Using your smartphone to create videos and photos for social media content has never been easier. Cameras have got better, as have microphones, and there are free and inexpensive apps available to help you make content and dress it up in different ways for various forms of content.
But at the same time as the smartphones make it easier and easier for everyone to take great photos and videos, it also means our enthusiasm can get the better of us, and before we know it, we hit the two big obstacles to great content: memory and battery. And believe me, there’s nothing worse than recording a great video, and in the middle of it, you get the message: storage full. This means that your video won’t save at all. Bummer.
Of course, the Android phones allow you to add storage on a card, a welcome addition, but these cards don’t always allow you to record onto an App. So really, good housekeeping and memory management is the way to go.
Let’s deal with the memory and storage challenges here and how to overcome them. We know that smartphones are expensive already; and the bigger the memory the pricier the phone gets. So we don’t all have tons of gigabytes to play around with.
Here are my tried and tested tips for saving memory and making the most of it on your phone.
1. DELETE AS YOU GO. Don’t keep anything you don’t need. If you take 6 photos of a seaside, choose the one you like best, and delete the rest on the spot. Don’t leave them there until later, because of course you’ll forget.
2. DELETE RECENTLY DELETED. So you’ve deleted unwanted videos and yet still don’t have much memory? Wondering why? That’s because you haven’t actually deleted it. Yes, it’s still in the phone. To solve this, go into the albums in your Photos Gallery, and on the iphone, you will see there is a album called Recently Deleted.
You need to delete this album, in order to free up the memory for more recordings/photos. It makes a huge difference, especially if you have managed to build up a huge amount of videos and photos in your phone over time.
3. TRANSFER YOUR PHOTOS AND VIDEOS TO THE CLOUD. I am always amazed at the number of people I meet in workshops who are carrying around precious photos of their family and memorable events in their phones, and are in danger of losing them should the phone crash or get lost. So it makes sense to back them up.
The easiest way to keep your photos and videos for future use, while also freeing up your memory on your phone, is to save them in the cloud. I use Google Photos, one
of the apps in the Google stable. Once you set up a Gmail account, you have access to the Google Apps such as Photos, Drive and more. Download the free Photos app, and sign in with your free Gmail account.
This not only saves your photos and videos from your phone, it also provides you with an Assistant – free tools to filter, crop, lighten and darken and lots more. The app is available in both Google Play and iTunes.
I’ll do another blog on Google Photos soon, as there are very useful features in this App.
4. MAKE SHORT VIDEOS. And plan them in advance. Yes, I know the easiest way to video is point and shoot, but the best videos are those that are (a) short, and (b) planned in advance. You don’t need to get a 5-minute video when a 1-minute video will do. I recommend recording no longer than 1 minute, unless it is a particular moment, like a person singing a song, or your child doing something amazing like walking for the first time. Yes there are exceptions, but as Facebook will tell you, our attention spans are getting shorter all the time, so keep only the really good stuff and delete the rest.
5. TRIM YOUR VIDEOS. So you have made a longish video i.e. 3 minutes or more. Videos take a lot of space in your phone memory, so it’s highly recommended you keep only the video material you need, even if you are storing it in the cloud. Every phone has the ability to trim a video; go into the Edit function and you will see either a scissors icon (Android), or the TRIM word (iOS), in the native video app section.
6. CHECK YOUR STORAGE IN SETTINGS. Check the amount of space that your Apps are taking up. Delete the apps you are rarely or never using – yes, we all have a few of those! And for the apps you are using a lot, go into Storage on your phone, and check the amount you are using. You can delete content within the app to reduce its size; I have found for example that my iMovie App takes up a lot of space when I leave video in it. Also my podcasts take up a lot of space. And of course, my videos
We run regular workshops on smartphone video making, and will have online courses coming soon. Go to www.videotraining.ie for more. Or email us at [email protected]