How to Live Stream From Your Phone

21 June 2020

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and most of us spending more time than usual online, it’s no surprise that live streams have become a popular form of content. From business owners and fitness instructors to vloggers, content creators around the world have embraced live streams as a way to connect with audiences across the digital divide. 

No matter what the topic of your live stream is, one thing’s for sure: Quality plays a huge part in the success of your stream. Good quality audio and visuals engage your audience, and are the best way to ensure that they come back for more. Thankfully, you don’t need top of the line professional live streaming equipment to achieve a quality stream - just your phone, a few accessories and a bit of forward thinking. Read on to discover our top tips for live streaming from your phone.

1. Use an external microphone

When it comes to live streaming, having something interesting to say is only half of the equation: Your audience needs to be able to hear you clearly. No matter how groundbreaking or entertaining your content may be, it’ll all go to waste if viewers can’t hear you properly.

While your smartphone’s built-in mic is good enough for phone calls and voice memos, you’ll need an external microphone to record professional-level content. 

If you’re after convenience, your best bet is a smartphone microphone that plugs into the TRRS connection of your phone and is ready to go in seconds. For something a little more discreet, opt for a lapel-style or lavalier microphone, which can be clipped onto your clothes to pick up every word clearly - making it perfect for interviews or on-the-go content.


Top Tip: After something directional? Go for a shotgun-style smartphone microphone instead, which does a great job at cutting out background noise.

How to Live Stream From Your PhoneHow to Live Stream From Your Phone

2. Mount your camera on a mini tripod

How to Live Stream From Your PhoneHow to Live Stream From Your Phone

If there’s one thing that instantly makes a live stream look amateurish, it’s shaky and blurry footage. Mounting your phone on a mini tripod cuts out camera shake completely, and also eliminates the risk of obstructed vision or muffled sound. 

There are plenty of phone tripods on the market, so it’s a matter of shopping around, testing a few models, and figuring out which is best for you. For total beginners, you can’t go past a standard mini tripod with a phone mount, while action and adventure photography fans will love Gorillapods, which can be wrapped around poles and similar objects to give you a steady footing in any situation.

Already have a tripod? Great! There’s no need to replace it: Simply purchase an inexpensive smartphone camera mount and you're good to go.

3. Consider a phone camera lens

While a separate phone lens isn’t strictly speaking necessary for every content creator, a small kit of portable smartphone lenses can help you develop your visual style to suit different scenarios. This can be particularly handy if you livestream on location or in other environments where you don’t have complete control over your surroundings.

For example, if you find yourself shooting in a cramped space, a wide angle camera phone lens can open up your shot and prevent you from cropping out anything crucial. On the other hand, a phone macro lens attachment can enhance close-up shots in your stream, such as during tutorials or workshops.

How to Live Stream From Your PhoneHow to Live Stream From Your Phone

4. Improve your lighting

In many cases, finding the best live stream light can be achieved simply by moving around your filming location. If possible, aim to shoot beside a large, open window or other natural light source. This will allow you to harness the beauty and power of natural light - with the bonus of not costing a single cent!

If you’re lucky enough to have natural light at your disposal, a photo light reflector can help redirect available light onto your subject and reduce dark shadows.

If you don’t have natural light at your disposal, don’t fret! There are plenty of artificial lighting tools for film that can mimic the appearance of natural light, with the added bonus of being available at all times of day. For consistently-lit streams, a portable LED light is generally your best bet, as it can be easily adjusted and positioned to suit your specific needs.

Set your phone live stream up for success

Now that you know how to live stream from your phone, it’s time to get your stream up and running. With the right tools and a bit of practice, filming engaging, high quality content that attracts an audience is far easier than it sounds.

Searching for more content creation tips to help you channel your creativity while social distancing or spending time at home? Find vlogging tips and techniques and more on our blog today!

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