American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Consumers

Video Recording Best Practices


Videos may be too large to send via email. In that case, use file-sharing websites such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Hightail or Box.

Camera Position

  • If using a phone or tablet, position your phone or tablet sideways. Landscape frames you best and is easier for the viewer to watch.
  • Vertically recorded videos on YouTube/internet have odd-looking black panels on both sides.
  • Keep the camera at, at least, an arm's length distance.
  • When possible, keep the camera slightly higher than eye level and tilt the camera top slightly toward you – don't look too far down or up at the camera.

Steadiness and Equipment

  • Keep the phone steady. Shakiness takes you in and out of focus and disorients the viewer.
  • Reduce or eliminate shake by:
    • Getting a colleague to hold the phone for you
    • Using a tripod


  • Select a background that doesn't distract from you and your message.
  • You don't want people talking and milling about you while recording.
  • Choose a quiet setting with phones silenced.


  • Make sure the light falls on you so you are in focus and eliminate shadows on your face.
  • Natural light is best, but artificial light is fine too.
  • Lights should be on and in front of you and the camera. If more light is behind you than in front, you'll be harder to see, covered in shadows. Also, light straight above your head will leave bad shadows on your face.

Your Delivery

  • Maintain eye contact with the tiny lens on your phone. The lens is the eyes of our audience. Look at it just as you'd look into a person's eyes when face-to-face.
  • Know what you want to say before you push record. Memorize – don't read – the content. Hit the highlights.
  • Bring your personality. Be informal. Use casual language. Be positive. Pretend you're speaking with a good friend.
  • Use your hands – if you can. Hand movements make you seem more engaging.
  • Record a couple of takes. Make sure you feel good about how you and the content are presented.