Vacation time at last! While you spend some time glancing through this guide to find the perfect activities for you and your family during your time off from work or school, take a look at these 7 tips to creating lasting memories of your special time together! By spending 5 minutes reading this, you will develop skills that will enhance your ability to look back on this week (or more??) and relive it with future generations.
Tip #1 – No More Vertical Video!
When you watch TV, is your screen taller than it is wide or wider than it is tall? How about your computer screen? Ok, if you use a tablet, it can go either way, but most of us watch television and videos in a 16 by 9 aspect ratio. That means wider than it is tall. So if you are using your smart phone or tablet to take video, hold it so it is the same way, sideways, or wider than it is tall. Don’t hold it up & down, or your video will be shrunk down to a column in the middle of your TV or computer screen when you try to watch it! Don’t understand what I’m talking about – check out this tutorial…. https://youtu.be/gei5am2rxrg
Tip #2 – Watch Your Light Source
Where is the sun? Is it behind what you are trying to videotape? If so, you will have a very difficult time seeing your subject. If you are shooting sunrise at the beach, then you can’t help but shoot into the sun, but all other times, try to get the sun BEHIND you if you’re the one with the camera. If you are inside, try not to shoot towards windows with sunlight streaming it. Put your back to the window and shoot towards the inside of the room. This will help even out the lighting so that you can see what you are videotaping.
Tip #3 – Can You Hear Me Now?
When you are videotaping with your cell phone, you have little control over how the audio is heard in the camera. But there are still ways you can maximize the audio in your family videos. If you need to hear what someone is saying, try to get as close to them as possible. Also, move away from any noise sources (air conditioning units, loud rides at the amusement park, street noise, etc.). If you are using a more traditional camera, such as a DSLR that shoots video, you can even invest in an inexpensive wireless microphone if the sound is that important to you (such as a wedding or child’s performance).
Tip #4 – Save, Save, Save!
What do you do with your videos after a vacation? I’m sure some make it to Facebook. But what about the rest? When they go on Facebook, do you ever look at them again, besides when they show up in your annual reminder posts? Get in the habit of buying a large external hard drive, perhaps yearly, and dump all of your videos to that drive throughout the year. Consider using an inexpensive editing program to create a 10 minute recap of your vacation (there are even companies that can provide this service if you’re looking to spend a little more money). My family puts all our vidoes from the year on DVDs and keeps them in a binder, so we can go back and look at any year when we’re feeling a bit nostalgic. The kids LOVE it!
Tip #5 – It’s All In The Family
But make sure all of the family is in it! Most of the time either Mom or Dad handles all the videotaping of family events. But does he or she ever make it in the video? Make a point to ensure EVERYONE on your vacation gets in the video at some point. Years from now you don’t want to watch it and say “Where was Mom this vacation?” Even let the kids take some of the video so Mom & Dad can be seen together! It’s fun to see it through the kids’ eyes too.
Tip #6 – Details
Don’t forget the details. Yes, it’s nice to see a pretty pan of the beach full of people, but get close-ups of things like your daughter’s sand covered feet, their hair blowing on their favorite ride, the yummy ice cream cone, signs from your favorite places so you remember where you went, etc.
Tip #7 – Less is More
Finally, remember, less is more! Don’t go chasing the perfect shot. Sometimes when you just stand there, you can let the action happen in your video. The better you can stabilize the camera, the easier your videos will be to watch. Find something to lean on or rest your elbow on. Use both hands. Whatever you can do to be still, do it. And let the action happen within the sceen that you are shooting.
Above all – don’t forget to participate in your vacation! Put down the camera and enjoy your family. There are some memories that are best left in your mind. You don’t have to document every single moment. Enjoy your vacation in the Greater Toms River area! And don’t forget to tag #WeAreTR in any pics and videos you post on social media!