Filming yourself

Published Friday, August 27, 2021

These tips come from Hailee B. Mercy, a May 2021 graphic design graduate and a student videographer/editor in the college’s Public Relations & Marketing Office.

“A lot of you are filming yourselves lately, and we’d love to give you some tips to improve the quality of your video,” she explains in a video tutorial in which she – you guessed it – filmed herself.

Video should be shot horizontally (or landscape)

“We live our lives on a horizontal plane. It’s how we see the world,” Mercy explains. “This is why your TV screens and computer screens are horizontal. It’s more natural to view video this way.”

Clear audio is super important

“No matter how good your video is, if your audience cannot hear you, they will stop watching.”

Record in high definition

The best option is Full HD, which may be listed as:

  • 1080p
  • Full HD
  • 1920x1080 (16:9)

On Android devices, go to your camera app, then settings. Look for “video size” or “video quality.”

On iOS devices, go to your settings app, then find the “camera” tab and look for “record video.”

Framing and camera position

Film yourself at eye level. No one wants to see up your nose, so use books, a box or whatever you have to position the camera directly in front of your face (not below).

Maintain a comfortable distance. Allow screen space above your head – but not too much.

Align your eyes about two-thirds up the screen. Most mobile devices have the option to turn on a grid to help with this step.

Light is important for video

Position light directly in front of you (not above or behind), and use plenty of it. Natural sunlight from a window is great for filming.

After you’ve set up your lighting, tap your face on your phone’s touch screen to automatically adjust exposure.

Look at your camera, not yourself

“You want to make sure your audience feels as though you’re really talking to them,” Mercy says.