Feb 22 • 2023
I’m pretty excited about today’s post, not gonna lie. Behold: the beginner’s guide to short form video! ✨ Short form video has become one of the hottest topics in social media, and with that comes a lot of questions: what kind of camera do I need? What apps do I use to edit? What equipment should I be using?
Well.. I’m covering it all in this post 🙂 So let’s get to it!
Oh and last, a disclaimer: as always, these are suggestions based on my expertise in the online space. But if something else feels right to you, go for it — you know your brand best 🙂
No joke, you should be filming on your smartphone. 95% of the short form content that exists on the internet is taken by people on their phones, so much so that people have come to expect smartphone videos when they pop open their Reels / TikTok feed. As a result, videos shot with more professional cameras and lenses can often feel “out of place” on these apps. So ditch the heavy camera and whip out the phone in your pocket!
Film on your phone’s regular camera app, then edit in a third-party software like Splice, VideoLeap, or InShot. Do not edit in TikTok or Instagram, as this will make it much more difficult to syndicate that video across multiple apps, and you run the risk of losing your progress if the app glitches.
All you really need is your phone and a tripod. My ride-or-die tripod is this Arkon Mount. I love that it has a stable base, and the 3-fulcrum arm is so versatile.
Probably not. I shoot all my videos with natural light. Even if you’re shooting at night, I’d suggest just using the lights in your kitchen/shooting space, as those will look more natural than an artificial light setup (for a nighttime setup take a look at this video I shot with a table lamp and our kitchen’s overhead lights). Similar to how professional cameras can feel off on Reels/TikTok, artificial lights can feel too try-hard and can take the viewer out of the natural experience.
Don’t worry about it for another second. One amazing thing about short-form video is that it’s opened the door to a world of creators showcasing more real and less curated content. This means you don’t have to have a giant chef’s kitchen in order to take incredible food videos. Just look at my friend Nasim’s videos in his tiny NYC kitchen. Idk about you, but I freaking love these videos because they show that you can have inspired, delicious food (and a lot of fun making it!) no matter what type of kitchen you are in.
ASMR, quick-cuts, voiceover, romantic… there are so many styles of video that it can feel overwhelming to find a style that suits you. But the absolute, definite way for you to figure out your style is this: you have to experiment. Try out a little bit of everything. See what feels natural. Give yourself room to play. To attempt. And to fail. It’s all part of the learning process. And if you don’t believe me, just scroll back on my IG to 2021 to see all the cringey videos I posted before finding my style. I promise you, you’re not alone 😉
There you have it, the beginner’s guide to short form video. I hope that this encourages you to take risks and have fun with your content. I can’t wait to see what you create!