For those who haven’t yet splurged on a fancier setup for recording videos at home, know that your smartphone’s camera (ideally coupled with a better microphone that you clip to your body) is good enough in most cases—the rear-facing camera(s), that is. The front-facing camera is typically less powerful.
However, trying to set up your camera to shoot a video of yourself as if a ghost is taking your picture is tricky. It normally takes a bit of back and forth to ensure that you’ve correctly framed your shot, and that can be annoying to deal with if you’re always switching locations for your videos. However, I noticed an ingenious hack involving an Apple Watch on The Verge today that fixes this issue completely.
Before I get to it, yes, I know that you can accomplish the same kind of a thing with an iPhone and an iPad. In fact, I’ve always used the FiLMiC Remote app to mirror my iPhone’s screen to my iPad so I can see my adjustments in real-time and set up a shot a lot faster. But if you have an Apple Watch, you can accomplish the same sort of thing, no extra apps necessary.
Pull up your Apple Watch and launch its Camera app. That’s it. You’ll get a live feed on your watch of everything your connected iPhone can see. More importantly, you’ll be able to switch to video mode on your iPhone to start shooting whatever you want. And to finish out the awesomeness, you can strap your Apple Watch to your iPhone in order to attach your new viewfinder directly to the device you’ll be staring at:
If you want to switch your phone’s cameras, simply tap the triple-dot icon in the lower-right corner of your Apple Watch. You’ll then be able to select whether you want to view and control your iPhone’s front or rear camera:
That’s it. All you need now is a ring light, a tripod, and a better microphone, and you’ll be all set to become that next big-time influencer. And if you don’t have an Apple Watch or iPad to view your iPhone’s screen, there’s always the classic approach: Buy a cheap mirror and place it behind your iPhone so you can see what’s on screen. Inelegant, sure, but effective.