5 Tips to Capture Great Video of Your Family on your phone

We're mid-holiday season, and I'm sure you've been in full documenting mode, taking pics of your kids decorating the Christmas tree, shooting videos of ice skating, or snapping shots in your ugly sweaters. While your home videos will be cherished for their content not quality, a little bit of knowledge and effort will make those memories something you'll want to watch and share over and over again. Luckily, I have a few tips for you to capture great video of your family this holiday season. Along with the tips, you can check out one of my own home videos of a trip to Austin that me and my husband Jordan took last year. I'm sure your own videos will look different than mine, but that's the great thing about them. You can make them your own!

1. Keep it Horizontal

Unless you want your family videos to live on social media only, keep the phone horizontal while you film. Yes, Insta Stories are super fun but think about the way film and video has been shot and watched for decades. Theaters, televisions, computers... always horizontal. Vertical video is meant to live on your phone and social media. If you want these videos to be timeless memories that can be revisited on any platform, keep it horizontal.

2. Make Sure Your Shot is Well-lit

While you can't always control bad lighting, try to take advantage of good lighting whenever possible. Ideal lighting is natural light, either outside or from a window. Make sure your subject is facing towards the light instead of away. So if a window is your light source, have them face towards the window with all that pretty light falling on their face. If they are backlit, your phone will either make their face too dark to compensate for the brightness behind them, or properly expose their face while the background is super bright. Neither one of these are great options, so simply turn them around to face the light source. Trust me, you'll be happy with the results!

3. Edit When You Can

I totally get that you want to remember all four minutes of your husband belting out Drops of Jupiter in the car (yes, I definitely have that home video), but sometimes you can record too much in a single clip. Like all that extra time while you're waiting for your puppy to do that special trick, or that shaky bit at the end before you stop recording. I am definitely that person who presses record too early and late because I don't want to miss anything. But that's ok! Just go ahead and trim anything that doesn't add to your video. Your family will thank you when they don't have to watch all that extra dead footage before your toddler starts doing his crazy dance move at 1 minute in. **Added bonus: frees up more room on your phone for more videos! (To trim video on your iPhone, just click the 'Edit' button in the top right hand corner).

4. Focus on the Candid Moments

Getting the perfect photo with all eyes open and everyone smiling at the camera can be a task, but capturing candid video is so much more easy and fun! You don't have to worry about the perfect pose or getting everyone together at the same time. You simply let your family be themselves. Then when your Uncle starts telling that crazy, hilarious story, you just whip out your phone, press record, and let him continue doing his thing. And the best part is that most people don't get camera shy around their family. The result is beautifully genuine moments with your family. 

5. Capture Great Memories & Then Put the Phone Down and Enjoy Them!

I am so guilty of this. I'm always trying to get that perfectly pretty shot, which sometimes costs me the memory itself. Instead of being in the moment with my family, I'm too busy trying to make sure that rando in the background gets out of the way or the fork on the table is in just the right spot. It's so good to just sit in the present and enjoy it sometimes without the distraction of a phone or camera. But when you do want a memory captured, snap a photo or video, then put the phone down and enjoy the time with your family.

If beautifully, well-captured time with your family is important to you, look into a Legacy Film. It's an easy, stress-free way to spend quality time with your loved ones, while not having to worry about actually capturing it. That's all for me to figure out! If you're interested documenting timeless moments with your family through a Legacy Film, please reach out here!