BETHESDA, Md. - Video is a powerful tool for professionals and small businesses trying to expand their reach, yet poorly-produced video can sabotage credibility and reputation says professional image strategist Kim Foley.
"It's very expensive to do television production," acknowledges Foley, president of Brand in Focus. "Many small and mid-size organizations don't have the budget."
Foley, whose client list ranges from Jay Leno to President George H.W. Bush, is teaching companies how to produce broadcast-quality video on iPhones, in one-day training seminars.
With 30 years of television production experience, Foley says the principles aren't difficult to learn.
"We cover how to frame your shot, how to auto-focus it, how to white balance, how to do beautiful lighting with no shadows. How to get that external mic in there so that you get a really rich sound," says Foley.
Foley says poorly-lit videos are grainy and shadow- laden, and made worse because iPhone processors perform poorly in low light.
Light it right
"You can actually get beautiful quality with these phones by standing in front of a window," says Foley, demonstrating in her studio.
Foley's lighting kit of choice is the Glamcor Multimedia Go -- a lightweight, foldable stand that contains adjustable LED lights and camera clips to hold an iPhone or iPad.
"You should never actually hold the phone when you're videotaping because no matter how still you think you're holding it, you're not (holding it steady)," says Foley.
Foley recommends taping in the iOS device's native camera app, for easy importing into editing apps. She teaches iPhone users to edit in iMovie.
Well-recorded audio is essential to good video, but often overlooked by novices, says Foley.
Using the built-in microphone of the iPhone during videotaping results in distant- sounding audio
"I use the Audio-Technica 3350 lavalier mic, and for 20 bucks it give me beautiful, rich sound," says Foley.
Foley prefers business people record their videos on location at the company, to provide a natural setting.
Avoid placing the subject right in front of a wall, says Foley, because that casts shadows.
In her studio, for a clean, white, shadow-free background behind the speaker, Foley uses additional lighting to illuminate the backdrop of white photographer paper.
In framing with the smartphone camera, Foley suggests aiming from the chest up.
"So you want to get a fairly tight shot, but I really don't like when people get shots that are shoulders up, because it looks like a little bobbing head," she says.
Foley teaches how to touch and hold on the subject in the iPhone's viewfinder, to enable the camera processors to automatically lock focus and exposure.
In addition to the technology, Foley's training includes on-camera tips.
"Where do you look, do you look at the lens, or do you look off-camera," says Foley.
Foley says it's important for the person on camera to smile before speaking, "because the smile is the universal language for 'Hello, I want to meet you, I want to talk to you.'"
The smiling person on camera should keep their mouth closed immediately before and for two to three seconds after speaking, says Foley.
See 3 tips to create great video on your mobile device:
Video produced by Kim Foley, Brand In Focus
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