Whether we like it or not – it looks like vertical videos are taking over the social media. In fact, the majority of videos on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and other platforms are vertical rather than horizontal. So, if you want to start creating vertical videos for your social channels, these eight tips from Landon Bytheway will help you to nail it.
1. Camera orientation
Fr starters, shoot in portrait orientation instead of shooting in landscape orientation and cropping the video later. This way you’ll get the most of your camera’s resolution.
2. Handheld equipment
If you plan to shoot handheld, use a battery grip for a more natural grip. A camera cage can also come in handy if you have the budget for it.
3. Stabilized equipment
Landon notes that it’s harder to track your subject when shooting vertically because there’s less space for them to move. Because of this, shooting handheld can be a challenge, and Landon recommends using a gimbal. Of course, you can use a Glidecam, a shoulder rig, or just a tripod – but in each case, you’ll need an L-bracket so you can mount your camera vertically.
4. Following moving subjects
As mentioned above, it’s tricky to track a moving subject because of the slimmer field of view. Because of this, you can use these three techniques to make it easier:
- Practice your camera movement
- Anticipate your subject’s movements
- Distance yourself a bit more and zoom in digitally in post. This is a good trick to start with, and as you practice you’ll get better and get it right in-camera.
Just like with the horizontal video, the composition rules still apply when shooting vertical. Another thing to pay attention to is the aspect ratio. For Instagram, the maximum aspect ratio is 4×5. Keep that in mind and make sure to frame your video so you can crop it in post without cutting out anything important from the frame. The last thing to have in mind is filling the frame. You can either get close to your subject or film them from further away, but in an interesting environment. And this brings us to the following tip.
6. Background compression
When choosing the lens for your video, don’t forget about the background compression. Wider lenses can work well with shots from afar and when you have buildings or trees around your subject. Keep in mind though that they will often show a lot of sky or ground, and give your subject “a long face” if you film them up close. Landon suggests a 50mm lens if you have to choose only one, because it’s flattering to the subject, while also giving you a decent background compression.
7. Use entire vertical space
The last two tips are about working on your video after the shooting, and the first of them is to use all of the vertical space you have. You can use all sorts of creative effects, or even stack videos to tell more of a story. Alternatively, you can also add text at the top or the bottom of the video.
8. Posting on social media
You can shoot a vertical video at 9×16, but shooting for Instagram should be at 4×6, as I mentioned above. Make sure to consider a duration of your video and keep in mind that most people won’t watch videos that are too long on their smartphones. Of course, keep your video engaging, but also keep it relatively short. Because, let’s face it: our attention span is not particularly long while scrolling through Instagram. :)
Personally, I’m not really a fan of vertical videos. It’s bearable to watch them on my phone, as I hold it vertically like most people. But watching a vertical video on YouTube kinda makes me nervous. Still, this format is becoming increasingly popular. In fact, some cameras like Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III and even camera makers like Arri are taking it seriously.
It looks like the vertical video is here to stay, at least while we have social networks and use our phones so much. As we know, many photographers, filmmakers and all sorts of creatives use social media to build a fanbase and connect with their followers. And if you’re among them – well, I guess it’s time to embrace the vertical video format and make the best of it.