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iPhone Photography and Videography: 4 Tips on How to do Great Work.

Often with church or ministry documentation, it is expensive, and inconvenient to have a DSLR camera and all the accompanying gear. This gear includes, but is not limited to tripods, microphones, extra lenses, monitors, lights etc. Most churches don’t have the time or man power for that kind of an undertaking for each outreach. When on an outreach or mission trip it can be cumbersome to whip out a bulky DSLR and telephoto lens. I’d like to examine today a much easier and more convenient method for better church media. That being said I am always ready, love and advise shooting with a pro camera for better results, when convenient.
What is a 1080p HD pocket camera that everyone already has? Everyone has an iPhone, right? iPhones are increasingly better and better recording devices. With a little help everyone can do more quality work with their idevice. An idevice is a new term that incorporates the iPhone and iPad. Let’s look at 4 tips to do better photography and videography with your iPhone. 


Tip One: Plan Better

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Planning better is the first step to doing any kind of photography. If you fail to plan you plan to fail. Take the time to get to know the features on your iPhone camera. Know where the flash is and the HDR option. You can even set a timer. Set the grid on your camera to practice lining up your images. This helps you with the rule of thirds, to assist you in making a more pleasing, ascetic image. Try shooting closer to your subject to get a better picture. Shoot lower or higher for a more unique angle. If you are shooting action or an event, be prepared and set up for the main event. Be aware and attentive to the action happening. Try to anticipate change so you can be ready for that shot.  Move to different sides or positions so get the optimal shot. No machine gun pics. Don’t just wave your phone all over the place and hope something tuns out. Plan the timing and position of your shot. Wait for the camera to auto focus. Don’t be in a rush to click. No picture is any good if it is blurry. On that note if you hold down on the screen with your finger, you can choose where you want the camera to focus at. You can choose a face or whatever the main subject is.

When shooting video, turn the camera to the horizontal view. This is a more natural video composition. When shooting video, be slow and deliberate with your movements. If you rush to much, you’ll lose focus and your video will be fuzzy.

Tip Two: Lens Options

The next step is to upgrade your equipment. Better lenses for your iPhone or iDevice mean that you have more options. More options means, better photos or videos. With a quick internet search you can find the right lens or lens set for you. You can get a extra wide, fish eye lens, macro lens, or even a telephoto lens. This is basically the range of lenses you would buy for a professional set.

  • Fish Eye. The fish eye lens is a ultra wide lens used to fully capture a large amount of space such as a city, stadium, mountain etc. A fish eye used to close can be very distorting.

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    Fish eye lens
  • Macro. This is a great lens for capturing the small world of flowers, bugs, little things. It can be a neat way to get some unique pictures.

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    Macro lens
  • Telephoto. This is a great lens for a nature walk. If you see a far off bird, animal, or any subject in the distance. This is the lens you need to bring the distant subject close.

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    Telephoto lens

Most of these attachable lenses are fairly cheap and easy to operate. In fact, you can get a set of lenses for your iPhone and get them all at once. Before purchasing, make sure that you can use the lens with the type of iPhone or idevice, that you have or that you plan on having. You don’t want to buy this equipment and then turn around two months later and buy a new phone. Make sure your going to have the phone for a while to make the purchases worth it.

Tip Three: Use a Tripod

It can be hard to focus with an iPhone. It does not have any grips, like a DSLR to keep the camera steady. Because of this flaw, you may want to invest in a tripod for your iDevice. Again, with a short search you can find flexible tripods, miniature tripods, and even full height tripods, all for your iPhone. A flexible tripod might be nice because you don’t know what type of position you’ll find yourself in, when out and about shooting. All in all a tripod is always a great choice to steady your images. If you are shooting video then a tripod is even more important. A shaky video is simply un watchable. To get better video for your church I advise you to invest in a tripod.

Tip Four: Do Better Video with a Mic and Light

It is truly amazing what you can get now! Yes you can purchase a clip on light for shooting video. I can’t vouch for how bright the light is or how long it will last. But when the room is dark or you’re about to loose the sun in your interview,  it may be just enough light to finish the job.

You can also get a boom mic and grip for recording more professional audio. If you are doing an interview you can purchase a lavaliere mic that will click right into your headphone jack on your phone. I can’t stress enough the importance of having great audio. You can take the best video your camera can muster but if you have scratchy, fuzzy, bad audio then your final product is still going to be shabby. It’s very important to get a boom mic with grip or a lavaliere mic and tripod.

Honestly you can get all or most of these things for $60 or less. You might be able to buy a package deal for $200 at the most. This is incredibly less expensive than buying all the gear for a DSLR or professional video gig. One of the other great aspects about shooting on you phone or iPad is that you can edit your material right there. There’s no transfer time. Over all, using your device as your primary means of recording church events or missions is very affordable. With the right gear attached you can acquire semi pro quality material.

Watch this video for even further education in this matter.