How to Shoot Stock Video With Your Phone

Image by PICHA Contributor Nathan Lunda & Insights from PICHA’s video contributor community manager, Austine Machel.

Up until very recently, I used to take pictures with my phone.Lately, I have found myself moving towards video and stock video for work purposes. Shooting stock video using a phone is very interesting and also exciting at the same time. There are a couple of factors to take into consideration. Let me break them down below to give further insight on these.

How good is your camera?

Fortunately, most smart phones these days come well equipped with very good cameras and that should make your job a lot easier. I use a Nokia 6 Plus that comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera. It has dual cameras but for video work, that doesn’t really matter. The settings you use should also be considered. Depending on the phone you are using, you might have to get a 3rd party video application that has more setting options. I use Open Camera which allows me to change my bit rate, set my frame rate, change my video format, increase or reduce the file size and also add or remove audio. When shooting stock video, it’s better to not include any audio. Open Camera gives me that option and I love it. It makes the editing work a lot easier.

Editing

There are various mobile editing apps that can reduce your work and are very handy for anyone shooting stock video using a phone. The very fact that you are shooting using your phone means that you don’t want to have to carry your laptop around. Some of the apps here can really help you with that. While the best editing apps come with a subscription option they are usually more than worth it.

Shooting conditions

As a photographer/videographer, I am always looking for the perfect conditions that allow me to be at my creative best. When I was starting out in photography, the best advice a friend gave me at the time was to always maximize natural light. Those words stuck and to date, I often prefer to shoot during the day. There’s more to shoot and because of the various activities taking place while the sun is out, you have carte blanche to be extremely creative. Now this isn’t to say that you can’t achieve the same at night. But natural light is a lot better for video. It allows you to express more without the need for additional equipment in order for you to get the best shots i.e. strobe lights.

Time

It is important to remember that stock videos are not long. So, don’t go out there with the intention of shooting a 1-minute video. In fact, the attention spans of most people are usually 10 seconds at most with most videos. That’s why advertisements are becoming shorter and shorter. If you consider that most of these videos will end up on either social media or a website, then you can understand why they need to be short. Make sure that whatever you are shooting is short (5-30 seconds) and encompasses everything you are trying to showcase.

Smoothness or Stillness

This is difficult to achieve but practise makes perfect. Depending on what you are trying to capture, it is important to ensure that you aren’t moving a lot. Some video settings come with in built stabilizers that can correct any movement issues you might have while shooting your stock video. However, there’s the option of purchasing a gimbal like the DJI Osmo Mobile to make your shots smoother. Still or rather smooth videos look nice and will easily be scooped up by a stock video site like PICHA.

I am still embarking on this journey as well. So, I am not speaking from the perspective of a pro, but rather someone that’s learning the art and bettering myself at it. Hopefully these tips will help you learn how to shoot stock video using your phone. Best of luck!

Questions about shooting stock video for PICHA? Leave a comment below!

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