How to Shoot Square Video Format: A Simple Guide


In addition to horizontal and vertical videos, the square video format is a fan favorite. Again, social platforms and apps – especially Instagram – tend to crop parts of videos out if it isn't square.

In fact, major social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram favor formatting their video ads in square formats. Why? Because square videos take up 78% more mobile screen space than their landscape video counterparts (the 1:1 ratio reduces the need to turn the phone to landscape to view videos.). And since square videos are visually appealing, they’re great for stopping the scroll. This makes them the ideal format for ads and video marketing.

So, what's the best way to create square videos for these social networks, you ask?

Well, whatever device you use to shoot or crop your video, you'll need to use video editing software to convert to a 1:1 square aspect ratio. The good news is, we'll explain exactly how you can do it in this article.

Tips for Shooting a Square Video Format


You may have noticed that you can take square photos with your phone, but you can't film in a 1:1 ratio. It's a bummer, we know. That’s why cropping a video in post-production is the best way to do it. But if you're shooting a video for sharing in a square format from beginning to end, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind.

Keeping Space While Staying Centered


Do you plan on adding graphics or text to your video during the editing stage? If so, make sure you leave space for them! These seemingly minor, yet crucial details are easy to overlook when shooting a square video.

If you plan your shots with these graphics in mind, you can simply use an image silhouette in a 1080x1080 frame and then build graphic layers on top in storyboarding.

In simple terms, be sure to move appropriately over to one side so there’s room for those graphics, but don’t cut yourself out of the shot.

For example, if you need a specific person (e.g. the main speaker) to be the focus for most of your video, make sure they're positioned front and center of the shot. But if you know you'll be inserting text later, make sure the speaker moves but still remains in the frame.

*TIP* No matter what device you're using – mobile or DSLR – you can mask off the portion of the LCD you want and shoot to fit that size. This is an easy-to-use this method to ensure you'll keep the important visuals in the frame.

Cropping a Square Video for Social Media


So, maybe you already created the perfect video. The lighting was ideal, your script on point, your delivery was flawless, and you can’t wait to get it fired up on your social media profiles, but – oh, dear… you’ve filmed it in landscape mode and didn’t consider the 1:1 ratio! You don't need to panic.

If you’ve already filmed the video on your mobile device but would like to convert it to square format, this can easily be done using simple editing tools.

If you already have an editing program, like Premier, then you know you can crop it to 1:1 right within the program. But for those who don't have these tools available and are new to video, you can edit directly from your iPhone using iMovie.

An Easy Hack for Creating Square Videos


Before you get started, the first step is to trim your video (but before you do, you’ll want to make sure you make a duplicate copy! You don’t want to override the original.).

After you’ve made a copy of your video, it’s time to edit using apple iOS or android:

  • The first step is to go to your photo library
  • Open the video you want to edit (tap edit in the upper right corner)
  • Tap the (...) at the bottom of your screen
  • A pop-up will, well, pop up
  • Tap iMovie

If you’re working with a video that’s saved on your desktop or laptop, you can start the process using iMovie there, too.

*NOTE* Even though you can start this process within iMovie, you’ll have to finish it using the Keynote app (which should be defaulted on your Apple device).

If your video requires any editing, like trimming, you can also do that while you're in iMovie.

To trim your video, follow these instructions:

  • Tap the icon for Trim using the scissors at the bottom of the screen.
  • You can move the yellow bars to change the starting and ending points of the video. If you edit the length, you will see it change at the top of the screen.
  • Tap the play button to check out the edited version.

If your video is already all set to go, we can move on to the next step.

Using Keynote


Once all looks good, it’s time to export your video file and open Keynote. If you’ve never used Keynote, or have but only for presentations,  here’s what to do to make a square video presentation at 1080 x1080 pixels:

  • Add your iMovie video to Keynote
  • Adjust the crop to fit your video to 1080x1800 (and center your focal point in the frame)
  • When you save your Keynote presentation, be sure to save it as a video file
  • After that, upload to your preferred platform

While it's not perfect, it's a quick and inexpensive way to get started. Alternatively, you can use a program designed to crop videos into a 1:1 ratio, such as Wave and Typito.

Does shooting square video make you feel like a square? Don't hesitate to reach out if you're feeling stuck! Our team of professionals can help you create the perfect square video for your social channels or ads.

Our skilled team will keep the focal points centered, leave space for any texts or graphics, and produce video content that is high quality without cutting corners!

Contact us today to get started.