10 EASY TIPS for vacation videos

Every year since Luna was born I've made an annual video of her yearly adventures. The main reason is that if I don't do something with those videos now, they will likely end up in the black hole of my computer or on a USB stick that will eventually get lost in a drawer somewhere forever.

My friends always ask me how to edit videos- but in the end I know that we won't end up having the same kind of video footage.

The most important thing to know first is.....

How to shoot the best shots for really amazing videos your family can enjoy forever!

10 (easy + awesome of course) TIP for shooting those VACATION VIDEOS you can be proud of!

1. DON'T SHOOT VIDEOS VERTICALLY! We all haul our fancy cameras with us on vacation (because this time I'm going to use it) however 99% of the time still end up using our phones (even a great idea too!).


The framing on your iphone, when shot vertical, looks lovely on your phone - but when its time to edit your videos or upload to social media it's small and ends up tiny with black framing because its not a editable format. You will regret it. (thanks Karl Schreiber!)

2. SHORT & SWEET! Plan your shots. Record short and sweet sequences, your video clips should rarely exceed 30 seconds. Instead of long sequences- PLAN!

Example: you are visiting a zoo, get wide and close shots, perhaps of feet walking, interactions with the animals, eating hot dogs, laughing- highlights of that moment.

Planning in any area always goes along way.


  • HEADACHE! You will overwhelm yourself with hours of footage and may result in tears

  • Video files are large and you will run out of space on your camera or phone


  • Have in mind what you what to shoot so you don't film everything in sight

  • Short shots help keep the video moving when it comes to edit time

3. STEADY STEADY! I remember my brother showing me his vacation videos from Nicaragua and I literally had to stop because I was sea sick. It's important to remember to keep steady - (pan slowly too) hold your camera and phones with two hands and use any additional support you can. This diagram below from WISTERIA really captures it for us. This will not only improve the actual quality of your video but also keeps your audience from loosing their lunch.

4. RECORD "MOMENTS" TO REMEMBER This goes back to the point of not filming everything in sight. Think of your vacation video as the "HIGHLIGHTS". Try to film the little things too- creating moments to remember, record those moments. The dripping ice cream coming down your toddlers face. These clips should be added to your video as they will really bring the emotions back when you look back on your adventure.

A good trick is to pretend you are taking a picture of everyone but actually taking a video- see it in Luna's video below at 1 min 40 :-) always a good memory.

5. SCENERY IS NOTHING WITHOUT PEOPLE IN IT I never shoot scenery without having someone in the shot. Because the scenery might be the same 20 years down the road however that person won't be. So for the best scenery shots, have your kids looking around or playing in the sand when trying to capture scenery.

6. GET DOWN ON THEIR LEVEL This is my favorite tip - but when you are shooting your kids and toddlers get down to their levels. You really get to capture the world from where they are, and you don't end up with videos of only the tops of their heads.

7. GET IN THE VIDEO Pretty please don't forget to get in the video too. Most families there is always that dedicated person who ends up taking all of pictures and videos. Thanks to selfie mode I've been able to actually get pics and videos with Luna. However, get ready to teach others how to shoot so you can get on the action and memories. Moral of the story is .... HAND OVER THE CAMERA! (thank you Adrien & Tanya!)

8. LIGHTING Is key. Best shots are of course with natural lighting- but be sure that the lighting is behind you and not behind the person you are filming (or photography even). In low light I actually find that my iPhone is better equipped than my DSLR. You need light in order to shoot- when it all fails you can use a flash light, other camera phone light, to light your subject.

9. INTERVIEW THE FAMILY Video captures not just what we look like, but how we think. Get a dialog going during your adventure. This is perfect footage for that embarrassing wedding video 20 years from now. Don’t just interview the kids, but your partner, your parents, strangers you met along the way. It’s a great way to capture the emotion of a moment in time.

10. HAVE FUN Don't stress yourself out and if you are having fun - probably the video is going to be fun too! Videos are pictures that come alive and don't forget to shoot a few.

Here's our latest video that captured Luna's 5th year of adventures on this planet! I hope it inspires you to take more videos of your adventures too!

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