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Learn How to Create Engaging Videos With Just Your Smartphone

Are you looking to get started or up your video content game with your smartphone?

You're in the right place!

Today, we're sharing some helpful tips to make sure that your smartphone videos look great and capture your audience's attention (and remember that you should have a crystal clear audience - as well as crystal clear audio! 😁).

Shooting in Landscape Mode

First things first, always shoot in landscape mode.

It may be tempting to hold your phone vertically, but when it comes to video content, it just doesn't have the same effect. Most people will be watching your videos on social media or your website, which are typically in landscape mode.

Shooting in portrait mode will result in awkward black bars on the sides, which can be a big turn-off for viewers (see 0:36 above) -- unless you're intentionally shooting for TikTok, IG Reels, or YouTube Shorts (there's an exception to every rule!).

So, remember to start by holding your phone in landscape mode!

Lighting Outdoors

Now that we've got the framing down, let's talk about lighting.

Lighting is an essential component of any video, and the right lighting can make a world of difference.

When you're shooting outside, the best times are during "golden hour" which is the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset.

However, that's not always possible due to schedules, weather, time of year, etc.

In those cases, try to find a shaded area away from direct sunlight. This can help to eliminate harsh shadows and ensure that your face is well-lit.

In the video above (at 1:05), you can see a noticeable difference in my face when I move from a shaded area to direct sunlight.

Lighting Indoors

Since we're talking about filming with smartphones, though, you can just as easily record indoors!

When it comes to indoor lighting, it's best to use natural light whenever possible. Position yourself near a window or a door, and make sure that the light source is behind the camera (not behind you!).

Avoid shooting with your back to a window, as this can cause you to appear as a silhouette.

If natural light isn't an option, try using soft, diffused lighting. This can be achieved by using a lamp with a white shade or a professional lighting kit. Good lighting can make all the difference in the quality of your video content and help to ensure that your audience is listening to you and not distracted by poor lighting.

Your Background

Another thing to pay attention to when shooting video with your smartphone is your surroundings. Make sure to take note of what's in the background of your shot. You don't want anything distracting or unprofessional in the frame, like a pile of dirty laundry or a toilet in the background (watch the video above till the end!).

So, take a quick look around your environment before hitting record.


Lastly, make sure your audio is clear and audible. There's nothing worse than having great video quality, but poor audio.

If your phone has a built-in microphone, make sure that you're speaking clearly and loudly enough to be heard.

You can - and should! - also consider investing in an external microphone like a lavalier mic for improved audio quality. This is especially important if you're recording in a noisy environment and you can easily pick them up on Amazon for $15-$30.


Creating engaging video content with your smartphone is all about paying attention to the details. Make sure to:

  • Shoot in landscape mode

  • Find good lighting

  • Check your surroundings

  • Ensure that your audio is clear

With all these elements in hand, you'll be on your way to creating high-quality smartphone videos in no time!

If you're just getting started with video content, this will help to ensure you're building good habits from the get-go. Your next step will be building confidence on camera, and getting comfortable seeing and hearing yourself on camera!

This takes time, like trying anything new. A great place to start is with Gratitude Videos.

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