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Behind the Scenes on How to Record a Video on iPhone

Posted by Ali Schwanke on May 2, 2017
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 “Video content is a necessity, but it comes at a cost.” NOT TRUE. Some businesses can afford a $7,500 camera and equipment setup, but what if I told you that you could create nearly the same quality videos for about $600?

That’s right, create high-quality video marketing content for a fraction of the cost by using your iPhone. Yep. You can and we’ll show you how to record a video on iPhone that looks like the pros did it.

This isn’t a typical how-to, step-by-step guide of how to shoot video. We all have phones with cameras and know how to hit the record button. But what we will do is give you a few pointers on what makes the best looking content when you record a video on an iPhone.

Let’s get this show on the road. 



If you only get one thing out of this entire post let it be this: shoot your video horizontally. Seriously, we’ll be sad if you quit reading now but at least you learned the most important part of creating good video content on your iPhone.

Shooting horizontal makes sense for a number of reasons:

  1. It’s how you watch Netflix on your phone (people are used to it)
  2. It makes for easier editing
  3. No black bars on the side of your video
  4. Your content doesn’t look pixelated
  5. You have more room to show your off your content 

The list can go on and on but what we really want you to understand is that social media platforms aren’t created for vertical content. If you shoot your content vertically, you could lose valuable real estate in your viewer’s timeline. 

Plus, when your video is shot vertically, it's a given that it was a phone or mobile device that captured the content. It’s not like we want this to be a secret, but professional quality video content will never be displayed with those obvious black bars on the side.  

Now that you know to shoot horizontally, let’s talk about lighting. 


When your budget allows, try to always use additional lighting. If you’re not sure your team could afford a set of lights, check out our post on cheap production equipment (link to blog.) You want to always make sure to have light facing your subject. You don’t want to blind the person(s) in your video you’ll see a noticeable if they have some light on their face.

Another pointer we like to mention is that please don’t shoot video with your light source (window, the Sun, etc.) behind your subject. Unless you’re going for a silhouette shot, you want to make sure light is always pointed toward your subject. 


We’ve all seen videos that make you feel motion sick, and nobody likes that. Make sure to stabilize your videos as much as you can. The best way to do this is to use a tripod. Don’t have a tripod for your iPhone? Amazon has tons of them

Feeling thrifty? Use a selfie stick as your tripod. #selfiestickFTW 

Okay, back to business. A couple of our go-to handheld shooting techniques are:

  • Keep the phone close to your body.
  • Rest your elbows on a nearby object.
  • Use your body to absorb bounces and shakes.

Again, when you think about high-quality videos, you’ll notice that none of them are shaking and nauseating. Another aspect that keeps your video playback smooth and seamless is your zoom and focus.   



A major mishap that is often made when filming on an iPhone is using the zoom feature. Our iPhones are so smart that they focus and refocus on their own. When you use the zoom feature it essentially just makes your picture grainy and more pixelated. Avoid this by pausing your recording and physically moving the camera closer to the subject to “zoom” in.   

Another quirk you may notice while shooting with an iPhone is that it will continually adjust the lighting and exposure on its own. You’ll notice this when your shot washes out or jumps between points.

To fix this you can lock in the focal point by holding down the focus box where you want the camera to focus until you see the “AE/AF Lock” bar right above your finger. Once you have your point locked, you can manually adjust the exposure. Making sure to use additional lighting will also help cut down on the automatic refocusing.


It’s ideal to use external microphones to capture audio for your iPhone video footage.

Don’t have any mics laying around? You can always set a second phone or recording device right next to, preferably above, your speaker and create a voice memo or audio recording. Make sure to clap before each take of your recording so that you have a defined, clear reference point for syncing your audio files.

Now that you’ve recorded a fabulous video, following all these steps, of course, you’ll want to make sure to edit your footage. 


We’re not going to dig deep into details of editing, but what we want to focus is on is taking the time to edit on your computer. While there are tons of apps that allow you to edit your videos on your iPhone, the best quality editing is done on your computer. A few editing software that we frequently use are: iMovie and Adobe Spark.

We’ll dig into the details of editing in another post but the best place to start is sitting down and taking the time to edit your videos before posting them!


Shooting high quality video doesn't have to cost you and arm and a leg anymore. You can achieve great content by shooting on your iPhone. Just remember to keep it horizontal, use external lights, keep your shot steady, don’t use the zoom option, get yourself an external microphone, and take the time to edit your footage on your computer.

Do you have any iPhone video techniques that you favor? We’d love to hear them, leave them in the comments below! 


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