At its most basic level, to do Mobile Journalism is a phone. If you’ve got a phone and a phone mic (careful! Wired mics that work for DSLRs don’t work on phones), then you’re in an even better position. Even a pair of earphones with a mic will do the trick. Everything else, from tripods, to lenses, to gimbals, etc is just an added bonus.
If you know how to shoot on a DSLR, you’ll be able to take on phone shoots just fine. The only restrictions you’ll find are in terms of quality, and in ability to zoom. But with good lighting conditions, and space to move around, you should be just fine.
Before you go on a shoot, make sure your phone is charged, and that you have enough space. Google Photos can be your friend when you’re running low on storage space. Back up all your files and you’ll be able to go back to them for years to come. Yes, the files get compressed a bit, but if you’re worried about that, back things up on a hard drive.
Here are some super basic things to keep in mind:
When you’re shooting an interview…
Try to shoot at eye level, it can look odd when you’re shooting someone from above or below — especially in an interview situation. Try to not cut off any parts of a person’s head.
When you’re getting B Roll…
B Roll can save you when you’re trying to shorten an interview you’ve done with someone, but don’t want the footage to look jumpy. It’s also super important because it helps you add visual context that your audience will be expecting from a video.
Work on getting a wide range of shots. That includes still shots, shots where you pan around, close ups, wide shots where you can see the context of the entire scene. Trust us, the more varied shots you get, the more you’ll thank yourself in the editing process. You may not use all the shots, but at least you’ll have ample amounts to choose from. And you never know when you might need that footage again.
Here are some great tutorials:
For Android: https://youtu.be/8YiwBsTQ_c0
For iPhones: https://youtu.be/Co21Gw7zqNY