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How to shoot vertical content like a pro

Filmmaking techniques • Written by Alex Badham, Videographer

As more audiences and clients flock to Instagram Stories, and other social platforms start to embrace the 9:16 ratio, we’re seeing more briefs for original vertical content coming through on Genero. One current brief is Nespresso Talents, a global celebration of creative filmmaking challenging creators around the world to submit short films in vertical format. 

To get the best result you should think about your approach to vertical from the get go, which will give you more room to be original and creative. When it comes to the production – and to make sure you don’t run into any nasty surprises in the edit suite – these tips will help you navigate the nuances of shooting content for vertical. 

1. Mark your camera’s display or monitor with 9×16 guides when shooting, so you can clearly see what’s in frame.

how-to vertical content camera setup Instagram Facebook

2. Be sure to make use of the vertical space in your framing. Full-body wide shots tend to translate well.

how-to vertical content framing composition Instagram
how-to vertical content framing composition Instagram

3. Some shots will work really well in horizontal frames, but not in vertical. On these occasions, make sure to shoot a 2nd version for vertical. This is usually just a wider angle. The most common examples being closeups, details and shots with multiple subjects. When in doubt, take a step back and capture the shot a little wider than usual.

how-to vertical content wide framing Instagram
how-to vertical content wide framing Instagram

4. Camera movement is exaggerated in vertical formats, and should be subtle and natural. Avoid shaky hand held, quick pans or big movements.

how-to vertical content guidelines Instagram
how-to vertical content guidelines Instagram

5. If capturing two or more subjects, avoid spreading them out horizontally.

how-to vertical content guidelines Instagram
how-to vertical content guidelines Instagram

6. Close ups of faces don’t usually translate well to vertical frames.

how-to vertical content guidelines Instagram
how-to vertical content guidelines Instagram

7. Don’t worry about centering your subject all the time, as long as the shots can be shifted horizontally to accommodate.

how-to vertical content guidelines Instagram
how-to vertical content guidelines Instagram

8. Make sure any signage you capture will fit into the vertical frame.

how-to vertical content guidelines Instagram
how-to vertical content guidelines Instagram

Check out more tips and best practices on creating content for Facebook and Instagram here.


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