How to Shoot a Video of Your Family Vacation



Tell A Story

Plan your basic story ahead of time. Why are you visiting that particular place? If you are traveling somewhere new, plan to capture the wonderment and joy each time you discover something new. That way you know to get your camera out at the beginning of each new experience. If you are going someplace you have been before you may only want to capture the family moments. Have a beginning, middle and end in mind to keep yourself from filming everything you see.

If you want a more epic story, start filming the day you leave, even on the plane or in the car. Leaving for a trip is arguably one of the most exciting parts. The anticipation and excitement are palpable. Capture those moments, because by the end of the trip you might not remember that feeling as strongly. 


Be Real

Don’t stage every shot, it’s a family video, not a movie. If your hair isn’t perfect while laying by the pool, who cares. If your makeup gets smudged while hiking in Hawaii, no big deal. You are there to experience things not look like you just walked out of the salon. Capturing the real moments will make the memories that much better. In turn, you will capture the genuine feelings and joy, and that’s the whole point of a family vacation.


Interview People

No, not like an Oprah Winfrey style interview. Ask your family questions, especially if you have kids. Turn on the camera and ask them what they think of the view, the food, the trip as a whole. Kids have the best raw reactions to new things! Turn the camera on yourself and give your reactions. Ask your family to describe what they are thinking and how they are feeling for a more authentic depiction of your trip.

You can even “interview” the staff at the hotel, the people you meet, the guide on the tours you take. 


Variety Matters

Don’t just shoot the scenery. Yes a beautiful sunset off the cruise ship is great, but you want to film more than just the beauty of the place you’re in. It’s not called a family vacation for the scenery!  Film your kids walking down the street in a new city. Film your family playing in the pool. Don’t assume something is too mundane to film, you will most likely want to remember the small things years from now when you look back. 

Make sure to film from different angles, different perspectives and use filters like black and white. Also don't forget that video is about movement. Don't just shoot the pool, shoot your kids jumping into the pool. Don't just capture an beautiful building, capture your family looking at it in awe! 


Give Up The Camera

We know kids can be clumsy but if you have a chance to allow them to take the camera for a few minutes, do it!  A different perspective, especially from a child’s eye can really make your video special and helps them feel like they are contributing. If you aren’t with kids, have your partner or parent take some video so that you can actually be in some clips. You are on the vacation too, you don’t want to hide behind the camera the whole time.  


Film in Short Clips

Keeping your clips to between 20-60 seconds will not only help when you are editing later, but will also keep you from missing the moments in real life. You don’t want to walk around Paris looking at it from behind a camera. Take a few short clips and then move on. You will get the moments you want on film, it doesn’t have to be a two hour movie of every step you took. 


Have Fun

Most of all, have fun with your videos and don’t take it too seriously. If you miss something, it’s ok. Just try to capture what you can so that the memories will last a lifetime. When your kids are grown they will love going back to watch the old clips. You won’t remember that you didn’t catch that sunset, or the moment your husband got knocked over by that big wave. Those aren’t the moments that made the vacation. The smiles and feelings are what you truly want to remember.

If you have old family videos from when you were a kid, don’t forget to get those digitized so you can share your family vacations with your children now!