The iPhone has an amazing video camera, but just clicking record may not produce a high-quality image. Here are some tips for shooting better-looking video using an iPhone.
As much as I’d like to add video to my marketing mix, I have the perfect face for radio, as they say. Perhaps I could hire a spokesperson, or do only screen shots.
But enough (completely unwarranted) self-deprecation. YouTube videos are a great way to market your law firm. Go to the link for an outstanding video on shooting video with an iPhone. Although the video shows an iPhone in use, the information will apply to any smart phone with a good camera.
The one thing I will comment on is the video’s suggestion that you record the audio separately. It is absolutely true that you SHOULD NOT record the audio with your iPhone’s microphone. The iPhone’s mic is actually pretty good, until you get more than about six inches away, at which time you sound like you are talking in a bucket. It is often said that the most important aspect of a video is the audio. No matter how good the video, people won’t stick around if the audio is poor, and using the iPhone’s built-in microphone will yield terrible audio.
But if you record the audio separately, that just adds an additional step in the editing process, where you must combine the audio and the video. It’s not a huge deal, but you may be able to avoid editing altogether if you happen to do a terrific first take. Plug a good external mic into your iPhone, and avoid the extra step. Raw, unedited video has become more acceptable online. In one of the videos below, the instructor gets an incoming call while he is filming. He leaves the gaffe in as an object lesson. People watch your video for the content, and don’t care if it is presented in a conversational style with a few umms and pauses. Thus, you may be able to film your firm video in a single take, with no need for editing, but you cannot cut corners on the audio quality.
In the video below, you’ll see the use of a lavalier mic, commonly called a “lapel mic”, which clips onto your shirt. You can go crazy and spend hundreds of dollars on a lavalier mic, but one of the highest ranked mics on Amazon is just $10. Click on the image above to check it out.
You are also going to need some way to hold the camera while “filming” your awesome visage. I’ll leave it to you to find a tripod that fits your situation, whether it be a little 6-inch stand you can put on a counter top (just don’t use an angle that shots up your nostrils), or a full size tripod. If you want to get a little fancier, you can get tripods with what is called a “fluid head”. Panning with a camera is always a jerky affair, but a fluid head smooths it out. This is only relevant if you intend to add a little movement to your video, instead of just being a talking head. (And, of course, you’d then need to enlist someone to film you as you dramatically move.)
But whatever tripod you choose to use, you’ll still need a way to mount your smartphone to said tripod. Here again, the best mount also happens to be one of the least expensive (about $8). Click on the image above for the best smart phone/tripod mount I have found.
Bonus Video #1
But wait, there’s more! Along with the link to the above video, I include the following video, demonstrating how to shoot a 4k video with an iPhone 6s. The important takeaway here is not the 4k aspect (although that is interesting), but rather how easily the guy shoots and edits his video with nothing but his iPhone. Note also how great he sounds, using nothing by a basic lavalier mic.
Bonus Video #2
I haven't forgotten you Android users. The following video happens to use an Android phone, but iPhone users will benefit as well. In this video, you will see some very cool (but inexpensive) equipment that can take your videos to the next level. If you want to edit on your computer, you'll also see samples of desktop editing software. This video really inspired me. The point of this article was to show how easily you can shoot a "talking head" marketing video, but imagine how you could distinguish yourself with just a little extra creativity.