Date published:

February 24, 2020

How to Shoot Vertical Video for Instagram

Shooting vertical video is a relatively new phenomenon that has many wondering what steps they should take to get the best shots. If you’re wondering how to shoot vertical video for Instagram, continue reading to learn all about the steps you can take to improve your Instagram feed with stunning vertical videos.

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Step 1: Prepare Camera Setup

If using a 4K mirrorless camera you will need to take steps to mount the camera so that it shoots vertically. Ideally, you’ll use a piece of equipment such as a SmallRig to mount the camera in a way that allows the SD card to still be accessible and the shot to be taken with ease.

If shooting with several cameras you’ll want to make sure that the cameras are mounted similarly so that you are capturing the shots from all cameras at the same viewing angle.

Otherwise, you’ll get to editing and wind up having to rotate shots several different ways as some will be one way and some the other. This can be extremely stressful and downright annoying.

Step 2: Framing the Shot

Since you’re filming the shoot vertically you need to be aware of the lack of wide frame as compared to the traditional camera setup. Shots will fill more up and down, and less width. Therefore, you will need to pay special attention to the shoes your talent is wearing and ensure that any lower angle visible backgrounds are clean and worthy of remaining in the shot.

If you have talent standing near each other to talk, they will need to be rather close as, again, your frame is lacking width due to the nature of the vertical shoot. You don’t want to move the camera too far away in order to capture the talent so it’s best to have them stick somewhat close together.

Ideal Framing

If shooting multiple subjects as part of your Instagram video creation, ideally you would shoot shoulder up to be able to get the best vertical image. Otherwise, make sure that talent is fully aware that their feet will be visible for the shoot therefore nice pants and shoes are required.

If your subject is very tall, take full advantage of the fact that you’re shooting a vertical film and allow the individual to be the primary focal point of the scene. This is ideal in any shot where the product or talent is taller than they are wide. Fashion shoots are great for Instagram vertical videos.

Likewise, if your talent or product is wider than it is tall, the use of negative space will help to balance the vertical frame. The negative space will help to make the subject look great despite the slight disadvantage in width. You can create negative space by including a landscape image in the area and using text or a sticker or some other filler in the place to fill the negative space.

Step 3: Check Lighting and Sound

Depending on the camera that you use to vertically shoot your film you may need to take several steps to ensure that you’re also capturing the best sound and that your lighting is adequate. An external microphone will capture the best audio for your production but you most likely won’t be able to use a boom so consider alternate options to ensure sound quality.

You’ll also need to consider the lighting. Too much light may result in overexposure. Experiment with the lighting and sound prior to capturing the final footage. This way you can use the methods that work best for your project and eliminate any audio or lighting options that are not effective.

Step 4: Capture a Variety of Different Vertical Shots

As you work on shooting vertical video, be sure to capture several different shots throughout so that you have a variety of options to work with for the final cut. With a vertically filmed video, you really can’t catch as much background as you would with a standard shoot.

Therefore you’ll need to take care to capture several different shots of each scene so as to appropriately frame your shots in a way that will keep your viewers engaged best.

The variety will help you to tell the story without losing valuable details due to the lack of width in framing. As you shoot, consider the key elements that simply cannot be left out. What is it that you want the viewer to take away from the film? Take your time, and prepare shots in a way that ensures adequate background and plenty of variety so as to tell the whole story.

Step 5: Editing in Post-Production

BBP post production editing

When you prepare to edit the footage be sure that you are using the correct aspect ratio. Then, take the time to rotate all of the footage first. This way you can focus solely on the edit versus the need to first take time to rotate and then take time to edit further.

You will likely want a vertical monitor for viewing the shots and making various edits. You also have the option of shooting the film horizontally and then adjusting the aspect ratio using a premium software to get the desired vertical effects in post-production.

Not as Easy as it Looks!

While this option may appear easier upfront, it’s actually much more challenging as the result of horizontal video that is manually adjusted to create a vertical rendition requires extensive cropping on both sides in which can result in losing the talent from the frame.

A slight shift to the left or right of your talent during the shoot could result in a serious change in post-production if you choose to convert horizontal footage into vertical footage in post-production.

Now that you know how to shoot vertical video for Instagram, what kind of videos will you be adding to your story?

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