Tips for Shooting Great Videos of your Family
Has this happened to you?
You’re watching your son’s T-ball game and pull out the video camera to capture the best hit your son made all year, only to realize you never pressed the record button?
What about this?
You grab the video camera to capture your daughter’s best soccer game yet – only to discover your hand was a little wobbly and the video is blurry throughout.
We all love capturing those special moments on video so we can share them with friends and family and watch them ourselves over and over again. But sometimes those videos don’t come out as planned and often they are not as interesting as we would like them to be. Here are some great tips to spice up your family videos and really capture the story.
Read the Manual
Take time to review your camera's manual. Some cameras are simple to use (like the Flip Video Camera) but others have some really cool features that you’ll miss if you don’t take the time to read the instruction booklet and get to know the camera. For example my JVC has a time lapse feature that we played with over the holidays.
Go for a Test Drive
Make sure you test out the camera before the special event you want to capture. You could easily miss the story while trying to figure out how the video camera works.
Buy a Tripod
There are times when you will need to hand hold your video camera, but be sure to use a tripod as much as possible. You will need a steady hand for shooting video and the tripod is the best choice. Be sure you pick a tripod that is suited for a video camera because they tend to have smoother panning motion.
Keep Zooming to a Minimum
If you need to get closer to your subject, zoom with your feet instead of your camera’s zoom, it will help you maintain focus of your subjects.
Use a Microphone
It’s usually only high-end cameras that have the ability to add an additional microphone. However, there are a few developers coming out with great microphones for both the iPhone and the Flip camera.
Go Behind the Scenes
Another benefit of using a tripod is that you can easily step away from the camera and be a part of the story. Conducting an interview, it would be great to see both parties during the interview instead of one talking head.
Level With Your Cast
If you are shooting someone taller than yourself step on a chair or ladder so you can be above the nose. If you are trying to capture kids then get down to their level and explore their world with them.
Check Lighting Conditions
Look for a good place to shoot with plenty of indirect sun light. If you don’t have enough natural light use onboard flash or external lights.
Plan and Prepare
There are times when you just want to grab the camera and start shooting, like when your daughter finally nails the cartwheel or your child shoots his first basket. But for important occasions you’ll want to create a plan and/or shot list. Add props and interview guests, be a reporter.
Do you shoot a lot of videos of your kids? What is your favorite thing to capture?