Hand holding an iphone recording video with pink background

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You *just* mastered taking great photos with your phone, and now Instagram announces it’s becoming a “video first” platform. Ugggghhhh! But, never fear … Dan is here! Dan Bennett is a video content expert and is on the show today to share his best tips for creating great video with our phones. Don’t worry, the majority of these tips and extremely simple and easy to implement, even if you film videos by yourself at home. For even more video creation resources, visit Dan’s website at 1minmedia.com.

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Special Guest:

Dan Bennett wears a black shirt with skull and palm tree design. He is smiling at the camera and stands against a black background.
Dan Bennett, The Antipreneur

Dan Bennett is the Founder of 1 Minute Media, a company that empowers individuals to tell their stories with great video through coursework and private community membership. He is also a digital media freelancer who offers direct consultation for companies as well as decades of experience in video production, video editing, motion graphics, sound design, graphic design and digital content development. He is also a public speaker who has been flown all over the United States to share his knowledge and expertise on storytelling in business “and” the power of video.

www.1MinMedia.com is video coursework and private community membership that shows people how to create awesome video content with something as simple as a smartphone. The private membership group includes other students, alumni who have been there before (And had success) and video professionals to help you every step of the way.

Dan’s personal brand uses the moniker “The #Antipreneur” which encompasses his Podcast (The #Antipreneur Show) His YouTube Channel (TheAntipreneur) and all his social media platforms (@ImTheAntipreneur) + (twitter is @realantipreneur). The #Antipreneur focuses on taking a “no magic pills”, “no silver bullets”, “no BS” approach to helping people build their businesses and personal brands through great storytelling and powerful videos. And we aim to have a little fun along the way.

Key Topics:

  • The easiest way to improve your video quality (and you don’t even need to purchase anything!)
  • How to avoid the ring light reflection in your pupils.
  • Why good audio is more important than video quality.
  • What is AE/AF and why we should use it!

Mentioned in this Episode:

(The following links may contain affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you make a purchase)

Thank You for Listening!

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Hand holding an iphone recording video with pink background and text overlay "how to capture amazing video with your phone"


Mindy Marzec 0:00
Hi, this is Mindy and thank you for joining me today on the joy of content. This is episode 47 and today we are going to chat with my friend Dan Bennett, about how to capture really great video with our smartphones. I was introduced to Dan through some mutual business owners and he is just the expert when it comes to creating video of all kind he is the founder of one minute media, a company that empowers individuals like most content creators to tell their stories with great video through coursework and he has a community a membership group. He also does digital media. Freelance and offers direct consultations for individual businesses for companies about video production, video editing, motion graphics, sound design, anything that you would need to make great videos, so I’m very happy that Dan was able to take time out of his running, you know, running his busy business, to chat with us about something that is probably really important to all of us, which is getting better at filming videos. Now you’ve probably heard in the last couple of months there has been a lot of talk about how Instagram recently announced that it considers itself a quote video first platform in quote. And I think that scared a lot of people because we’re used to creating content that our photos and we’ve all probably been practicing for years to improve our photography. And now all of a sudden, the platforms that we are using are shifting more towards video. So where does that leave us? Yeah, I’ve always said that if we want to use these social media platforms to reach new audiences and connect with our current community, we need to stay in touch with what they what the people want. And Instagram has definitely determined that the majority of Instagram users, they like video, and of course we’re seeing that more with stories over the years and more recently with Rails becoming so incredibly popular on the platform. So Dan is here to give us some actually pretty easy tips. Now I’m going to be honest, the first one sounds a little daunting. But the majority of these tips are pretty easy to implement. And they’re just important for learning how to create great video which I think and most people think is the future of social media content. So I will go ahead and turn it over to Dan. One thing I do want to mention is stay tuned through this entire episode and be sure to listen at the end because Dan has an awesome giveaway just for the listeners of this episode of this podcast, the joy of content. So thank you so much to Dan, for setting that up for us. And with that I will turn it over to Dan Bennett, who owns the business the antiprenuer and is the founder of one minute media. Hey there Dan, welcome to the show.

Dan Bennett 3:36
Hey, Mindy. I’m so excited to be doing this. Not only are you one of the most creative people I know and it’s so fun. We’re talking about my favorite thing in the world, which is helping entrepreneurs create video. I’m often on other podcasts but I don’t always get to dive into solely the subject that I thrive on. So thanks for having me.

Mindy Marzec 3:54
Oh my gosh, thank you so much for coming on the show and being so kind and we’ve known each other for a while. We’re in the mastermind group together, but I wanted to just have you on the show because you are like the main video guy. When I think of like video, like who makes great videos. It’s Dan and so I know that video, phone video content is so important to content creators and bloggers right now. And so I wanted to have you come on and share some tips about that. But first, I did a little introduction before we started recording here but go ahead and tell the listeners about yourself and your business how you got started. How did you discover your love of videography and teaching other people videography?

Dan Bennett 4:40
Alright, I’ll try and do a short version for the sake of your audience. So I have an engineering background from the day and I was also in a band that toured I hated on July and we can put the link in the show notes if you want. I love showing people the old music video and stuff, but it was it was the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey. So as I left engineering and kind of took a year off to figure out what I wanted to do. I was you know, booking us I was managing as I was designing and creating all our apparel and our websites back in the day it was MySpace. And all these other bands were like, Hey, can you do that for us too, because you look and sound really good. You know you have a brand around your band. So that was kind of my introduction to entrepreneurship was helping other people tell their stories, do their bands and get more attention because of it and look more professional and the like. And the last thing I did, this will date me nice and nice and good. Was on our way out. We went for five or six years had a lot of success, but could see that it wasn’t gonna, you know, launch us into the stratosphere. So as we were kind of wrapping up I said I want to make a really solid last you know, studio album and do a DVD CD split and have that case with a DVD in it. So we filmed behind the scenes and all these great videos and then made a final narrative music video. And that was really where I got the bug that was 2009 and it was like wow, you can really tell an incredible story through video. And the journey kind of started there. A lot has happened since then. Worked for a lot of big companies like Harley Davidson and nerf and all these incredible things on the corporate side. But it was never fulfilling great stories. Great logos on my website, right but like never really fulfilling. And I’m an originally from Flint, Michigan, very poor city. Lot of micro businesses there. And I would always come back from traveling and working with these big companies back to my office in Flint, Michigan and go How do I help people here who can’t afford me like the big dogs can and that’s kind of where women in media was born. So pre pandemic, I would actually go into people’s home offices or their brick and mortar buildings where they had some space, we would order in the gear and I would help them film themselves because bridging the gap to me was if a micro business or solopreneurs small business can’t afford me, they could probably afford some gear, pay it off over time maybe and start making their own video at a higher level so they don’t have to hire a video production company to do it. And then of course pandemic hits. That’s a whole nother story. And in that we really pushed the digital version of women in media, which was coursework and membership at that time. And it’s all been focused around how do I get how do I elevate entrepreneurs, they’re already incredible. They’re already awesome. How do I capture their awesomeness and help them get that in front of a new audience or their current audience in a more professional way? And that’s what gets me up in the morning. Now it’s just helping entrepreneurs look and sound good on camera.

Mindy Marzec 7:35
That’s so cool. I didn’t realize a lot of that stuff, a lot of your background and I didn’t know you’re in a band. That’s awesome. And so now is your business just basically 100% online based.

Dan Bennett 7:50
So I’ll go based off revenue, it’s about a 70/30 split right now. And I want to swap that 30 and 70 around so 70% of my revenue right now is one on one work. So that’s large organizations doing deep work a lot of done with you and or for you. And some of those people as well are startups or entrepreneurs who have the budget to hire me to expedite the process to do it very, very quickly. 30% is a little bit of a mixed bag and about 20% of that 30 is, of course working community memberships so people pay monthly to be in my woman immediate community where they get you know all of the videos to learn how to shoot great video, they get access to me we do live q&a is and workshops, always trying to help people create better and better video as they go. And I’m really focused on that part of my business right now. So I’m trying to grow that so I can take the other one on one work and make that less of the time I’m putting in per week. So I’m on the 7030 Swap.

Mindy Marzec 8:51
Very cool. Well, I’m sure it’s just around the corner. And so Okay, so we’re gonna talk about phone videography. Like I mentioned before, it’s the bulk of content creators, they’re using their phones to capture their content, especially for Instagram reels tick tock, you know, things that are are very, very quick video. And you know, I gotta say, I own a DSLR but the quality on the phones have gotten so great over the years. I can’t even remember the last time I picked up my DSLR do you is it okay for me to not use my DSLR anymore?

Dan Bennett 9:31
Oh, absolutely right. I would still encourage you to use it because you own it but you don’t have to use it for your content of course

Mindy Marzec 9:38
Yeah. I feel a little better than because I definitely I used a lot I got my money’s worth out of it but man like sometimes now I’ll I’ll take photos with both and I can’t really tell the difference. The phone photography has gotten so good but we’re gonna we’re gonna talk about phone photography. And you actually have a blog article on your website that I saw and I thought this would make a great podcast episode where you just kind of rundown a few tips about how creators can elevate their video adjust very easily, very simply, just some things to keep in mind to make their video quality better. So do you want to talk a little bit about that and the first tip?

Dan Bennett 10:23
Yeah, for sure. So, the great part about what I do is that a majority of entrepreneurs have some sort of modern smartphone nearby. It might not be the latest and greatest but there’s enough versions out now over the last five years that can shoot 4k that do well in low light that you can, you know lock your focus and all the things that we’re going to talk about. So you have powerful camera right in your pocket and that’s a great starting point. Also, later on. I mentioned kind of the top of awareness for me is a quiz that I like people to take to see where they’re at on their journey. And some of the information that I give the eager beginners in the video dabblers and people who are kind of more towards the beginning of their journey or who haven’t done it often but want to do it more often now is a link to either the blog article or my YouTube video about five great tips for shooting you know good video on a smartphone. It’s not an end all be all but it’s some of the tips that get you started and maybe you didn’t know so if you’re already using your phone to create video, you can elevate you know, get a quick win in there. So one of the very first things is one of the most difficult things to convince people to do to handle when you’re first doing it to get used to and that is using the rear facing camera. It’s it’s a bummer because it starts to push you into video production land and hay my my phone is fun and it’s fun to use, you know and that’s because now you get to turn your phone around you can’t see the screen so you’re not in quote unquote like selfie mode. One of the things I always share to try and convince people that it’s okay to take the time to get used to this and that it’s worth it. Is that every other thing that you film, or take a picture of you’re using the best camera on your phone, your dog, your kids, the leaves falling in the park, you always use your best camera and as soon as you’re filming yourself you start using the worst one. So please, please please even if all you do is test video and you never put it out to the public, turn the camera around and film yourself with the best camera that’s on your phone. There’s some workarounds here if you want to dive into some of the things that can make it a little easier to use that other side where you can’t see yourself on the screen. But that I

Mindy Marzec 12:31
would love to know I would love to know yes please give me some tips because when I’m filming tick tock and reels. Like there’s a lot of lip syncing. There’s a lot of transitions you have to do and it’s so much easier if you can see yourself so how do we work around that?

Dan Bennett 12:48
disclaimer, there’s nothing wrong with using the selfie camera especially you know when you’re doing something like that you have to push record you have to go right away. Especially for tic tac it’s built to use the selfie camera. So I’m not saying don’t ever use it but if you are doing something that’s going to be you know, edited or isolated or do store it’s not for that real quick, you know, like real or tic tac. Go ahead and flip that phone around. So one of the first things you can do is wherever you are sitting wherever you’re going to be put something in your place. One of my favorite people in the world Carol Ackerly she’s on my woman immediate sales page. She’s such a great like ambassador for the work that I’ve done. She’s got this vase that she sits on the edge of her desk. So she walks around, pulls focused on to the vase, which just means make the camera focus on that and then goes back around, moves the vase and sits down. Now she is the base and the cameras already focused on where she’s going to be so putting some kind of Prop in place of yourself. So you can focus your camera and then come back around and trust that you have focus in place. That’s a really easy kind of first step. And the second one is to test right to mount your phone and something. A little mini tripod there’s all kinds of cell phone holders and different things now and get in front of it record go back and watch it and if it’s pointing up at the ceiling and now you tilt it down, you get that final frame and then you can trust that at least for the remainder of that day. Everything you shoot is going to be in focus and in frame so those are kind of two of the first ones to really start utilizing the high end camera. And I’ll guarantee anyone who’s listening if you’ve been shooting in selfie mode, and then you do this for a single piece of content no matter where it’s gonna go. You will notice a gigantic difference because the forward and rear facing cameras are just substantially different in quality on a good smartphone.

Mindy Marzec 14:40
Yeah I actually I am going to tell a story where when Instagram rails first started, I wanted to do a fun transition video. And I did the first part of the video as in selfie mode. And then I did the second part of the video with the back camera. And I like I ultimately could not use the video because the quality was so vastly different. I was just like, everyone’s gonna notice that I use different cameras on this because they just go like the clips go back to back and I was just like, wow, I couldn’t I knew that they had different qualities but I didn’t really realize it until I saw the two clips back to back and I was like oh shoot, but it’s just the selfie cameras so easy.

Dan Bennett 15:27
It is and that’s why I won’t completely discount it. Especially know where you’re putting your video and what it’s for. So really, it’s just about keeping in mind, where’s this going to live? How much effort do I want to put in? And again, you know, I see tick tock videos that absolutely 100% are shot on the best camera on a smartphone, because they’re put together before they’re uploaded. And then I see videos that don’t need to be the best quality ever because they’re just straightforward. They’re they’re dueting someone that right next to them. It doesn’t need to be like the crystal clear quality. They’re just having fun. And you just got another difference. Where is it going to live? Why are you making it and is it worth flipping around that phone 180 degrees and getting that better quality?

Mindy Marzec 16:09
Right. I’m just thinking back to some of the reels and tiktoks I’ve done and I will say that probably at least 50% of them. I could have done with the rear facing camera with just a little bit of effort, trial and error. So I’m going to practice that and I’m going to try to do it from now on and see if there’s any noticeable difference for those posts. But okay, so tip number one is use the rear facing camera as often as possible because it’s much better quality. Yeah. Moving on to tip number two, what is tip number two?

Dan Bennett 16:43
Tip number two is use an LED light source. One of the best things about the video space in the last 10 years is how inexpensive things have gotten. Now, I often recommend a two panel LED kit it does nowadays it’s around $190 or so and that’s not chump change, but it used to be 1000s to get this kind of stuff into your home. So it’s really come down a ton. And the great thing about LEDs are not only do most of them come in multiple colors, not only RGB but also tungsten and daylight. So that yellowish kind of light and that more white light, but they also don’t get super hot so you can bump into him and not burn your arm. And the more and more you know things advanced technology wise the more and more sophisticated they get. Fun little thing I’d love to talk about is that like anything above like 5000 Kelvin, you’ll see it on light bulbs and light sources is considered daylight it’s considered like what the sun does when it’s light hit something. Many people don’t know the sun is actually putting off white light. We just happen to see it as like yellow or orange. So that’s why when you see a daylight LED source, it looks kind of white to you and a lot of people hate using them in their homes because they’re too bright or it’s too artificial looking but it’s actually the closest thing to the real thing. So Wow. It’s great to use those sources because engineers especially you know, like at Sony and Nikon and Canon are working hard year on year on year to make cameras sensors behave like the human eye as closely as possible. And what the human eye sees in everyday life is sunlight hitting things. So if you’re using a white light, even if you’re like, oh that’s harsh, it’s white, you’re actually replicating the sun. So now your camera’s giving you the best natural quality it can because you’re replicating what the sunlight looks like hitting skin and clothing and your background and all that stuff. So LEDs are great because you can control all that stuff. And they’re pretty inexpensive nowadays, and like I said, they don’t get hot, so that’s a bonus.

Mindy Marzec 18:46
Yeah, Dan, that’s awesome. I didn’t know we’re getting a science lesson. That’s so cool, though. I didn’t realize that and so let’s just say someone doesn’t have a lot of space and they just don’t have room for a double panel setup. How do you feel about rights?

Dan Bennett 19:01
Alright, so this goes, love hate and many things. Many things in video and in entrepreneurship in general are a duality and we just have to deal with that fact. Right so I hate them. In the sense of they get trendy people bought a lot of like cheap stuff that doesn’t always work that well plus they sell their favorite people filming through the ring light which puts that like god awful circle on your pupil. It was like it was cool for a minute and now it’s like aI it’s a distraction. I don’t think it’s a great look. And it’s the furthest thing from like, Film and Television and those things which a lot of people are trying to replicate when they’re making a video that trying to look good on camera. The good thing is so many people bought them and they’re just kind of around now and you can get them for 20 bucks and stuff like that, that it’s not a bad LED light source to use and just beg people don’t shoot through it. Don’t let it be that ring around your pupil. Moving off to the side about 45 degrees, raise it up above eye level so it gives you a nice glint in your eye but above your pupil and off to the side and use it to light yourself like you would any LED panel you don’t have to spend a lot on LED lights to get the benefit of that light source. And a lot of ring lights to do come in the same way that like studio panels do where there’s a tungsten setting, a white light setting and often they’re dimmable which is great because you don’t always want a light on full blast, you know, especially if you don’t like you said you don’t have a lot of room and it’s close to you want to be able to dim it and kind of control it a little bit and get a really flattering final look.

Mindy Marzec 20:31
Okay, so not necessarily a bad thing, but something to keep in mind that you don’t necessarily want to use it in the more traditional sense that they show in advertising. And just maybe have that light, hold it off to the side. I actually have I have several of the ring lights that kind of clip onto your phone. And what I’ve done with them is all use two of them off to the side. So like you said kind of the 45 degree angle. So I’ll use two of them and kind of set them up on my computer monitors and film that was

Dan Bennett 21:02
perfect. Yeah, because they’re not a ring light anymore. They’re just a LED light. Yeah,

Mindy Marzec 21:06
they’re just LED light source. Yeah, yep. So if you got some

Dan Bennett 21:09
laying around using and you know what, if you have to cut this that’s fine, but I had a every week on my YouTube channel, I do a giveaway. And I had a week where I had a ring light for my giveaway and no one entered that week. It was bizarre. So if if you’re up for it, I would love to give that ring light to one of your listeners for free. I ship it to them that’s brand new in the box so they can start testing and playing with LED if they don’t have a light source right now.

Mindy Marzec 21:38
That would be really cool. Do you want to maybe set up like a Rafflecopter or some kind of entry situation or what were you thinking?

Dan Bennett 21:45
Yeah, that would be fun. Anything that you know, brings you some attention and your your audience can have a little fun with it. That’d be great. I use a cool little platform called King sumo that does the same thing. So I yeah, I use that for my YouTube channel. So would love to give someone in your audience a nice LED light.

Mindy Marzec 22:03
Okay, cool. Well, we’ll figure out details about that later on. And I’ll include that in the show, both in the intro and the outro. So you can listen for that. And yeah, thanks for that offer. That’s really, really cool. Now, would you agree that sunlight is the best if you can use sunlight go ahead and use sunlight or is there an exception to that rule?

Dan Bennett 22:25
Oh, the duality continues right?

Mindy Marzec 22:27
Oh no. All the tough questions today. Because I always tell people if they can use natural light that’s always going to be better than an LED light source but you’re the expert let me know what do you think?

Dan Bennett 22:40
It is truly another duality. It’s both true and false simultaneously. So a little bit of shooting yours cat here. If you will in the light. It’s it’s true in the sense that nothing can replicate the sun and the sun is gorgeous and it’s generally naturally softened by our atmosphere and or clouds and trees and all the fun things right so like you can’t beat the sun. Now. There’s instances where generally when I’m working one on one, especially with someone I know they’re going to be creating a lot of ongoing video content in the same space, their home office, whatever the case may be. We’re blocking out those windows we’re using LEDs and we’re not letting the sun tell us what to do because you might fill in Part of a video in the morning part at night you look completely different and like you said earlier with your front and back camera, you can’t always merge those two things. So if you know you’re making a short video, it’s a one off video. You’re going to place it somewhere it’s only going to take you five minutes to make absolutely angle yourself towards that window get that beautiful natural light hitting your skin and film that video because it’s always going to be at least a little bit better than an LED. If it comes to something where you know you’re shooting throughout a day or you’re shooting a longer video or the sunlights really harsh coming through a window. Blacked out somehow you can do it cheap and use an LED so you have control over that light because the sun doesn’t care that you’re filming. So it’ll go behind the cloud. It’ll get brighter. It’ll go away, it’ll come back. And sometimes it’ll it’ll ruin your video. So hopefully that answers the question.

Mindy Marzec 24:11
It does. And I again, from personal experience, I’ve had those issues where I’m trying to film something and do a transition on a real and like this, the sunlight filters through the leaves and they’re just like, I’ll check the video afterwards. And I’ve got these weird like shadow spots on my face that I didn’t notice when I was filming and I’m like okay, well the I can either use that and it looks weird or I should probably just refilling this with an LED light.

Dan Bennett 24:39
That’s why oftentimes you’ll see like behind the scenes of full budget film sets feature length film sets, and they’ll be outside and for people for grips will be holding a giant diffuser up in the air walking behind the actor as they face camera and the cameraman backs up. Right you see that shot moving is because they’re diffusing that light. So it’s not something that will change over time or if it does, it won’t be so noticeable. So even when you know big Hollywood budget films get made, they’re still trying to control what the Sun is doing. So I always say

Mindy Marzec 25:14
if you can. Yeah, I was gonna say none of us can beat the sun.

Dan Bennett 25:17
No, it does what it wants. And I think that’s a beautiful thing. That’s kind of how I like to operate too. Yeah,

Mindy Marzec 25:24
I love that be like the sun. Okay, rear facing camera. Use a good LED light source. What is tip number three.

Dan Bennett 25:34
Tip number three is hard to not make tip number one, but when you’re talking about a camera, it has to be tip number three, and that is have a great audio source have good sound quality. Now the reason I set that up the way I did is because when I work one on one with people or people in my community go through my coursework and stuff like that they are very much told audio is King audio rules the land I will fight with anyone on any film said that audio is not the most important thing going down because if I can kind of see you but here you really well you’ll draw me in. If you’re gorgeous and I can’t hear you I’m out. And that’s just the way that it is as humans also. We are subconsciously trained now for great content. We have Netflix we have all these streaming services. We have YouTubers who are putting such production value into what they’re making, that someone will look at your video, listen to your video, not even know why they don’t like it and just be like I don’t I don’t listen. And I could break down the science of why they don’t like it, but not everyone knows why. Right? So the first thing that can break a video or break your audience’s audio. And the last thing on the engineers mind when they make a DSLR or a smartphone is how well the audio sounds in a video. They don’t care.

Mindy Marzec 26:51
So what do we do about that?

Dan Bennett 26:54
So this goes back to you know, if you’re just making a tiktok video, use that selfie camera use the mic that’s in the thing. Oftentimes you’re using music or you’re doing someone or whatever so like don’t get hung up on it. Don’t let it keep you from creating but I actually just had a Giveaway Last week on my YouTube channel where the giveaway was a little lavalier mic that little lapel mic that clips on the collar that goes and plugs directly into a smartphone. So that way, you can get a way better audio source going into that video clip than your camera can capture on its own. So you still get that final video clip that’s got audio connected to it. When you offload it, AirDrop it, put it in Google Drive, whatever, but the audio is way better. Because you’ve taken the time to put a small microphone on you and then plug it into the camera. Now if you’re going to hit record on a tic tac toe and run 20 feet back and do a dance you’re not going to be connected to your camera right so sure. Again, we go back to you have to know what where it’s going to live and what the purpose is. But if you’re making ongoing content it is so worth it. And there’s a lot of ways. I’m totally accessible. You know, Monday make sure that your audience has my email and all that stuff. If you ever have questions, let me know I answer them for free. There’s a lot of different kinds of mics and stuff that you can use to get that really great audio quality, but the secret and what I said in that video, the secret to great audio is capturing it, not with the camera itself. It’s just that’s the way it is.

Mindy Marzec
Okay, so what about using like air pods? Or even just like a plugin? Like earbuds with an inline microphone? Are those better than nothing?

Dan Bennett
100% And the one thing I know I can say for certain is anything is better currently, as of you know, this date right now in 2022 sure anything is better than what’s on a DSLR and or smartphone. Because that’s just not what the engineering goes for those devices. So earbuds, definitely better. You see a lot of tic tac ears talk right into the microphone on their old wired earbuds, you know, yeah. It’s just a better quality and that’s for sure. There’s all kinds of things there’s wireless lavalier is that you can you know, get some distance between you and the camera, there’s no cable. There’s little shotgun mics to plug into the end of phones and point of view and they’re better anything in the world is better than what comes on board.

Mindy Marzec
Good to know. So even if like, you know, like we talked about the light source, if you don’t have the financial capacity to get a high quality lavalier mic, you can go ahead and use the earbuds with the microphone in them or if you already have air pods or wireless headphones or something like that those are going to if they have a microphone, plugging something in is definitely going to be better than just kind of talking into the air in your office. Especially if you’re outside Right,

Dan Bennett
exactly. Because the engineering going into those microphones are built to take a phone call, right so like they are highly engineered compared to what’s on board for a DSLR or smartphone. There’s actually someone in a community that we’re both in who often works in a cafe and they just did some testing. I made some recommendations and they bought this really cool wired little headset. It’s tiny it goes in your ear and a tiny little microphone comes out next to your mouth. And he was in a noisy Cafe making a video and it sounded great. And I’ve never even seen this product before. So I was like, Hey, thanks, man. I’m gonna start recommending this to my clients because it worked so well. And I think it was, you know, like a 20 or $30 purchase. So I think that’s something really Yeah, I think it’s something that’s worth like cashing in some extra pop bottles if they keep keep your money when you buy soda in your state or, you know, maybe having a little garage sale or something to update audio quality because it really does make such a difference to your viewers.

Mindy Marzec
Okay, well, we’ll have to add that link to the show notes as well so that people can find that because I’m interested now I want to look this up so Okay, very cool. And on that note, I’ve started taking my I happen to have air pods and before I had air pods, I would bring a wired earbuds with a microphone because in case I wanted to do Instagram stories or Instagram reels from Disneyland I would bring them with me and just the sound quality is that much better. So I totally I totally understand so have something to plug in for sound quality. And okay, so we’re at the final tip. This has been such a great conversation. What is your final? I mean, this isn’t like the final final tip but or this conversation. What is your final important tip to improve your phone videos?

Dan Bennett
Yeah, so this one gets a little bit jargony and I apologize for that we will absolutely break it down. So every modern smartphone, and I’m sure a lot of your audience has actually done this for one reason or another has an AE AF lock. And a lot of times on a smartphone, you’re pointing your camera at something you want to take a picture and you tap your screen and it’ll focus in on what you tapped on. If you tap and hold, you’re locking in A E which is auto exposure, so it’s getting the best exposure it can for the light that it has access to an AF autofocus. It keeps focused on what you’ve pressed and held on. So if you’re taking a picture of a tree, but maybe there’s animals moving by or the winds making the branches move, your focus might try and find different things and try and find the branches and then come back to the trunk and then move around. If you press and hold and you get the AEA F lock, it’ll stay focused on where you told it to no matter what else happens. So it’s a really powerful way to kind of start to get into that videography land that I always promise people I’m not trying to take you fully into but just help you understand enough of locking your focus and locking your exposure. Fun little extra tip there is if you press and hold and you get a E A F lock and it comes up on your screen. Oftentimes I’m most most phones, you can slide your finger up and down afterwards and you’ll see it get brighter and darker. And that’s the exposure so the exposure is locked in but you can adjust it and that’s for those really sunny days or if things seem a little dark, you can slide your finger up a little bit and it’ll up that exposure and get a little brighter for you. So it’s kind of the beginning of really taking control over the capability of the camera and experiment with it. Next time you’re filming something else, it’s not you and you can see your screen, tap and then tap and hold. Play with that AF lock. And most of the time if you just tap again, it’s off so you can just use it for a minute and then turn it right back off.

Mindy Marzec
Okay, so can you use that on both cameras, the rear camera and the selfie camera.

Dan Bennett
There’s not many selfie cameras that allow it there are some but I don’t have a current like list because it’s so infrequent that it’s not something that can be relied upon.

Mindy Marzec
Okay, so this is something that we’re mostly going to use if we’re filming something else or if we’re setting it up on a tripod and we’re gonna jump in front of the rear camera. So can you can you maybe give like one quick example of why this is important. Like if we don’t use the lock what could happen?

Dan Bennett
Yeah, so say you’re outdoors doing a talking head video, which just means it’s mostly you you’re filling most of the screen and you’re speaking and say you’re at a park. So there’s a lot of people in the background. They’re on swings, there’s cars coming in and parking and then cars leaving and all that sort of stuff. Oftentimes, you can set up your shot. It looks good. You do a test shot you like it if you go back and stand you know On your mark, and record again, and then something in the background changes in your phone’s like, hey, that’s more important. And it locks on to that as focus and all of a sudden you’re blurry for five minutes and you have no idea it’s happening because you can’t be in front and behind the camera at the same time. So that’s where having a prop in place and locking the A F onto some kind of prop or thing it can be a broomstick a chair, it doesn’t matter can make sure that nothing else in your environment is going to mess with it. Now that being said, oftentimes if you’re shooting in a home office or a place where not nothing’s moving, right. You don’t necessarily have to use that. And a lot of times if say you’re presenting, you might not want it locked because you might be talking to the camera and then hold something up to show it a little closer and it’ll pull focus on that. And then when you move your hand it will go back to your face. So you wouldn’t want it locked because you’d want it to do that job for you. So, coming full circle again, we got to know what the video is for where it’s going to live and why we’re making it but that’s one reason to use that lock.

Mindy Marzec
Okay, very cool. I’ve noticed that before but I never really understood what it meant. I knew it had something to do with focusing but I was just like, You know what, I’m just gonna leave this alone because I don’t want to screw up my video. But now I’m going to experiment with with it a little more.

Dan Bennett
Yeah, that’s awesome. Because it is a little scary, right? You say you’re tapping to focus and you held a little longer than normal and you have no idea why this thing popped up. It’s like, right. At a if it’s like a jargon what does that mean? You know, there’s not always a Dan there next to you going, Oh, it’s auto exposure and auto focus. You’ll be okay.

Mindy Marzec
So, now we know now we know.

Dan Bennett
experiment and play. Yep.

Mindy Marzec
All right. Awesome. So I’m just going to recap those tips. Again. Tip number one was to use the rear facing camera as much as you can because it’s much better quality and in the selfie camera. Tip number two is to use an LED light source unless the sun is behaving that day. And then you can use the sun but to use an LED light source to panel if you can. If you can only do a ring light you can do that. But hold it off to the side. Tip number three have the best sound quality which is basically anything other than the basic sound recorder or the basic microphone in your phone. So if you can afford a plug in mic, you can do that. Or use earbuds with an inline microphone. And tip number four is to experiment with the A F lock and learn it. Love it. Make sure that you’re always in focus because you’re right. You don’t want to do a five minute video and then find out that the camera moved to something else in the background while you’re talking that would be really frustrating.

Dan Bennett
Yeah, take it from someone who’s been there many, many times over the last 12 years. Yep.

Mindy Marzec
I’ve definitely had a lot of stuff happen like that before. So all right, awesome. Dan, thank you so much for coming on and sharing these great tips. Where can people find you online? Tell us about your community, your website. Uh, you mentioned people can email you give us all the information?

Dan Bennett
Sure. So the easiest thing if you only listen to this point is Dan has links.com and all my links

Mindy Marzec
like to steal that idea, Dan, I like that

Dan Bennett
like to make it easy on the people. I’ve known you know, as far as my face being on my personal brand stuff, which is pretty much everything I put out on the internet. I’m known as the anti foreigner. So my website is I’m the anti foreigner.com That’s spelled like entrepreneur but a en ti instead. My community community sales page which I would love for you to visit not as a sales page but just as an informational page. Please go and check it out. You don’t have to buy anything, is one min media.com And that’s the number 1am I n media.com And the short four minute so one minute media is my company name. And again, I’d love you to just go watch the video poke around. You can email me you don’t have to buy anything. There’s a little bit of an Easter egg there, that if you email me, I’ll let you know and that’s we have one tiny space inside the community. My community is not cheap. And I’m very open about that. But we got one tiny, tiny space. It’s 13 bucks a month called the sandbox. And you can come in, you can experiment you can post your videos and get critique and loving feedback from peers and professionals including myself. If you really want to inexpensively elevate your game so you can just come in ask questions get better weekend weekend week. So it’s kind of fun to and yeah, that’s that’s pretty much everywhere I’m at I have a podcast called The Entrepreneur Show. My YouTube channels the entrepreneur and all that’s on Dan has links

Mindy Marzec
that is very organized. You’re a man after my own heart. I will say that that’s a very generous offer and very cool. So if you’re listening and you want to up your video game, please take advantage of this offer and get in contact with Dan and ask him about joining the sandbox, the video sandbox that’s very cool. And I can confirm that if you go to one min. Media you will there’s a lot of information on there. Dan has a blog and has a ton of videos to watch. There’s just a lot of knowledge on there that anyone in the content creation biz can learn from so again, Dan, thank you so much. I will put all this in the show notes. So at joy of content.com so that you can find it. But Dan, thank you so much for joining me today. I really appreciate it.

Dan Bennett
Hey, thank you for the platform to share. Thank you for having a show that’s fun and letting me talk a little bit about my expertise and not always just business. And one more time for your audience. I’m completely approachable. Get at me before I get too big to not be able to answer every question because I just want to help people look and sound good on camera and as quick as possible.

Mindy Marzec
Awesome. Thank you so much, Dan. Thank you. Okay, once again, thank you to Dan Bennett from the antiprenuer and one min media.com for coming on the show and sharing all of these great tips about shooting great video on your smartphone. Again, you can visit Dan has links.com And that really is a great idea. And I also want to point out that you can enter that ring light giveaway that Dan mentioned by going to the show notes of this episode. Just go to joy of content.com Look for episode 47 click on that page and scroll down until you see the ring light giveaway. I will put the terms and conditions and the ending date of that giveaway there in the show notes. So be sure to go and and enter what a generous giveaway that Dan is doing just for the listeners of the joy of content. So again, thank you for that Dan. And I hope that these tips helped all of you out there who are listening. I know that learning to shoot outside of selfie mode is going to be a challenge but you know what I’m seeing more and more Instagram reels and tiktoks with better video quality. You know it used to kind of just be on the fly and of course those videos can still do well. But I’m seeing more and more with really professional or it looks more professional quality video. And so I’m definitely going to try it out and experiment. It’s definitely going to take a little more effort, but you know what? My Content is worth it. So I’m going to put in the effort. Thank you so much, Dan for encouraging me and thank you to you for listening. I’d love if you gave me feedback. You can find me on Instagram at joy of content on tick tock at joy of content you can always reach out anytime I’m open to feedback. I’m open to suggestions for future episodes. I’d love to answer any questions you might have about influencer marketing and social media. So please reach out I would love if you left a review on either the apple podcast app or the Spotify podcast app. I would just love to hear from you. So thank you again for listening again. shownotes are at joy of content.com and I will see you on the next episode. Thanks bye.

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