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A Guide To Creating The Perfect Family Holiday Videos

A Guide To Creating The Perfect Family Holiday Videos
November 17, 2014 Becca Flynn

Oh the magic of Christmas morning, family gatherings, grandpa snoozing, baby’s first Christmas, chaos, gifts, food, lots and lots of food. Why not capture these moments with videos that last forever. Videos that don’t make you dizzy or miss out on capturing the perfect moment. Like the expression on your little brothers face when he opens his first present or the reaction you get when your loved ones come home to surprise the  family after being deployed for a year. We want to encourage you to capture all of your precious moments! Here are some quick tips we threw together for you to create family holiday videos, no matter your filming style.

To start, you might be wondering what sort of options you have to shoot video with, and the answer is: pretty much anything. Find an inexpensive digital video camera, smart phone, camcorder, tablet, DSLR camera, or Go Pro Hero.

Tip #1 You might choose to use a smart phone to capture moments on the fly. When doing this, keep in mind to hold your phone horizontally when shooting the video. Nothing is more frustrating than watching video that was shot vertically, as it limits the quality and cuts out a lot of the action.

Tip #2 Make interesting and enjoyable videos for family to watch. Whether you want to edit a lot or a little, you can shoot great video. Just decide what kind of effort you are planning to put in to capture the right kind of shots and plan ahead.

Tip #3 If you have small children running around your holiday festivities, we have a tip for you. Get down on their level so you don’t just see the tops of their heads. Get close enough to hear their voices as well. Seeing them open gifts when on their level will allow you to capture the significance of  how cool it really is for them, especially when the presents get bigger than them. Whether you are taking a vacation or opening presents at home, appreciate and see how cool it is to walk from their perspective by holding the camera down by your side to capture their height.

Tip #4 So, do you have a family the size of the McCallister’s from the classic film Home Alone and can barely keep count of everyone? Use high up shots with wide angels for large families or groups of children at parties.

Tip #5 Using handy mounts and accessories is always encouraged but not necessary. Sometimes being hands free is easier and some accessories allow you to capture the perfect angles. Accessories work really well with Go Pros and Smart phones.

Tip #6 Along with this phone accessory talk, there are plenty of video apps that can enhance the look and feel of your video. You can find shooting features like audio monitoring, improved image stabilization, and date and scene information. Some add music, effects and transitions to help you put together something professional looking.  FiLMiC Pro (iOS, $5)Magisto Video Editor & Maker (Android, Free) (Source: Komando.com)

Tip #7 Set up a camera to shoot specific interviews and moments. Ask kids to ask fun questions to their grandparents and record stories, memories, and laughter. What can be a better way to record family history.

Tip #8 Avoid zooming with the camera. Instead walk closer, or get a better view of your subject. Too often faces get blurry and fuzzy and you can’t keep a crisp image. One solution, besides zooming with your feet (walking closer), can be an optical zoom lense.

 Tip #9 Keep it interesting. Use multiple angles, and mix up your shots. Establish your location with a wide shot then get more focused on faces and activities.

Tip#10 Viewers are not signing up for motion sickness. Keep things slow and steady when moving around.

Tip #11. For some visual elegance, frame your subjects slightly off center, making things interesting  and fun. And who knows, maybe you can capture a photo bomb.

Tip #12 Want to have more fun? Attach your Go Pro to a toddler or pet at the party. We haven’t tried this one yet, but it seems adventurous.. Might be something you can try out if you plan on stabilizing footage after the holidays.

Tip #13 Get a tripod. Do holiday interviews and gather thoughts, and reactions. Ask someone what they think is in their gift before they open it, then reveal the mystery. How did they react?

Tip #14 There is always a solution. If things get too choppy with the footage, there is always an alternative. If you have to make many cuts, grab a holiday jingle and make a music video!

Tip #15 Wanna make the cut? Teach others to use the camera!

Tip #16 Don’t..film.. everything. Keep the eating and less interesting things out of the picture.

 Tip #17  Be smart about the lighting. Having the sun or artificial light behind your subjects, for example, creates silhouettes. You won’t be able to see people’s faces or other objects on film. Turn on lamps or overhead lights when shooting indoors. Another good solution is to use a camera video light. These affordable lights attach to your camera to instantly shine more light on your subject.


Well there you have it! Go make some memories!

(We were able to compile awesome content with the help of these guys to give us great holiday specific examples!)