Smartphones give you the power to get great video at a moments notice. Whether you’re on a picket line, at a rally or a membership meeting, your smartphone gives you the ability to capture all of these moments and more. Before you begin shooting video you need to remember these tips.

Landscape
Before shooting any video turn your phone horizontally to shoot in landscape format. Otherwise, your footage will have two black vertical bars along both sides of your video.

Framing
Framing is key to an esthetically pleasing shot. If you are conducting an interview with someone do not center them in the shot. Place them left or right of center and be sure to remind them to not look at the camera.

Zoom
Although some smartphones allow for digital zoom in video it will create pixelation and make for ugly video. Get closer to your subjects. This will be especially important when interviewing people in order to pick up better audio. If you’re planning on adding titles to your video be sure to use a head and shoulders shot of your subject to leave room for the title.

Lighting
While smartphones come equipped with LED lights, these can alter the color temperature of photos. Use as much natural lighting as possible or artificial lighting when necessary.

Backlighting
Avoid backlit settings. While you may be able to make out your subject, your smartphone camera won’t. Having your subject in front of a window or having the sun behind your subject will create negative lighting you’ll want to avoid.

Accessories
You can improve your videos with a few basic accessories. The addition of a third party camera app, a tripod mount, and an external microphone can give you professional quality video and audio for less than $100.

Editing
A little editing can go a long way towards making your videos look professional. Both iOS and Android phones provide editing software that allow for trimming clips and adding transitions and titles.

Remember, when it comes to smartphone video, less is more. Using simple cuts or fade-ins and fade-outs will look more professional than fancy transitions that steal focus from the story you’re trying to tell.