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DIY Video Guide

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DIY Video Tips Using a Phone or Tablet


Quiet. Find somewhere quiet without background noise, including street sounds, blowing furnaces, or office noises.
Simple, uncluttered background.


Position any light source facing the video subject. Avoid bright lights behind the speaker (for example, do not film the speaker with a window behind the speaker). To use natural light, position the speaker facing the window.

Ideal positioning:

Speaker facing camera → ← Camera facing speaker ← Window facing speaker’s face and camera person/tripod’s back

Ideally, avoid mixing light sources and overhead lights.
If shooting outside, the speaker should be facing the sun (no sun behind the speaker).


The phone should be positioned at the subject’s face level so that the subject can look directly at the camera. Avoid shooting from above or below the subject.


Avoid an echo-ing space (like a large or empty room). Smaller rooms with lots of fabric can help. Think of a sound studio – the ideal sound quality is probably in your closet!
If you have access to a microphone that attaches to your phone or tablet, consider using it.

Shooting the video.

Shoot horizontally/landscape (not vertically/portrait).
If possible, use a tripod or other way to stabilize your phone.
Do not use the zoom function on your phone. If you need to get closer to the speaker, move the camera (or the speaker) instead.
Don’t worry about making the “perfect” video. We can edit the footage.


Avoid items with high-contrast, large flowery patterns, or very small patterns (like herringbone or corduroy).

During the video.

Look directly at the camera lens of the phone.

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