Tips for Recording Video Email Outdoors

We’ve written extensively about how to get the best mailVU video recordings when you’re indoors, but what about taking video outside? Well of course I’ll help you with that!

Here at mailVU headquarters, it’s getting warm out, so no one wants to be cooped up inside. Luckily, taking video out of the office is especially easy now that we offer our video messaging service with mailVU for Android and mailVU for iPhone.

Here’s a video from near our offices:

To create usable video email outdoors, check out these suggestions:

  • Record with the sunlight rather than against it – To avoid shadows make sure you put the sun in front of your subject and not behind it. If you are recording yourself with your front-facing camera, make sure the sun shines towards your face. This works on the same principle as not recording with a window behind you inside; your image will end up blacked out. Be sure that you’re standing at an angle where the sun isn’t making you squint – and by all means, don’t stare into it! If you are recording a venue, vehicle, or other object with your rear-facing camera, make sure the sun is behind you and shining on the subject being recorded.
  • Be aware of ambient noises – It’s ok to record around other people and things if it adds to the atmosphere of your video message, but make sure your recipients will be able to hear you over the din. This can be accomplished by simply taking a test video and playing it back to make sure your audio is acceptable.
  • Overcast days are okay too – Honestly, some of my better outdoor video mails have been taken on overcast days, but I could have just been lucky those times! Try it to see how your videos turn out.
  • Avoid areas where light reflects off surfaces – Videos near the water are great, but make sure you’re at an angle where you won’t get blinding light bouncing on your recordings. For example:

More video pointers for indoors or outdoors:

  • Make sure your fingers don’t cover the lens! This sounds obvious, but it can happen to all of us. Be careful to keep your fingers away from the lens on your smartphone.
  • Make sure your fingers don’t cover the microphone! This one is not so obvious as you won’t know it happened until you play back the video. Figure out where the mic on your smartphone or tablet is, and keep it uncovered and clear when you’re recording video.
  • Keep your phone/tablet steady. It’s easy to move your device when recording, which can result in a shaky video. For recording longer video mails, consider using a small tripod designed for mobile devices.
  • If recording a person speaking, be sure to stay close to them. Microphones on most smartphones are not very sensitive, so keep the phone as close to the subject you’re recording as possible. This is particularly important if the environment is noisy.
  • Don’t be too eager to move from one subject to the next. Instead, make sure you hold on your subject for at least five seconds, both when you start recording and when you end. This will allow your audience to focus in on your subject and let them give your video mails life.

With mailVU’s Business Plan, you can take video of yourself or your products outside and send them as video email, embed them on your website or blog, and create video shortlinks to send through your social media channels. Also, since it is getting nice out, why not take the time to get some outdoor video shots for your company or school’s recruitment video.

Have I left some tips off? What are your thoughts and experiences with recording video mail outdoors? Let us know!


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