The ONE Checklist to Refer Before Shooting Video on Your iPhone   

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Keep your DSLR. Sell it away. Give it to charity.

You have been lied to. You don’t need a DSLR or any BIG professional gear to shoot a good video.


You have all the gear already, the next step is to learn how to use it the correct way.


  1. Use the phone’s built-in camera. Somehow the native camera app is the easiest to use. Especially when I have a spur of the moment type of shoot.
  2. Try Filmakr app. This is the other camera app I would use if I want more features. Especially manual control features like focus, exposure and white balance.
  3. Use a tripod. That’s the secret to professional looking videos. I have several mini pocket-sized tripods I can carry around, including a selfie stick with legs.
  4. Tips for handheld steadiness. The phone is not designed to be held as a visor camera. Try resting your elbows on a stable surface or lean your back against a wall.
  5. Use a mini tripod as a grip. Attach the mini tripods mentioned above. Close the legs. Wallah! You have a hand-held grip. Makes holding the phone easier.  
  6. Another tip for steady handheld shooting. Use Fimakr app mentioned above. It has an intelligent stabilizer. That’s why I like it.
  7. Don’t hold your phone vertically. Most tv and monitor screens are horizontal. So shoot horizontally.
  8. Have plenty of front light. Make sure a lot of light is shining on the thing you are shooting. Dim lighting will result in fuzzy grainy images.
  9. Have less of back light. Don’t let any bright light shine from behind the thing you are shooting. You’ll get unsightly flares and silhouettes.
  10. My secret lighting trick on the go. If there is not enough available light, ask your friend to assist by using his/her phone’s light. I seldom use my own light because the image looks better with light coming from an angle instead of direct from the front. Ok, the lighting technique is another long checklist.
  11. Don’t use the zoom. The current iPhone has no optical zoom. It only has digital zoom. That means when zooming in, you are actually enlarging the pixels, which result in a blurry image.
  12. Go to Amazon or IT shops to get the zoom lens accessory if you really need to zoom. I don’t recommend it. Why? I like to keep things simple.
  13. Walk closer instead of zooming. It’s that simple. But be careful. Don’t trip and fall, or obstruct other people.
  14. Use the built-in microphone. Your iPhone has a great camera as well as a great microphone too… But again use it right for a great result.
  15. Speak within 6 inches from the mic. This is a good distance to pick up your voice as  it minimizes the  background noise and the room echo effect.
  16. Use your phone’s headset. If you need to go further than 1 foot, plug in and use your headset microphone. You’ll be surprised how good it sounds.
  17. What and how to shoot to convey the right message? I have a 2-day course on this. In a nutshell, ask yourself 2 things. What is the goal of the video? Who will be watching it?
  18. Shoot in HD or 4K? The latest phones can shoot in 4K. That means higher resolution. By all means shoot in 4K but deliver in HD after editing. If this sounds too technical, scroll down and query me.
  19. Edit on your iPhone. I like to edit my video recordings directly on my iPhone. No need to go back to my laptop or desktop.
  20. iMovie app. This is the app I go to most of the time when I want to  edit video on my iPhone. It does not have everything I want and that’s where the next few apps come in.
  21. Use Adobe Clip app. I use this app to brighten videos, by adjusting shadows and highlights. I use the auto edit feature for my family vacation videos.
  22. Adobe Spark Video app. When I want to do an animated text and graphic presentation video, I use this. I wish the workflow here exist in other video editing software.
  23. VideoScribe Anywhere app. This is my favorite. Create hand doodling animation video easily and quickly.
  24. Don’t share your edited videos directly. Most edit editing apps allow you to share video to social media straight away after editing. Don’t. Coz you can’t take it back if you made a mistake.
  25. Save your edits on your phone. Watch it. Hear it. If it’s good then share. Otherwise, delete it and continue editing. We want our video to look good, that’s why we are editing it.
  26. Ensure your phone has 64GB memory at least. Videos take up the most space inside your phone.  16GB cannot make it. Mine has 128GB.
  27. Are you into live Video streaming? Go and play with this feature in your Facebook app. If you need help, let me know, coz that is yet another checklist.
  28. Going forward beyond this point. Now that you have shot, edited and shared your video. The next step is to make it go viral. That’s another topic. Also another checklist.

Noticed I never recommend any accessories to buy? Except the mini tripod. Accessories don’t make your videos better.  This checklist will be enough.

The list is forever expanding. Do you want the updates?



Feel free to ask me any related question at my FB page,

While you are there, tell me the goal of making your video and who will be watching it.


I would love to help.


Adrian Lee
For more camera and editing updates…

— “Do it” (sinister voice of Palpatine)

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