How to Shoot Better Family Vacation Videos

Follow these tips to make sure your video is fun to watch and includes all the important parts of your vacation:

Record your family getting ready for the trip. Shoot your family waking up on the big day, packing, and trying to find the tickets. It'll provide a great start for your movie, and family members who watch your video will have more insight into your life.

While on vacation don't worry about shooting too much footage. It's easy to import your video onto your computer and then edit it with Windows Movie Maker. You can shoot long sequences to ensure that you get the shot and edit out the boring moments.

Break your video into video clips by stopping and starting the recording. Each time you start and stop recording, Movie Maker will create a separate video clip. It's much easier to edit short video clips than long video clips.

Don't forget to include yourself. Too often, the cameraperson never makes an appearance in the family video. Let other family members use your video camera. Otherwise prop the camera on a table, frame the shot and then walk into the frame.

Get up early to capture the morning light. The peaceful atmosphere of your vacation destination deserves to be included in the video. Every vacation place has a unique personality and a good vacation video shows that personality. Look for the unique features of your destination.

Slow zooms are good to show both location and detail. If you want to show an interesting boat docked at a pier, start the scene zoomed in to show only the boat. Slowly zoom out to show the entire harbour. A tripod or nearby stable surface can help to steady zoom shots.

Film with the sun behind YOU, not your subjects. When the sun is behind your subjects, it's called backlighting. Backlighting causes the faces in your video to appear in shadow. If you're forced to film in backlit situations, adjust your camera's exposure to show faces correctly. Some cameras have a special "Back Light" button that you can press to quickly adjust the exposure.

Keep your video camera charged and ready. If you have your camera buried in a bag, you'll miss some important shots while you unpack your camera. If you keep your camera in your hand, you'll take more footage. Bring extra batteries.