With the advent of handheld technology, there is absolutely no reason you should not be videotaping your kids every opportunity you have. Don’t wait for special occasions or holidays either – make sure you capture every day moments as often, these are the most precious. One of my favorite videos of my kids was actually taken in the bathroom:
As you can see, my Ryan was such a little wiseguy! I completely forgot about this until I decided to download all the video to the computer with the intent of creating some family video dvd (a subject of a future post).
To get those every day moments make sure your video camera is handy and CHARGED. If your home videos are anything like mine, you will hear your husband’s voice saying “honey I only have a few minutes of battery left…” UGH! A video camera in its bag, tucked away in a closet isn’t capturing anything. If your cell phone has a video recording feature, make sure you know how to use it. Cell phones are wonderful for capturing candid video and that video can easily be uploaded to facebook and YouTube for sharing.
Here are 5 tips to improve your videotaping skills to make sure you capture the moment perfectly:
Get down to their level
When videotaping kids, try to get eye-level with them, whether on your knees, the floor, or a low chair. This position allows for greater interaction with the children.
Keep the Tape Rolling
Don’t be so quick to turn off the camera when the event you are capturing is finished. When you feel you have captured the performance or giggle, let the camera continue to recordl for another minute or two. Some of the best moments happen unexpectedly, so if you have the camera on and focused on the subject, you’re more likely to get them on tape.
Keep Camera Movement Down to a Minimum
Don’t use a lot of movement with the camera. Feel free to adjust your shot according to what is taking place but minimize zooming and panning. Your subject should be providing the movement, not the camera. Here is a tip: when you see something you want to record, get a nice long shot of whatever is happening without any camera movement (zoom or panning) whatsoever. Then, move in to adjust the shot and then let it roll for a while. This way you will have both a wide-shot of the activity (something that shows all the action) and a close up.
Fill the Frame With Your Subject
This is especially important when videotaping infants. Some of the best video is where you can see the expressiveness in a baby’s face when she is playing peek-a-boo, or her determination in trying to get the spoon from the cereal to her mouth. Don’t be afraid to get really close!
Flip the Screen
Toddlers are such hams and if you flip around the LCD screen on the camera so the kids can see themselves in action you’ll a) get a nice extended close up shot because most children can focus on themselves for a while, and b) you’ll get some hysterical footage as kids figure out who’s on the screen and start making faces at themselves!
Remember, they are little only once and these movies are the best family movies! Get out there are video tape!