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Picture this: You’re scrolling through Facebook and you’re hungry. You soon come across this delish video that grabs your attention from one of those meal services like Hello Fresh, say.


A cinematic portrayal of a rich, aromatic meal. You can smell the mashed potatoes, taste the apples, quench your thirst with the tea, even hear the conversation with family.




“Yum, might have to give Hello Fresh a try,” you think.

Then you head over to Instagram and see the same video, but this time it’s vertical.


What happened?! The video was originally shot in a 16:9 aspect ratio then cropped into a 9:16 ratio (think Instagram story).

And a lot was lost in the process, chiefly your new love for Hello Fresh.

Let’s fix it. With so many of our clients telling their stories on social media, our job is to help you adapt your visual storytelling for the vertical age.

According to our Creative Editor, Shane Walker, “Rather than try to ‘fix it in post’, start with an upfront awareness of all the different output ratios. Conversations that may very well impact your shot list, especially as it relates to composition.

Traditionally in video production, we shoot everything in a 16×9 aspect ratio (think “landscape”) …what we’ve all seen in video and television forever.

But in the social media world, we’re starting to see less 16×9 and more 9×16 (again, “Instagram story”).

Planning for both might seem like no big deal: “just crop the 16×9 video and it’ll work”.

Sometimes that will work just fine, as you can see in these images where the composition allows you to just zoom in on the main action without losing the spirit of the shot at all:

But that’s not always the case. Sometimes the two different aspect ratios are not apples to apples but more like apples to, um, apple slices.

Back to our original example: we first frame the shot for a 16×9 aspect ratio, with a balanced full frame composition and pleasing depth of field, telling the whole story.

Now, just crop it. Turn that same 16×9 video and deliver it in a 9×16 aspect ratio. Notice how much of the image gets cut out to not only change your pleasing composition but also loses key information and impact.

Exactly why we promote thinking ahead; crafting a more holistic media plan.

With an upfront understanding of your communication goals and delivery platforms, we may recommend a composition better suited to the 9×16 aspect ratio. It’s not only the ability to output the same video in multiple aspect ratios, it’s about seeing the bigger picture and factoring in media needs across all platforms.

After moving the tea, apples, and flowers in…

Boom, you’re thinking of trying out Hello Fresh again.

Our producers are standing by – horizontally and vertically – to help with your next project.