How to be a citizen publisher with your smartphone

May 7, 2015 - photo frame

CULVER CITY, Calif. – The days of wanting large cameras and costly rigging to news news events are prolonged gone. With a smartphone and a few pivotal accessories, anyone can now be a citizen publisher and furnish broadcast- peculiarity results.

We’re not articulate about surreptitious cellphone footage of cops doing things they shouldn’t, or comedians in defenceless moments, though tangible interviews, usually like we see on TV and websites, all available on any good smartphone, from a iPhone and Galaxy series, to Windows Phones.

Sure, a large imagination DSLR or video camera will get we crook results,

Sometimes usually a basis are fine, either that be for doing an talk that can be posted to a association website or YouTube, interviewing mom for a family archives, or doing a stand-up news news for your school.

To make it work, we should open for a few pivotal accessories:

–A tripod to solid a action, and/or possibly, yes, trust it or not, a selfie stick

–An adapter to fit a phone on a tripod.

–A good microphone.

So let’s get to work.

The basis are a same, either you’re doing an talk or news square in a field.


–Arrive to a plcae and demeanour for a best place for a shoot. If it’s an interview, find a mark though most confusion in a background, so we can put a concentration directly on your subject. With a involuntary bearing of smartphones, we can’t unequivocally adjust, so we have to be nimble. In an bureau setting, we always advise looking for a window light, a best source of healthy light anywhere.

Try to get your theme illuminated by a window, though clutter. If you’re in a field, fire in a shade, where a lighting is nice, prosaic and people-pleasing.

Open adult a tripod and set it up, holder adult a camera app on your phone and support your shot. (While there are tons of print apps for tweaking photos, a simple video duty of a smartphone can be rubbed utterly effectively within a internal app. And don’t even consider of doctoring a video with filters in an app like Instagram. That’s a no-no in broadcasting land, where we need to news what we see.)


IMPORTANT: make certain to fire a camera horizontally. Otherwise, there are dual outrageous black bars that seem on a side of your image. New video apps Periscope and Meerkat put on a black bars either we fire in plane or straight mode, though still–this is not something we would suggest doing for a veteran looking video.

Next, block in a microphone and do a sound check. Now play behind a shave to make certain there is audio. If all good, you’re prepared to record.


During a interview, ask your theme to demeanour during you, and not a camera. This way, it will demeanour like a review with dual people, instead of a performer in an infomercial articulate to a audience.

In-the margin reports.

Here a setup is a same, though you’re a star this time. In a concomitant video, we shot a stand-up in front of a internal military department, for that classical news “you are there” on a stage shot.

To do usually that, set adult a tripod, as before, and with a camera app open, switch it to a front-facing camera. This approach you’ll be means to see yourself and support a shot.

In-the-field interviews

The picture stabilization on a iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is so good, we have no difficulty interviewing folks and removing a steady, veteran shot hand-holding a phone. Other phones, I’d strech for a tripod. Or….

Selfie stick

Those widely despised contraptions to get some-more friends into a organisation print can potentially be a useful apparatus for one-man-band video. And they’re inexpensive (as low as $10), easy to find and can fit in your pocket.

With a front-facing camera in place, usually trip a phone atop a stick, and extend it to support a shot accordingly. But as you’re holding a phone with one palm and microphone with a other, be unequivocally clever about camera shake.

One pretence I’ve found that’s useful: Place a camera/stick combo on something stable–like a ledge. In that case, you’ve usually found yourself a free, effective tripod, and it unequivocally does solid a picture utterly well.

The video is shot–now what?

Stay tuned! In partial 2 of this series, using subsequent week, we’re going to uncover we how to get your footage off a phone, and how to edit, both on a phone and a computer.

Meanwhile, have questions about how to make videos with your smartphone? Contact me on Twitter or Facebook. I’m happy to help.

Jefferson Graham a contributor for USA TODAY in Los Angeles and a author of Video Nation: A DIY Guide to Planning, Shooting and Sharing Great Video.



–Tripod: The essential apparatus to solid your shot. Photographers can spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on them. You can get by on less. The Manfrotto Compact Action Black starts during $69.99. Amazon has a basic model even cheaper, during underneath $25.

–Smartphone tripod adapter. Be certain to get one that fits your stream model. This one covers a iPhone 4 by 6, and it’s usually $7. At $14.95, the Arkon says it can hoop Galaxy phones too.

–Microphone. The iRig HD mic is a best handheld mic I’ve used, and works good if we have an iPhone with a lighting port. You can collect it adult for around $99.99, and it comes with cables to block into a phone directly, or USB for computer. If we don’t have lightning (hello Android users), try a iRig indication that goes into a headphone jack. It sells for $60. For a lavalier, clip-on mic for interviews, the Rode Smart Lav sells for usually over $70. For higher-quality sound, try The $199 Sennheiser ClipMic.

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