In the Spotlight: MaryAnne Wendt, Videographer & Editor
Looking for vacation video tips? You don’t have to be a professional videographer to create amazing family vacation movies. You just have to capture the highlights and you can create fun music videos! I love walking around with my GoPro camera and shooting our special moments.
Here are a few vacation video tips:
1. SMALL CAMERA FOR ON-THE-GO:
You don’t have to have a fancy DSLR camera. I highly suggest a GoPro. It’s small enough to fit in your purse or pocket. It shoots in 1080p and it comes with a waterproof case for awesome swimming footage! If you have lots of space on your iPhone or other mobile device, the cameras on those are amazing. I just like having a separate camera for shooting video because you will suck your phone battery when doing video. Make sure you have extra batteries already charged and ready to go. Don’t forget to bring your battery charger and charge batteries every night during your trip. Have at least a 32GB memory card and bring an extra one.
You can get a GoPro Hero 3 for $199.00 on Amazon. The older models might even be cheaper.
A few suggested accessories for your GoPro:
GoPro Jaws Clamp Mount, battery charger, extra batteries, mini SD card, an SD card adapter for your computer, car suction cup mount (for fun road trip footage), waterproof housing (comes with your GoPro) and a mini tripod.
- 2. STEADY HAND & SLOW PANS:
- The most important thing to shooting video is having a steady hand. If you want to use a mini-tripod for the GoPro or whatever camera you are using, go for it. When you pan across a room or outdoors, move steady and slowly. Even when you get excited, try to relax and move slowly. If you are already shooting with editing in mind, and you know you are going to cut out that fast movement to get to the next spot, then by all means move.
- 3. MASTER THE SELFIE:
- If you are the shooter most of the time, chances are you aren’t in a lot of photos or videos. Make sure included in your vacation videos. Hold your hand with the GoPro out and face it towards yourself and your family. If the top of your forehead is 12:00, then hold the camera facing you at about 2:00 when you’re walking around. If you have a family of at least 4 of you, try to be in the center to get everyone in the shot, or you can play with an angle if you’re at the end. This will take practice. You may get your finger in the shot. Be aware of where the lens is and how you’re holding the camera. (Also, don’t cover the tiny holes on the side of the GoPro – that is where the internal mic is located and your sound will be muffled. If you are going to create a music video, then the audio won’t matter.)
4. ALL YOU NEED ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS:
If you capture just the highlights of your vacation, you will have a super awesome montage for your family to look back on. You just need a few clips of each moment. Ideas: If you’re camping, you could put the camera on a tripod and shoot getting the tent up. Maybe edit that in high speed. It could be comical. If you’re a foodie, capture those special meals. Obviously, if you are touring special places, shoot whatever it is you and your family are enjoying.
5. SHOOT WITH EDITING IN MIND:
As you’re shooting, think about what your movie will look like. This will also help you consider the shots. If you think you are shooting too much of a scene, then you probably are. Remember videos are huge files that you have to download to your computer and edit. I try to shoot conservatively and get just the shots I know I’m going to use.
6. LIGHTING AND SOUND:
When on vacation, you won’t be lugging professional lighting around. If you are picky about lighting you can use a small LED light in the evening, or during the day make sure your camera angles are with your subject facing the sun. If you are narrating, speak loud and clear towards the camera and it should pick up good sound. If you plan on making a music video, you won’t have to worry about any audio.
7. HAVE A BEGINNING, A MIDDLE AND AN END:
All good films have these three things. Ideas: Leaving in your car, taking off on the plane, the sun coming up, playing and having fun, the sunset at the end, driving away, or the plane landing. Most video producers will create “shot lists” before filming begins. So before you leave for your trip, store a vacation video list of clips you want to capture. You may have to stage some shots, but that’s okay. Do whatever it takes to make your vacation movie creation awesome. This is your story to tell.
8. BACKGROUND MUSIC:
Pick some fun songs that remind you of your trip or add to the vibe of your movie. It can be instrumental or pop songs you sang along to on the radio during your road trip. It’s your movie! If you plan on sharing via YouTube, just a heads up some songs will be flagged copyrighted and you’ll receive a notice. You won’t be able to monetize your video but the video should still work on YouTube. I ran into one problem where the whole vacation video was muted out so I had to pick a different song.
You can purchase songs with a license at Audiosocket to avoid those issues.
9. CUT TO THE BEAT:
When making your vacation video cuts in your editing software, listen carefully to the music you’ve added. If you can find a way to cut to the beat, do it. This will make your movie super pro looking. You’re welcome.
10. INCORPORATE PHOTOS:
You can import photos into your video editing software. If you missed any video footage and you want to fill in those moments with photos, you can do that. Or if you want to incorporate your stunning DSLR photos, yes! Do it.
HAVE FUN EDITING!
You will have an amazing documentary to enjoy with your family for many years. Editing is my favorite part of the whole process. This can take a few hours to a few days, depending on how much footage you are working with. Most professional editors will spend 1-2 hours to edit one minute of video.
I hope these tips were helpful for you! Please share links to your creations in the comments below or ask me any questions!
No time to do the editing? Technically challenged? I offer editing services! Contact me for a quote. I can take your footage and create your vacation video for you. Really!
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Here are my last 2 vacation videos from our trip to Orlando to Disneyworld and our dream vacation…. we surprised our girls with a Disney Cruise! I was able to capture 7 days in Orlando in under 12 minutes and a 3 day cruise in under 8 minutes. Enjoy.