YouTube Thursdays - Your First Videos

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

Have you been following along in our YouTube series? A quick recap, we have gained inspiration video creators like Charlie Dresen and Emily Berdon. We can learn from both in their quality of work and their successes. In last week's post, we looked at some essentials of video editing. First of all, you will need to pick the editing app that you want to use (my suggestions are CapCut or iMovie). In that post, we also did our first very basic composition of 5 video clips that we downloaded and trimmed down into a 35 second video.

Now, for today's post, we are going to start thinking about getting video footage from our own phones. I titled the post "Your First Videos" - however, I know these are not really your first videos. You most certainly have taken video clips of some fun family times or some other moments in time that you wanted a video of. However, this quite likely may be the first videos that you will take with the intent to compose a project in the video editor app.

Throughout the series we'll tackle more complex topics but we're still in the basics to get us started. You may know some of these things, other points you may not know, but we'll try and get everyone up to speed together.

When you record a video, you will have various settings on the camera that will require some experimentation to get comfortable with the settings you want to use. For instance, let's start with resolution. I'm going to recommend that for now you set your video camera at the 1080 resolution setting. It's true that your phone probably can shoot also in 4K resolution but for now 1080 is going to be better for learning.

One of the things you will discover VERY QUICKLY in video creation is that video files are huge

One of the things you will discover VERY QUICKLY in video creation is that video files are huge and in 4K they are outstandingly huge. This means your phone's storage fills up fast! When you transfer your files to your computer, your computer's storage will fill up fast! Any way you look at it, video storage is going to take space. 1080 resolution videos will still look excellent, but they won't attack your storage space quite so aggressively.

Next, we need to consider the video file format you will be using. If you are using an iPhone, you will have the choice of a "high efficiency" format (HEVC) or a "more compatible" format. While HEVC (also known as H.265 encoding) might be better on file size, we have to look at whether the app that you are using to edit videos can use it. If you are on an Android phone like I am, your video files will be in MP4 format. So with an iPhone, do a very simple first test video in high efficiency format and see if you video editor app can open it. After that, you can feel more confident about taking lots more videos in that same format.

Now is good chance to talk about another option that you have while doing video recordings and that is frame orientation. When I watch people casually shooting photos and videos, I feel like more often than not, they leave their phone in the vertical orientation. Now that you are raising the bar on your own skillset, it's time to have an awareness of the choice you have to make for composition. Vertical orientation photos and videos may have a place in social media posts and reels, but when you are serious about video production for YouTube, you will want to know when to turn your camera to take horizontal orientation shots.

If you give little thought to orientation and all your videos tend to be in vertical orientation, you will regret this choice when you start trying to compose a video project. Regular YouTube videos (not shorts, which is exception) are in horizontal orientation. When you are in the video editor app preparing a video and you import your phone videos, you are going to see that the vertical rectangle doesn't play well with the horizontal frame that governs the output ratio. So while vertical video has some validity now with shorts and reels, I still have to laugh at the phrase in this video PSA "just say no to vertical video"

Now for the next homework assignment, your task will be to record between 3 - 5 video clips with your phone, upload them to your computer and assemble and trim them down to a short output video. The goal here is to start to experiment with recording and also to be able to upload them to your computer to edit a project. I call this the "moments of your day" assignment. It doesn't have to be anything planned out, but just spontaneous parts of your day where you quickly grab your phone and do 15 to 20 seconds of footage.

Here's an example that I created from footage I took a couple of days ago on my commute to my office in Manhattan.

After you have your footage, you will need to upload it to your computer so that you can use it in your video project. There are different ways to get videos transferred to your computer, but the simplest way is to plug a cable between your phone and the USB port on your computer. Once connected, you can locate the files on your phone and copy (or move) them from the phone to the hard drive on your computer. (in the video below I show how to transfer files from iPhone or Android to Windows PC. If you want to transfer from phone to a Mac, you can see this video) From there you can use them in your video project. I demonstrate this whole process in the following tutorial (runtime 22:59). So if you are interested in video creation yourself, the time you spend on these assignments will help you get going on your own project!

If you are doing the homework assignments, I'd love it if you'd come back to this post after and add a comment with a link to your video. I show you in the tutorial above how to create an "unlisted" YouTube video so that you can share a video via a link.

I know that video editing will not be for many. There are challenges to this, but it is certainly not out of reach for anyone willing to put in the effort. And if you are looking for a differentiator between you and "everyone else", video is something that can definitely do that. 

Also, a couple of reminders to all you following this YouTube Thursdays series. If you are creating and using videos in your blog posts, be sure and include your post in the YouTube Thursdays group. Visit the group page from time to time and see who else has been posting videos so we can encourage one another. 

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Craig Daniels
This blog is all about technology and helping you to use it smarter! Your digital footprint is your chance to attract new clients. What kind of impression are you making via your website, blog, and social media? We’ll be talking about that! Are you as productive as you can be? What apps might help you out? Do you know how to use all the best tools inside the apps? I enjoy photography and videography, you can expect to see those topics also on this blog.
Are you ready to learn?
Welcome to Craig’s Classroom!

PS - get ready for some homework… :) 

Comments (17)

Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Excellent tips!

And...  Hahahaha, the Vertical Video Syndrome video was too funny. I actually laughed out loud at one part.

Ever since I started putting together videos, I have been taking photos horizontally. Well, there's a photo contest in my electric company magazine and I was thinking of entering until I saw the main photo contest is requiring vertical photos. Huh?

I wonder if I know any of those people in your Manhattan video - spent years working in the city.

Excellent post.

Feb 08, 2024 05:20 AM
Eileen Burns 954.483.3912

Kat Palmiotti the robots walking the streets into NYC  high-rise office buildings are avid workers for many years.

Feb 15, 2024 10:58 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Your tutorials are always so perfect, I have learned so much from you over the years!  If I ever choose to get serious about making videos, I am definitely going to come back and review your posts about videos!

Feb 08, 2024 05:32 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Craig,

As usual your tutorial is awesome and I'm book marking this post. I have photos coming in today on a new listing and know what my afternoon will be filled with uploading them to my CB Concierge, Brochures, Post in AR, on my website, MLS etc.!

Feb 08, 2024 05:51 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

There are only so many hours in a day (LOL).  I spend most of my time working with clients or working on my websites.  I do want to explore doing some videos. Creating a video versus making a video from photos.  Other than time, I have no excuse for not creating videos because I have exceptional training right here in the Rain. 

Thank you, Craig Daniels, for all that you do for us. 

Feb 08, 2024 05:53 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Craig, for sharing your experience and advice.

Feb 08, 2024 08:33 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks for the continued video inspiration and tutorials, Craig. This is a must-read for anyone interested in making, or improving their videos. 



BananaTUDE Group logo  Featured in BananaTUDE

Feb 08, 2024 09:13 AM
Toby Barnett
KW North Sound - Marysville, WA
Toby Barnett

Think this is my favorite part: "but when you are serious about video production for YouTube, you will want to know when to turn your camera to take horizontal orientation shots." How many times are you/we at events and people are panning a vertical video trying to get the whole area when simply rotating the phone horizontally captures all. I mean, we don't watch TV vertically and the shows don't pan all over the place. 🤣

Feb 08, 2024 10:00 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

The only time I do a vertical aspect ratio orientation 9:16 vs 16:9 Craig Daniels is for a YouTube channel video short. You can take a long form video and make it floor to ceiling vertical if you shot it knowing it would be repurposed for that aspect ratio. Thanks for helping push and promote real estate video marketing!

Feb 08, 2024 11:06 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Craig this reminds me of some of our very first videos taken years ago.  I had a fantastic video gal right out of college as an assistant and holy smokes she knew her stuff. One of these days I'll find a subject I want to cover and go to town on this stuff.  For now, I'm enjoying watching others and so glad you're covering this subject again.  We all appreciate it Craig!

Feb 08, 2024 11:18 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Craig your YouTube blogs have been excellent and so was the ActiveRain Weekly ZOOM Meeting on how to create YouTube videos this past Tuesday.

Feb 08, 2024 01:57 PM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

Thanks Craig for continuing to add immense value to the world : )

Feb 08, 2024 05:34 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

John, great workThese are vital skills to have that a lot of us take for granted, but they are so vital that why not go over how to do them well? Right on the money!

Feb 08, 2024 09:55 PM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Company - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

We are so appreciative of the time you take to teach us. This had to have taken hours to "dumb it down" and visually explain the process, and I am exceedingly grateful. The VVS clip is classic. A friend does all of her home tours vertically. Makes me crazy. Thanks for all you do!

Feb 09, 2024 08:18 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

OMG, Craig Daniels, have you fallen from the stars?  First, I have bookmarked this so I do not lose it. How kind of you to go into such detail. I shall try to keep up. I cannot thank you enough 

Feb 09, 2024 12:30 PM
Wayne L. Brown
Franklin Advantage Inc. - Alpine, CA

Great insights to help us in this area.

Definitely going to be referring back to this and follow in the YouTube group.

Awesome information. 

Feb 09, 2024 12:56 PM
Ben DeHaven
Haven Realty & Investments - Lakeland, FL
Proudly serving Winter Haven & Lakeland, Florida

Thanks for sharing Craig! I'm firmly against vertical video, even though people are telling me I should do shorts. Nope!!

Feb 14, 2024 07:08 AM
Eileen Burns 954.483.3912
Trans State Commercial Realty Inc. - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FLorida Real Estate Connector

I just posted in Q/A regarding CapCut and here you are already using this app. 

Anyone else attend the CapCut app for Realtors webin... (

Needless to say, as you know me a little better than most, I was overwhelmed with this tool.  I then checked in with YouTube Thursday and here you are so I began to read and perhaps implement.  I was lost at resetting the resolution to 1800 on my Galaxy S22.

I will be making a huge effort to implement and follow your blog posts here on Thursdays.  Glad you make time for your Rainships and keep us in the know on what the best tools are to standout from the crowd😎 

Feb 15, 2024 11:07 AM