5 Ways to Take Better Travel Videos with Your Phone

Jessica Peterson

Better-travel-videos

Shoot Video Horizontally

There’s nothing worse than watching a travel video in portrait mode. You know, with the black bars on the sides? Turn your camera on its long side to shoot landscape. This will quickly separate you from the amateurs. Of course, if you’re shooting video for Instagram, you’ll want to shoot vertically.

Keep the Phone Stationary

There’s nothing more nauseating than jerky camera work. Keep your phone stationary if there’s lot of action around you. Rest the phone on a stationary object for even more professional looking video. I’ve even rested the camera on my husband’s shoulder!

Shoot 10-Second Clips Minimum

If you’re planning to edit your clips into a video, you will need at least ten seconds of footage. Transitions between frames (fade, blur, etc.) will account for three seconds or longer, so that leaves you with only seven seconds of footage. Quick changing clips make your final video punchy, while longer clips make your video more thoughtful.

Shoot Multiple Angles

Using a single phone, simply record the same scene from multiple angles — high, low, tight, wide. This will make your video more dynamic and your audience may never even know you shot on a phone. Be creative!

Edit Before You Post

iMovie is an app now so you can edit from your iPad or iPhone (sorry Android users, but check out this article). I used iMovie to quickly edit my video from a volcano hike in the Philippines. Editing your video before you post it allows you to add titles, music, and even stabilize jittery clips.

Watch my travel videos.

What are your tips for shooting videos with your phone?

Jessica Peterson
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Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson is a travel filmmaker, photographer, and journalist. She released her first documentary film about indigenous culture on Guam in 2016, after having lived nearly 7 years on the Pacific island. Jessica is currently on the Great American Roadtrip in her Airstream trailer.
Jessica Peterson
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  • I’ll keep this in mind. great tips!

    http://www.modeography.com/

  • James Knowles

    Know your phone’s limits. You may want to invest in a battery supplement like the Mophie Juice Packs or a portable battery with a USB port to plug your phone into so you don’t miss great footage due to a dead battery.

    Knowing your phone also means knowing its capacity limits. If you have Android, you may be able to bring a microSD card, but if you’re on iOS, HD video will eat up your space like a 15 year old at a Cici’s Pizza buffet. If you shoot any slow-mo it will take up double to four times the space. If you plan to use your iPhone for travel videos spring for at least the 32GB model and delete apps, music, and movies/tv shows that take up gobs of space if you know you won’t need them on your trip. You can always put them back on when you get home after you’ve off-loaded your footage. You can even see which apps are taking the most space by going to Settings>General>Usage>Manage Storage.

  • Great tips! Thank you!