10 Tips To Shoot Travel Video With iPhone

Updated on September 23, 2021

As a video editor, I know what it's like to want to create beautiful videos from your travel. You have an amazing camera in your pocket that records stunning 4K footage and is always with you. This post will share 10 tips for shooting professional-looking travel videos with iPhone.

Smartphones VS DSLR Or Mirrorless Cameras

In the last few years, smartphones have evolved from being convenient communication devices to becoming full-fledged cameras. Smart devices are no longer an afterthought when it comes to capturing footage.

The iPhone, in particular, has taken over the video camera market due to its ability to record high-quality 4K videos and impressive low-light performance while fitting in your pocket. A decade years ago it took a heavy DSLR to shoot professional video, but that has all changed with today's smartphones and in some cases, steady accessories like tripods & monopods or smartphone gimbals.

Of course, shooting with DSLR or mirrorless cameras still could give you more quality in lower light situations, but it is way less compact and iPhone stabilization is really great - if you don't mind holding it up with your hand. With that said, here are ten tips to improve the video you shoot on iPhone for better quality and storytelling.


1) Keep the Camera Steady

Stabilization is one of the best features of iPhone cameras. Unfortunately, it's also one of the worst things for beginners, because people often rely on stabilization too much to get smooth footage. On the smartphone screen, footage may look like it's smooth and professional, but in reality, when you watch that video on a big-screen TV or projected to an audience, you will notice shakiness. Using the stabilization feature is great for quickly getting rid of shakiness to save time editing, but users should learn how to shoot properly. Here are some tips how to do it:

a) Stabilize the entire body

Most people just hold their phones in front of them and that leads to shaky footage. Stabilizing only the smartphone itself doesn't give good results either because it's impossible to keep an object perfectly still with your hands unless you have a tripod or smartphone gimbal. To avoid shaky footage, use both hands and stabilize the entire body by keeping good posture.

b) Find ways to support the smartphone

The best way to shoot a smooth video is to use a tripod or monopod. If you don't have a tripod, you can always just hold your phone against something. Look for furniture or walls that can help keep it steady - this works great in places where you don't have to move much.

c) Avoid zoom

Zooming in will always create shakiness, so avoid zooming while shooting video. If you need to zoom, remember that you can do it in postproduction by cropping 4K image to, let's say 2K. That will still maintain appropriate quality, and at the same time, you will get the effect that you want.

2) Consider About External Microphone

Sound is just as important, as video quality. Smartphone cameras have improved in recent years when it comes to capturing high-quality sound, but that doesn't mean they can replace professional microphones. There are a number of external microphones made for smartphones and any one of them will give much better results than the microphone on your iPhone.

3) Embrace Negative Space

Having a static wide shot with interesting subjects in the foreground and background will make your video more engaging. The best way to achieve this is to shoot with negative space on purpose by including objects that will not move and leaving enough room around the subject for postproduction editings like image stabilization or zooming. That's also a great way to show people that you went somewhere and that's why we often see videos with the "roaming" symbol in the beginning.

4) Don't Forget To Get Closer

A lot of smartphone camera users tend to stay too far from the subject which leads to uninteresting footage because there are no details or depth. The best technique for capturing good footage is to get closer and try different angles, it could be interesting food, the texture of some objects, or other specific details. The frame should always be filled with something interesting, so get closer and move around to capture the best shot. When you will include wide shots together with close-ups you will be able to create a more dynamic and engaging video.

5) Edit Effectively

Once you get back home after your trip, it's time to edit your video. First, look through all the footage and find out which moments were most interesting. Keep it in mind while editing and creating a storyboard so that the final video is entertaining and engaging.

6) Don't Use The "I'm Here" Footage

These shots are usually OK, but they are so overused that it's almost painful to watch another video where you see the "roaming" symbol. Instead of capturing yourself entering a new place, try to find other creative ways to start your video.

7) Choose A Suitable Music Track

Music can make or break your movie so choose wisely! Make sure you choose something that fits the overall vibe of your video. Also, try to avoid songs that have lyrics as they might distract viewers.

8) Keep It Brief

Let's keep it real. Nobody wants to watch a lengthy video on social media. If you don't want your movie to get ignored and thrown into the endless feed of videos out there, keep it short and sweet. Give your audience enough information but also be sure not to drag it out. Shoot everything that interests you, but only include the best parts in the final cut.

9) Use Slo-mo Effect

Creating a slo-mo effect is a great way to capture something really interesting without it being too complex. It will also draw the viewer's attention and make it more engaging. You can create slow-motion footage by shooting video in 48, 50, 60, or let's say 120FPS and slow it down to 24, 25, or 30 Fps later on. Despite slow-motion ending up as a great effect, you should also use it as an artistic tool in some specific points in the video. Overused slow-motion might make your video look boring, so use it carefully and creatively.

10) Use Transitions In Editing Process To Keep It Interesting

If your video is more than one minute long and there's no editing involved, people will definitely get bored and move on to the next video in their feed. That's why you should add some transitional effects between different scenes.

Have a travel video you made at home? Try to make it even better with these tips.

There are some other possibilities you can play around with, like adding filters, color grading to get a more specific look and feel, text to add even more information and make it unique. If you use all of these tips that we shared with you today, your video will definitely have a better chance to stand out from others on social media.

We hope that our blog post helped you and you will try some of them for your next trip video. Don't forget to let us know if you have other helpful tips to add and share your experience with us!

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