If you're planning an action or event, and want to know how to best cover it online using just your mobile phone (and a few other tools) -- here are some tips. With just a few steps, you can ensure that many people see and hear about what happened.
There will be hundreds of events happening across Africa on May 25th. We hope that every team can also share online the stories and updates of their actions/events.
General Digital Reporting Tips
This video is from our last global mobilisation – Rise For Climate. The tips on this video are applicable for the #AfrikaVuka mobilisation day.
Remember: For the mobilisation happening on the 25th of May – the hashtag is #AfrikaVuka
For videos, it’s best to hold the phone horizontally, (unless it’s an Instagram Story).
Decide if you want to hire professional photographers and videographers also. This can really help.
Be strategic about which social media platforms you use. You don’t have to share on all of them. Focus on where you have the most followers and where people in your area go to get their information.
3. Some basic equipment can help.
Backup battery pack for your phone.
Monopod or tripod for stability. Hold that phone steady!
Microphone for audio. (If you don’t have a microphone just be as close as possible to people when you interview). You can use a lavalier microphone for interviews or a shotgun microphone for general sounds. There are versions of both that you can attach to a phone.
Bring your own pocket wifi or at least make sure you have plenty of data on your phone.
4. Be Safe!
Go in pairs or as a team and make a plan how you will work together. Maybe one person focuses on Twitter while the other does livestreams on Facebook.
Have a plan for how you will meet up if you get separated.
Make sure you have a security plan in place (depending on your situation.).
5. Encourage everyone to share their experience.
Remind participants to share on their social media about the event – and use the hashtag! It’s great to have coverage of an event from many perspectives.
Submit Your Photos and Videos
You can send in the best photos from your event by sending an email to email@example.com. Make the subject line of the email your location, and in the body of the email write a description (and include the name of your photographer).
(Video was originally made for the Pacific Climate Warriors, but we think the tips are still incredibly useful for everyone)
Always film during daylight, and never film in low light or in the night. Mobile phones do not have the capacity to handle low light or night filming.
Make sure your subject is always facing the light. If their back is to the light, they will be backlit. Backlighting makes your subject darker and out of focus.
What’s going on in the environment around you? If there is a lot of wind or noise, don’t shoot your video there!
In order to capture good audio, make sure your subject is no more than arm’s length away from you so that you can pick up their voice with your phone’s microphone.
If you can, invest in a small microphone you can attach your your phone.
Nobody likes a shaky video. Here are some tips to make sure your are stable:
Stay in one place. Don’t move the camera.
Make sure your feet are hip’s width distance apart to ensure stability.
Create more stability within yourself by creating a human tripod. You can watch a demonstration here
Lean your phone against a rock or on a table to increase stability
You can create your own tripod using cardboard or other materials. Or bring a monopod or tripod.
Panning is the act of moving your phone from point A to point B so that your viewer can see a 180° view of what you are seeing. DO NOT pan unless you have to. If you have to take a panning shot:
Start at point A, hold that shot for at least 5 seconds.
Move very slowly over to point B. This may seem incredibly slow and boring to you as the camera person but it’s not to your viewer.
Hold at point B for at least 5 seconds before ending your video.
When you’re sharing a photo online, you have a second to get someone’s attention. In order to be successful, it’s important that you think of how to capture many elements in a single photo. — Take time to build up a relationship with people. If you know more about a person’s personality and history it will help you be able to shape the portrait. Also, if a person trusts you it, that will often be reflected in the photo.
For portraits: you want to do more than capture their face, but also their personality as well as the messages of the storytelling project. Make sure that they consent to having their photo taken and shared.
Show the world where you are. If possible, include local landmarks or typical surroundings of your area in your picture. If you live in a city, have some buildings in the shot, or if you live by the sea, let’s see some water.
Show your message. Whether it’s with signs or a banner, your action photo will be strengthened if it’s clear what your message or demand is.
Take more than one picture! It’s easy to take a few shots of groups, also from different angles or closer and further away. This will allow you a choice from which you can select your best images. Be creative with some of your shots!
Find the right angle: We see the world at eye level, but try moving to different positions to see your subject at different angles. Crouch down, move left or right. Get photos from also different angles – take a photo where you are close and the face fills the frame, also take photos where you see their body. Take a portrait from a variety of angles.
Photo by Jennifer Bruce/350Africa
Find your light. Don’t stand in shadows. And don’t stand with the sun right behind you. Move around and find the best location so the light hits you in the best ways.
IMPORTANT: Send us your best image. We ask that you submit your best photo as soon as you can by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org