This week we’re taking a look at a video from viewer Tanya Targett, and it gives us the opportunity to talk a bit about how to get the best results when you’re going live from your phone.
Selfie Mode – Level 1
We break live streaming up into four levels. When you’re just going live from your phone with no additional gear, we call that Level 1. It’s a great way to get started because most people have the equipment to do it already, so there’s no additional cost. Level 1 is the camera you always have with you, which makes it great for spontaneous livestreams while you’re out and about. But there are limitations. You’re stuck with the lens, lighting, and (very importantly) the microphone built into your phone.
One thing to be aware of: When you are going live to Facebook from your phone using the front facing camera, your image will be horizontally flipped. What’s left will be on the right and vice-versa. That’s just a good thing to be aware of, as it can make words show up backwards and make an American car look like one in the UK.
Add some gear for Level 2
To step up to the next level, we recommend adding a bit of gear, like an iOgrapher or Beast Grip, which gives you a better handle and tripod mounts for your phone, while also allowing you to start to use low cost add-on lenses that let you go tele or wide angle, depending on your needs. In the case of Tanya’s video, a wider angle lens would allow both people’s heads to be fully in frame, which can help the way people feel while watching your video. You can also attach things like lights and microphones to these grips. It’s a good way to be able to gradually improve your gear, one item at a time, with a real impact on your finished videos. Check out our Level 2 Gear Guide.
Think about the background
Beyond the gear, you can improve the look of your videos by choosing a background with a little visual interest. Take five minutes to look at your surroundings and choose a background that isn’t distracting, but adds a little more interest that just a white wall. There’s a good middle ground to be found, and it’s worth thinking about in each shooting location.
Phones are a great option for both cost and mobility reasons. With a few tweaks like those mentioned above, your phone will take you ever farther!
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