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Let’s just clarify what a vertical video is – in case anyone is wondering.

Vertical video is a recent phenomena, emerging thanks to the expanding capabilities of mobile phones – more specifically, their video recording function. To capture an event or a moment on video, smartphone users simply pull out their devices and shoot – without turning the phones.

The resulting video is referred to as ‘vertical’ (like ‘portrait’ in photography terms) and looks something like this:

The vertical video debate

Going vertical has caused many an argument. The development and growing popularity of apps like Snapchat, that actively encourage vertical video, will no doubt ignite more debate.

It seems shooting vertical just pushes some people’s buttons. Even some celebs have expressed their dislike of the format. Childish Gambino a.k.a. Donald Glover (musician, actor, celeb) jumped off stage at Lollapalooza in 2014 (and at various other gigs) to teach his fans about appropriate filming techniques!


Appropriate or not? 

There are many passionate people getting their knickers in a twist about vertical video. But are they right?

According to The Deli’s video pros, well… yes.


“There are some, limited benefits to shooting vertical.”

Josh, one of our Producers, reluctantly admits.

It can work well on mobile phones, tablets and on some apps developed for these devices. Filming close, intimate interviews can even look nicer and more personal as vertical rather than horizontal videos.

But it cuts out a lot of detail (think about totally cutting off your peripheral vision) and don’t work for any other screen. Most screens – TVs, movie screens, laptop and desktop computers – are designed for horizontal video.

Why were they designed that way? Because the horizontal aspect ratio suits our vision better. FACT. Well according to Josh and Ming Thein, a photographer. Ming puts it like this:

“Since human eyes are horizontally tandem, we tend to see in a wider horizontal field than vertical; a tall image forces our eyes to scan up and down its length, which means that such images are difficult to compose because they must be broken into zones with complimentary transitions for the composition to work.”

Also (minor detail), you can’t record vertical video on professional video cameras.

So, if you’re Snapchatting – vertical video away!

But if you want to shoot something you can watch across most screens, not just your phone, make sure to turn your phone to the side.

Check out this extremely convincing video, arguing the case against vertical video!

If you have a different opinion about vertical videos, join the debate and let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat.