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7 Tips For Better Family Videos

Better videos mean family members will actually watch them

Video is wonderful to preserve family memories. However, once we find the time to actually watch our home movies, it’s quite common to find they didn’t fully capture the moment or we realize the cameraperson was too shaky. You may also realize the lighting was off or that by trying to tape everything, you just feel like fast forwarding through your memories because, well, it’s too boring.

To shoot better family videos, especially during special moments or a vacation, here are some tips:

1) If you don’t have a tripod, enable the steady shot or stabilizing feature most video cameras have. It can only improve your shots and your finished videos.

2) To avoid making everybody dizzy, try to keep your camera still while shooting the video. If you will pan (move sideways), do it slowly. If it helps, count silently to 5 while panning the camera from start to finish.

3) Be careful when zooming in. It’s best to use a light hand and to zoom in slowly, rather than abruptly. That way you also ensure staying in focus.

4) Think of your video as visual storytelling. What story or memory do you want to capture? Whenever possible, have a mental plan of the video you want to shoot. For example, if you want to shoot video of your children seeing the ocean or their favorite character for the first time, plan to be in front of them to be able to capture their faces. That way you won’t miss their eyes opening wide or their smiles.

5) If your video camera allows, shoot still pictures while shooting the video. It’s a great way to shoot candid shots and that way you can relive your memories even if you can’t access your video, since photos are easier to look at.

6) Don’t forget to capture the ambiance: be aware of the natural sounds or music and tape snippets that will give you a feeling of where you are.

7) Get at least one shot of your kids laughing or giggling. Their voices will change over the years and being able to remember how they chuckled as babies, toddlers and preteens will prove priceless later on.


  • Enable the SteadyShot feature 1 of 4
    Enable the SteadyShot feature
    Most video cameras have a special feature that stabilizes the images and avoids minor shakes when you don't have a tripod. This is especially useful if you are using the zoom.
  • Tell stories with your pictures 2 of 4
    Tell stories with your pictures
    Plan and think in advance of the story you want to tell with your video. Use wide shots and close-ups to give your video visual variety and movement.
  • Go easy on the zoom 3 of 4
    Go easy on the zoom
    Zoom is great because it allows you to get closer to the action. However, be careful and go easy, because zooming in abruptly does not make for good video.
  • Learn to use your camera features 4 of 4
    Learn to use your camera features
    Every videocamera is different so take time to learn about different features. Try learning by doing, just don't do it the same day you are going on vacation or celebrating a special moment.

Do you have any other tips when shooting family videos? Please share!

Do you want to win a video camera?

Want to capture your own family memories on video? To enter for a chance to win a Sony Handycam, simply comment on this post with an answer to the following question: what’s your favorite family memory?

Want a chance to win weekly prizes like a Sony Handycam or a $200 Disney shopping card? Enter to win here!

A big thanks to Sony for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

Read Jeannette´s blog in Spanish and find more of her writing on Todobebé. You can also watch her on the Viva la Familia TV show Saturdays on Univision.

And reach out to her on Twitter and Facebook. She loves it!

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