Have you ever looked back through your video clips and thought: “why does this look so BAD?!” Yep, I’ve been there! A shot didn’t come out as you expected, or it looks totally different to how you saw it with your own eyes. The truth is, while our mobiles are incredible video cameras, there are some things they reeeeally struggle with. 

But don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Through trial and and plenty of error, I’ve figured out a few things NOT to film with my phone. Because I believe, if you know the limitations of your kit, you can focus on the stuff it does brilliantly, and eliminate shonky shots for good!  

Here’s what to avoid, and a few hacks to get around them:



HIGH CONTRAST: Deep shadow and bright light in one frame is a no-go.

Have you taken shots, most likely in summer, when the image has areas that are under-exposed (too dark) and other areas that are over-exposed (too bright?) They look crappy, right?! That’s because mobiles find it really hard to process areas of deep, dark shadow and bright light in one frame. That’s contrast, and you want to avoid it. 

Fix it: Change perspective – can you find an angle with more even or balanced light? Try moving around to get a frame with less contrast.


Lottie Stevenson Films
ZOOM: Fuzzy, pixilated, noisy, unclear – no thanks! Step away from the zoom.

Want to film those dude playing basketball in the park? Yeah, just zoom in so it’s bigger in the frame. NO! Stop right there. Move your hands away from the screen and do not activate the zoom. If you’ve used the zoom function on your video before, you are likely aware of just how dodgy it is. 

Fix it: Move closer to your subject (the free option!) or buy a telephoto lens. You’ll be able to get zoomed in pictures without losing image quality. 


Filming in low light or at night is pretty dismal. Images come out fuzzy, unfocused and mostly unusable. You might be surprised at what your camera thinks is low light – often it doesn’t need to be very dark for  your camera to struggle. ou might lose shots because you just can’t nail them in low light, but just remember – it’s only video! 

Fix it: Look for light sources (street lamps, shop signs, interior lights) and move your subject to reframe from there. You could also buy a small light if you’re going to be doing a lot of shooting in low light. 

Is there anything you avoid filming? I’d love to know! Tell me if there’s anything you can’t bear to film and why…

Lottie x

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