Video is part of our lives, from the video we take of family and friends, concerts we attend, places we visit, and of course the weddings. Most all of us shot some video because we have a camera with us at all times now with our phones. But taking good video takes a little skill and thought.

Here are a few simple ideas to make your videos watchable. First things first, hold your phone in the landscape mode (horizontally) unlike the little girl in the photo above. Think of your TV, is it sitting in the portrait mode (vertical) of course not, so don’t hold the phone vertically.

One of the best ways to improve your videos it to steady the camera to prevent camera shake, preventing movement in your videos, creating videos you’ll want to watch over and over, and that won’t make your friends on Facebook sick.

First, if your camera has shake prevention, turn it on. This will not prevent all camera shake but will help a great deal.

Second, hold the phone as close as you can to your body with two hands and steady yourself.  Phones are perhaps the hardest things to keep steady. It’s a hard shape to hold, and you need to use your fingers, so you don’t get them in front of the lens. Keeping the phone steady this way is a position no one can hold for very long without shacking.

Try bracing your elbows against your chest and hold the phone close to your eyes. Now your braced a little and can hold it much steadier, but if you’re going to filming for very long, it’s a good idea to get something that can hold the phone for you.

First is something that we have all seen called a popsocket. A small disk that you can put on the back of your phone and thread your finger through to hold the phone. This will help a little bit, but it is better for still photos then for video because you still are holding the phone.

The best thing is a small tripod. You can get small tripods that have legs that will collapse, allowing you to carry it comfortably and have it handy when it’s needed.  We use a tripod for weddings all the time; it allows us to watch the camera and not have to put our hands on it at all. A tripod will give you the steadiest video but is harder to carry around and work with.

Looking for something a little less bulky and easy to carry. A monopod has only one leg, is handy for carrying it around in a crowd, like at a wedding, and is easy to set down on the ground to steady the camera. We use one a little heavier at weddings for just this purpose.

The smallest and most comfortable to carry is the mini tripod. These are available with bendable legs that will wrap around objects to hold the tripod in place — the back of a chair, a tree limb, a pole. Anything can be used to steady the shot. Plus you can use the legs themselves to hold the camera steady.

Many of these devices that are designed specifically for a phone will come with BlueTooth, allowing you to start the recording remotely.

The handiest, but also most expensive steadying device is what is called a Gimble,  it adjusts for your movement and steadies the images even if you are moving around. You’ll spend about a hundred dollars or more on a gamble, but now you can hold that phone, walk and even jog without to much shake in the final video.

A Gimble 


So there you have it, a few ideas to make your videos more watchable. A little thought can go a long way to making a video that you and your friend will want to watch again and again.

We at Roy Dressel Photograph have been doing video since we began in business way back in the VHS era, 1984. Over the years the equipment has changed, but the techniques have not.