My setup: recording Instagram and YouTube art demo videos

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Hi everyone! I'm doing something a little different today and sharing how I record and edit videos for Instagram and YouTube. I've gotten a few requests and wanted to show you my setup in case it would help you record fine art videos for your Instagram, YouTube, Periscope and more.

Check out the video at the bottom for a demo of the tripod and an overview of my setup; otherwise all of the important info is below!

Here's how I record and edit art demonstration videos for Instagram, YouTube, Periscope and more. See my full setup at

Video and Lighting Equipment I Use

Currently, I record all video with my iPhone 6S's camera. When I started recording demo videos for my first Skillshare class, I was using my iPhone 5S. You certainly don't need to go out and get a fancy camera or camcorder; just keep in mind that if you are going to use your iPhone or smartphone, make sure to use the rear-facing camera and not the front-facing camera. The quality will be a lot higher.

For my "tripod": I recently purchased a Lazy Arm iPhone desk mount which is the biggest game-changer. The bendable arm is strong but pliable and doesn't jiggle around or slide out of place. I have it clamped to the edge of my desk and I can easily just stretch the mount and plop my iPhone in there to record.

For video lighting, I use a Diva Ring Light and a light stand. I originally purchased the Diva Ring Light as a portable light for talking-head videos, but I find I use the light often as a daylighting lamp to work on art when it's dark outside, as well as to help me record brighter videos. The whole system folds away pretty easily, which is good news for when the baby comes along (that's what the Pack n Play is doing in the background of my setup photo…).

NOTE: The Diva Ring Light link above doesn't have the same bendable mount like the one I use. There have been a few people that have an issue with this, so please do your research!!!

When I record demo videos, I use my Apple headphones to record audio. Plain and simple.

My video setup for recording top-down videos for Instagram, YouTube, Periscope.

Here's the video!

Editing iPhone Videos for Instagram and YouTube

When I'm ready to edit my videos, I import the footage to my MacBook using Image Capture, which I believe is a native Mac app. Next, I'll create a new document in ScreenFlow (Mac only).

Instagram Videos

Since Instagram videos can only be 15 seconds long, I usually need to speed up the video so it fits within the time allotted. I know there are apps I can use on my phone, but I like the control I get from editing it on my computer. (That said—if you're using any must-have video editing apps for Instagram, leave a comment below to help me out!)

First, I will create a new document that is 1080px square. Then, I'll drop the footage into the document and right-click to detach and then delete the audio.

Next, I'll slice the video so it has a clean beginning and end, and delete those trimmings. Finally, I'll speed up the video by double-clicking on the segment and increasing the speed until the remaining clip is at 15 seconds.

Finally, I export the video with H.264 video encoding at 3,000 kbits/sec.

YouTube Videos

YouTube Videos are pretty similar, except I create the document in ScreenFlow to be 1280px by 720px, and then export the video with H.264 video encoding at 5,000 kbits/sec, and AAC audio encoding at 256 kbits/sec. I obviously also do a ton of other splicing and editing with YouTube videos.


I hope you found this post helpful! I am by no means a video expert, but these are the settings I've researched that work best for me. If you have video recording tips to share, please comment below!