How To Shoot Cinematic Travel Videos On Your Phone

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

A step-by-step guide to shooting cinematic travel videos and the most well-kept secret of travel influencers!

Becoming a travel filmmaker has never been this easy. With plenty of free tools available and having your own movie camera with you at all times (aka your phone), there are no limits when it comes to shooting cinematic videos.

In this post, we’ll talk about the top tips and tricks for easily shooting travel videos on your iPhone, and we’ll also reveal the ultimate secret of travel influencers that turn their ordinary videos into viral money-making machines.

Make A Plan

Before you grab your phone and start filming everything that crosses your path, it is recommended that you spend time thinking about what you’d like your travel video to look like. If you have an itinerary of the place you’re visiting, you already have a guide to the most important spots your video should show.

Viral cinematic travel videos have key things in common, such as telling an aspirational story, showing a place from different angles and in detail, being quick with transitions, and similar. Take your favorite travel video and you’ll easily spot these characteristics.

Making a plan is great for saving storage too, thus you know what to shoot and won’t occupy precious space with videos you’re not going to use later. Further, it aids with the process of travel video editing because you don’t have to go through as much footage as if you were shooting things randomly.

Invest In A Stabilizer Or Tripod

This is one of the things that make certain travel videos stand out from the rest, and if you want your clips to look highly professional and cinematic, it is time to invest in a stabilizer or tripod.

Most people search “shoot cinematic iPhone videos” expecting to find an accessory or gadget that attaches to their phone and magically turns it into a million-dollar movie camera, and we’re sorry to say that is not how you can achieve the cinematic look you’re after.

The travel videos you’re using as inspiration feature a great stabilizer and shots taken with a tripod. Nowadays, many different options suit a wide range of budgets, and you can also get creative and invent your own (just don’t use it in height if you’re not 100% sure your invention will keep your phone safe).

Stabilizers and tripods allow you to have smooth clips that are pleasant to watch. If you were to watch a vlog and the person did not stop shaking their camera, would you still watch it? Absolutely no!

Elevate Your Editing Skills

Once you have all your footage, it is time to edit your soon-to-be viral travel video. Now, you don’t need a bachelor’s degree in video editing or anything of the kind, just your phone or computer and a simple editing software or app.

Remember what we said above, travel videos are known for featuring quick transitions and short clips to showcase a lot of things in a matter of seconds. Make each clip 0.5 to 1 second and if you have multiple angles you can play around with them to create a more dynamic film.

Depending on the style of travel video you like, you can include a title and brief information about each place. Remember that most people won’t stop your video to read the text, so make sure you add just a few words in a legible font.

Let’s Talk About Travel Presets

The overall look of your video can make you go viral or get stuck in the same view count. Again, you don’t need to be an editing genius or have the best software or the most expensive equipment, because there is something every travel influencer is using that will completely change your videos: travel Lightroom presets.

If you’re not familiar with presets, they are a set of adjustments that give a photo or video a specific look, and they’re used on the app Adobe Lightroom. For example, if you love low-exposure videos, but don’t know how to edit like that or don’t want to spend hours trying, you can use a preset and achieve that look in a matter of seconds. This is perhaps one of the most well-kept secrets of influencers.

We know what you’re thinking, which travel video presets are they using? and how do I find them? Check out our selection of the best travel presets that your favorite creators are using!

Key Tips For Shooting A Cinematic Video

There are a few things you can do to make your iPhone videos more cinematic, that don’t involve investing in equipment or spending hours editing. Make sure to have these tips in mind next time you’re filming a cinematic travel video:

  • Lock focus & exposure. There’s nothing more annoying than recording a video and later finding out you have a huge white spot or unfocused subject that completely ruins your clip. To avoid this, point your phone to what you want to record and press the screen for a few seconds, this will lock the exposure and focus and will make your video ten times better.
  • Use a grid guide. The grid divides your screen into small squares and is composed of two vertical lines and two horizontal ones. With this, you can play around with the rule of thirds and shoot your subject from a different perspective and have a more interesting video.
  • Experiment with presets. Don’t be afraid to experiment with travel presets, thus they can bring to life your original vision and even introduce you to a whole new world of color.

Final Words

In this post, we showed you how to easily shoot cinematic videos on your iPhone, and if you’re looking for a quick summary here it is: make a plan so you know what to shoot and don’t occupy storage, use a stabilizer or tripod to shoot smooth clips, learn basic editing skills, and use quality travel presets.

Don’t forget, practice makes perfect so keep on filming!


shoot cinematic video

travel presets

travel video

shoot cinematic iPhone

travel video editing