Shooting Video on a Low Budget

Many people are intimidated when it comes to creating quality video on a low budget. With a few simple tips, you can begin creating videos that are engaging and will keep people around your pages longer. Like many mediums, a video tells a story. Before you shoot, decide what your story will be, and how you want to show it.


Use what you have. iPhones and Androids shoot really great video, and many people already have access to one. Make sure you have a fully charged battery and your charging cord at all times. Also, have a plan to have as much hard drive space as you can.

Vertical or Horizontal?

Unless you are planning to upload your videos only to Snapchat or Instagram, do not shoot your video vertically, which is very easy to do with a phone. If you decide to shoot vertically, keep in mind, you are limiting your video to just snapchat and Instagram.

Keep That Camera Still

An iPhone on a mini tripod for video on a low budget

Use a tripod or stabilizer. There are many camera support systems made for phones. Some will allow you to move around more, while others will make sure your camera is as steady as a rock. Any of them will be better than trying to hand hold your phone. If you do not have a camera support, use what is around you. Lean on a counter or up against a wall, do what you can to make your camera to stay still. If you feel you need to get close to something, get closer, do not use your digital zoom, because it will look like a low budget video.

Get some “B-Roll”

B-roll is video that shows related scenery or action. If someone is talking about doing something, ask them to do it, and shoot that thing. B-roll is used in editing to empahsize and provide more engaging imagery for your video. It is also really handy for covering up edits. When shooting b-roll, record about 5 seconds longer than what feels natural. You will be thankful when it comes time to edit.

Use Available Light

Use the existing light around you. If there is natural light available, do what you can to use it. If you are shooting inside, place the subject next to the window. As long as the window is not directly behind them, it should provide a nice gentle light source for you. If you don’t have any natural light, get creative, move a lamp if you need to.

Avoid shooting outside in bright sunlight, it is too harsh. If you use light that is directly over head, you will get harsh shadows, and will you shot the video on a low budget. The best time to shoot outside is just after sunrise and just before sunset, this is called “the golden hour,” and will give you beautiful light.

Get Creative With Your Shots

But after you have your “safety shots” first. Safety shots are traditional angles they may seem a little boring, but at least, will give you something to use. After, you have usable shots, take some time to get unique angles. What is cool about camera phones are their size and visible screens. Take advantage of those features, get really close, or get really far away, do something that makes you say “Whoa! That’s a cool shot!” And then hold that shot five seconds longer.


Bad audio is a major indicator of an amateur shooting video on a low budget. If you are interviewing someone, make sure it is in a quiet place. Do not stand next to a busy road, a full lobby, or a loud kitchen. The camera will pick those sounds up just as much as the person in front of the camera. Look for a quiet place out of the way, that does not have a big echo. Inexpensive lavelier microphones are available for many phones. Most importantly, you need to be quiet. Unless you are asking a question, do not say anything.


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