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How To Make Recipe Videos On Your Smartphone

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Thirty to sixty second recipe videos are the latest trend in social media. Take BuzzFeed's Tasty videos for example, they have 62 millions Likes on Facebook and counting.

Why are these videos killing it?
 . They're simple and easy to follow
 . They don't show you the frustrations of cooking
 . They're short and to the point
 . They're enjoyable, and
 . They speak to your taste buds, therefore creating a connection with the viewer.

Videos in the style of Tasty are easy to recreate at home. It takes three main ingredients to put together a scrumptious, time-lapse recipe video that makes cooking anything look effortless.

It all starts with the equipment, apart from the smartphone of course.

1. Tripod
2. Lights
3. Microphone/Music

Tripod
We're not shooting a shaky, hand held camera horror film; we're shooting a happy, cheerful, steady video that makes following a recipe uncomplicated and delicious.

No one wants to follow a recipe where the footage is jerky. For this reason, a tripod plays an important part in the video. The two basic features to look out for in a smartphone tripod are whether 1) the feet can grip onto surfaces without slipping, and 2) the head is able to move in different angles.  

No matter how steady your hand is, a tripod will be steadier. Here are some options for smartphone tripods:

JOBY: They offer phone photographer kits and a whole line of flexible tripods.
Pakpod: This tripod secures to everything, even grass!
RetiCAM: This tabletop tripod comes with the following features: 3-way pan/tilt head, bubble level, extendable arm, quick snap leg locks and more.
OverHead Pro: This tripod is lightweight, easy to use, portable and has a three foot adjustable arm.

Lights
Lighting has a lot to do with the videos we love online. Just like shooting food photography, lighting is important in food videos. The position of the light, the brightness and even the shape of the light makes a major difference in the end.

Nothing beats shooting in natural light. It maybe true a better or newer smartphone will have a better built in flash however, external lighting will always beat your smartphone's camera flash.

Here are a few recommendations for external lighting:

iblazr 2: This flash pairs up with your bluetooth, works with your native camera app and comes with an adjustable colour temperature function.
LUME CUBE: Is a tiny, 1.5" by 1.5" lightweight LED flash that acts as a continuous video light, flash and strobe.
Pocket Spotlight: It's a flash with 72 lights, moves in two directions and doesn't require a battery. You just charge it via USB.

[Tip: If you're able to get your hands on three external lights, you can create three-point lighting. Sounds fancy but really isn't. It's the standard method for shooting videos and still photography. Three-point lighting means you surround your subject with two lights on either side and one from behind. Here's a link to a DIY Down and Dirty Lighting Kit for under $100.]

Microphone/Music
Sound sets the tone and mood for the video, so choose wisely.

To create something like BuzzFeed's Tasty videos, you don't need to worry about an external mic. Simply grab a track from a royalty free music site and add it in during the video editing phase.

If you're looking to do a voice over and give instructions or tips along the way, you could get away with using your built in smartphone mic, by getting in really close to the person doing the talking.

For a clearer, crisper sound, it's better to look into an external mic.

People that use mics like these ones:

The Mighty Mic: Mount this mic to your phone's headphone jack. It comes with a foam widescreen to cancel out background buzz.

Since smartphone recipe videos are not large productions, you can get the job done with a lavalier mic. It's a budget friendly option. Plus, it's hassle free since it clips onto clothing.

Miracle-Sound Lavalier Microphone: Voted as a best seller in Wireless Lavalier Microphones & Systems on Amazon.
GORA Lavalier Microphone: This mic is 1.5M long, lightweight and designed for portability. Used by expert and beginners.

These days you don't need a lot of equipment, or the best equipment, to shoot impressive homemade recipe videos, You just need a charged smartphone, creativity and the other three pieces of equipment mentioned above.

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