change. If you are recording video with your phone please turn it to the side and shoot in wide mode! This prevents the black bars on the side of the video from showing when it is uploaded to the Internet.

I have told myself that I will do more videos in the coming months and these are just a few simple tips that I will do to make sure that my videos are good.  Whare are some of your favorite tips?

Kris McDonald is Chicago mom to 2 sets of twins, photography nut, gadget addict, travel addict, and tech blogger who has worked in IT for over 16 years. Kris figured out a while ago that she was destined to be really busy (hence the 2 sets of twins), and she has found peace with that. Read More