Point & Shoot: Using Your Smartphone Video Camera

These days the cameras on our smartphones are pretty dang handy. It’s easy to grab your phone, pull up the camera app, press record and then share online.  Sure, there are some flashy and spendy options to choose from for making fancy videos but sometimes it’s not about getting the highest quality video out there, but just getting your content out there, quickly. Whether you’re showing a behind-the-scenes look at you writing your most recent song or a short tour of the inside of your bus, quickly getting fresh content up for your fans is key and the video cam on your phone is useful for making quick vids on the fly.

Show Fans You’re Human

If you’re strapped for ideas on what to video record and share online, remember that fans love to know what goes on behind the scenes. Mix up the usual gig listings by showing them that you’re human and let them have a glimpse of your everyday life. Here’s a few thoughts: Sneak peak of your new album cover artwork, a tour of your studio, 30 second interview with your drummer, a 30 second clip of your dog doing that cool trick he does, a quick tour of your closet showcasing your skinny jean or Doc Marten collection, or a quick vid of your extensive Justin Bieber poster collection.

Consider these tips when shooting from your cell phone:

Keep it steady! Unless you’re filming Blair Witch Project 5, keep your phone as still as possible. Your fans don’t need to feel seasick after they watch your latest post.

Aim before you shoot. If filming a person, get close enough to see the whites of your subject’s eyes and then press record.

Zoom with your feet. Walk closer to your subject before you being filming. This will get you a clearer picture and will help avoid shakiness.

Keep it short. 30 seconds to 3 minutes is ideal. Of course, if you are showcasing an entire song from your phone, you might go over that time frame but remember that the average attention span for viral content is 1 minute and 15 seconds.

Share Your Video Online

Now that you’ve got your sweet little video clip, it’s time to share with the greater cyber world. YouTube has made it as easy as possible to share your videos, directly from your phone.

If you have an Android or an iPhone, your phone has a pre-installed YouTube application built in. To share your video directly from your phone, follow these steps:

1. select the video you want to upload on your phone

2. click the share options

3. select “Send to YouTube”

For other phones, you can download the YouTube app at m.youtube.com and follow the prompts. You can also upload any video directly to your YouTube account via a unique YouTube email address. Every YouTube account has one, just add the address to your contact list on your phone and you’ll be able to attach video and send it to your YouTube account.

To obtain a unique address, follow these steps:

1. Log in to your account at www.youtube.com

2. Click on ‘My Account’

3. Find the ‘Account Settings’ heading and click ‘Mobile Setup.’

4. An email address will appear. THAT is your own unique YouTube address. Save this email address.

Now you can send your video directly to YouTube by emailing the video to your unique email address. Magic! The name of your video is the subject title of your email so if you want to add descriptions and tags, you’ll need to log in from your desktop.

Speaking of desktops, you can always log in to YouTube the old fashion way from your home computer and share via YouTube.com. Once you’ve signed into your YouTube account you can click “upload” at the top right of the page.

We want to see your videos, so grab those camera phones, shoot a video of your drummer fixing your tour van’s flat tire, upload to YouTube, and share the link with us in the comments below.

-Molly King

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