Some great tips here. We tend to do a lot of video, but even I learned something from Liz.
Thinking of filming your family vacation and turn the footages into a cool home video? That’s a great idea! Here are some creative and practical tips to help you come up with awesome travel videos.
1. Use the right gear
If you’re still using a smartphone to shoot your vacation videos, then you are totally missing out. Filming videos with your phone may have its advantages, but using proper video equipment—like a DSLR or a full HD camcorder—is still your best bet if you want to produce impressive vacation videos that everyone will want to watch. If you’re going to a vacation spot that requires a durable device more suited for a rugged environment, you may want to look into purchasing an action camera.
Also, if you have the budget and the luggage space for a drone, you may want to pick one up for your next vacation. The cinematic aerial footage you can get with a high-quality drone will be a great addition to your vacation home movie!
2. Don’t film everything you see
It’s only normal to want to capture every single second of your vacation. But not every single second is going to be important or fascinating enough to film. To save yourself the trouble of having to go through 20 hours (or more) of video footage during the editing process, just film certain parts of the vacation that you know you’ll most likely use in the final cut of the video.
Another reason to keep the filming to a minimum? You may not have that much fun! When you have a camera permanently glued to your hand, you may find it hard to actually spend time with the family and enjoy your vacation.
3. Create a story
The best home movies are those that can successfully tell a compelling story. Therefore, instead of taking random shots of whatever happens to be in front of you, try to film your vacation in a way that helps you tell a story.
For instance, if your spouse is a die-hard Harry Potter fan and you’re off to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park for the first time, create a narrative around that. You can build on the story by taking videos of your spouse’s Harry Potter books and memorabilia at home prior to the vacation or by focusing on your spouse’s reactions during the trip.
4. Do interviews
Documenting what you’re seeing and experiencing during your family vacation is great, but what about what you’re feeling and thinking? Make a well-rounded home video that perfectly sums up your family vacation by doing some interviews! Take the time to ask your family members some questions about how they’re feeling, what their thoughts are on the sights or the activities you’ve been doing, and various other questions that you can think of that are relevant to your vacation. It would also be a great idea to interview the locals (particularly if you’re vacationing in a foreign country) as well as any fellow tourists you may meet during your travels.
5. Have some variety
Give your home movie some variety (in terms of what you film and how you film them) to make it feel less like a home movie and more like a cool documentary!
Let’s say you’re on a family vacation at a beautiful beach resort in Hawaii. Don’t just shoot breathtaking views of the tropical scenery or clips of your kids building a sandcastle. Include a wide variety of other shots, like video selfies in front of an interesting backdrop, an artistic clip of the waves crashing against the shore, or a three-second clip of the starfish your kid found in the sand. Creating unconventional shots like these will help you incorporate more elements into your video and make it a better representation of your vacation.
Additionally, try to shoot your video from different angles to make it look more interesting. This is where having things like an action camera or a drone will come in handy, since they can make it possible to shoot underwater or from an aerial perspective.
6. Get creative
Finally, just let your creative juices flow! An awesome family vacation deserves some production value, so don’t hesitate to try out some creative shots or angles (or maybe even some wacky narrations) for the purpose of making your video more interesting, fun, and visually appealing.
There’s no right or wrong here, so just let your imagination run wild and have fun!
Liz Pekler - I am a travel photographer with more than 10 years of experience in the field. Being a freelance blogger enables me to help photography beginners and enthusiasts to tell wonderful stories of their travels as seen through their lenses. It also allows me to share my thoughts about another advocacy of mine: social equality and change.