Our personal stories have incredible potential to inspire and encourage people in all sorts of ways. Video is a great way to answer a common question or tell a personal story, and these days we have widespread technology (often freely available) to capture our stories.
- HD Video footage captured on an iPhone (or Android equivalent) is certainly good enough quality
- Vital: secure the phone on a tripod using an adapter, to prevent camera shake
- Desirable: you can improve sound quality by using a directional microphone (eg. the Rode VideoMic Me microphone)
- If your phone has two or more cameras, use the main one (rather than the smaller selfie camera above the screen) as it’ll produce higher quality results
- Aim to cover your story in 2 to 3 minutes
- Videos can be emailed to , or freely added to Facebook, Twitter or Youtube (or all three!) via the appropriate free app on the phone itself. Once on Social Media, drop us a line or mention @glosdioc so we can see it too!
Many of the videoing principles are discussed in this short film from a parish which ran an excellent ‘Digital Advent’ series, filmed using mobile phones:
How to take better photos
(The real way to improve your photos is to take them more often! We’re all creative, we just need practice!)
- Get in close to people – staged group shots might be fine for ceremonies, but they don’t depict how we’d naturally interact with humans
- Get people’s permission – verbal is fine for adults, but for vulnerable/underage you need it in writing (a template permission form is available below)
- Light vs. Dark: convey drama/emotion by contrasting light and dark areas, drawing the eye to key parts of the photo
- Story: if you can capture a story in a photo it’ll be more immersive (because we all have compassion!)
- Depth of Field: blurring the background will create a more immersive depth and help highlight the subject
- Slow down: take the time to decide how a photo is composed and what emotion it’ll communicate. If it’s not communicating anything, don’t press the shutter button
- Rule of Thirds: imagine the layout split into three and put the subject on one of the dividing lines
- Relax: if you’re not relaxed, your subject will tense up and the photo will become wooden. Same applies for video. If you can’t relax, take a break, change the location, have a cup of tea!