Often when it comes to holidays, special events, vacations, and similar, individuals and families alike break out the videocamera to capture the memories! Whether it’s your first time behind the lens or you’re a seasoned veteran with years of family videotaping experience, the following tips are sure to help you make the most of your family video this holiday season.
Tip Number 1: When you start videotaping, remember this: perspective is key. As you’re videotaping your kids opening their presents, or getting a shot of the dog tearing through the wrapping paper scraps – consider getting down to their level, in terms of height. The world looks completely different when you’re three feet off the ground instead of six, and certainly makes for an interesting video. Think about the particular scenario you’re videotaping for a given clip, and figure out what the appropriate height is to shoot it from.
Tip Number 2: Speaking of videotaping, what sort of camera are you working with? The vast majority of newer cameras shoot to disc or memory card – but many people are still shooting to tape. If you can afford an upgrade, consider making the switch. Memory cards have their own set of problems (storing the footage digitally after shooting it, ensuring it stays safe from corruption in the long term, etc), but you’ll likely find that the benefits outweigh the challenges. You won’t need a closet to store years of videotapes anymore, individual clips are saved as such (and not lost in the midst of an hour long tape), image quality tends to be higher on new equipment, and of particular note for the next step – digitizing is instant.
Tip Number 3: Avoid videotaping an event, saving or storing the footage, and forgetting about it for the next 30 years. Though it’s not always easy to make the time, try to load the footage into your computer, review what you’ve shot, and make a “best of” folder or video. Many cameras come with proprietary editing software that’s fairly easy to learn, and all Windows / Mac systems have built in software to perform basic editing on as well. If you can parse down a day’s worth of shooting (Maybe an hour’s worth of footage) into a 3 or 5 minute video with the best stuff – you’ll have something you can share with the family and enjoy at the drop of a hat – no need to dig through hundreds of tapes and hours of footage. Better yet, sign up for a sharing site like SmugMug.com and upload the holiday videos, where you can control the privacy settings on your media and post videos for your family to watch and enjoy. And hey – if you can’t make the time to parse down and edit the footage that you’ve shot, feel free to give me a call. We’ll create something that your family can easily access and enjoy for years to come.