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Your Vacation Video Shooting Strategy

written by: Kumara Velu•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/1/2011

Learn techniques of shooting your vacation video like a Professional.

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    Generate Universal Appeal

    During the planning stage, you may have come up with ideas on how to go about shooting your video. Whatever, your ideas, promise yourself that you are going to tell the exciting story of your vacation through your video. You’re not just going to shoot your family members posing against a giant statue or standing together in every imaginable location. This is important if your video is to generate universal appeal.

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    Start at the Beginning

    Don’t hide your camera until you reach your holiday destination. Start when you’re setting out on the trip. Shoot family members packing up – the confusion, the rush and record the excitement of loading luggage into the vehicle etc. To spice the video up, have someone from the family appear before the camera and say, “Hi, welcome to the Smith family’s annual vacation trip. This time around we are going to visit XYZ. Do follow along and have a fun-filled exciting trip.” You could then spend a few minutes interviewing family members on how they feel about going for the trip. Isn’t this a good beginning for your vacation video?

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    Capture the Journey

    Don’t put the camera back in after the introduction. If you’re driving hand it over to someone else and capture any exciting sights along the way or footage of the long straight road ahead of you. You may also want to capture the mood of your family members or snippets of conversation.

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    Capture Journey Breaks

    If you stop for meal breaks capture that, too. You could include some comments from family about the food and the eating place. Maybe some family members would want to pick up souvenirs and you may want to capture that too. Whatever you capture, try to add interest to the video it by having some commentary or conversation. Maybe the family member could say why she is picking up the souvenir and what she intends to do with it.

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    Capturing Highs and Lows

    If it’s a long journey you could capture family members taking naps, daydreaming or showing anticipation or arguing over a trivial matter like who’s responsible for not bringing something important for the trip. Remember you’re trying to tell a story. Anything from a flat tire to haggling over the price of a souvenir makes good storytelling.

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    Introduce Your Holiday Destination

    On arriving at your holiday destination, have someone introduce the place. You can use material from your research for this purpose. Remember, you’re trying to educate your viewers as well as taking them on an exciting journey.

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    Capture Other People

    I’ve seen many holiday videos that contain nothing more than poses of bored-looking, expressionless family members. If you are trying to make a difference with your video, try to capture other people at the location without being intrusive. Nobody wants to look at familiar faces all through your video. Capture children, senior citizens and people who live in your holiday destination.

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    Significant Landmarks

    Capture landmarks which would interest your viewer. Is it the most expensive landmark in the area? Does it have historical significance? Ask yourself if there’s an interesting story behind it. You would know if you have done the research in the planning stage. If you have the necessary information have someone explain the significance so that your viewer could share it. Capture signs which provides useful information. Again try to do more than having your family members pose before the landmark.

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    Capture Flora and Fauna

    Look out for plants, trees or animals which you normally don’t find in the nieghbourhood. You can go for something as simple as pigeons taking flight, monkeys feeding off tourists’ hands or even squirrels crossing the road.

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    Get Interviews

    This is not an easy thing to do if you’re an introvert. However, if you’re serious about making a vacation video with a difference, you would go for it. You can ask the locals questions in such a way as to reveal useful information. If you’re holidaying on a fishing island for instance, you could record interviews of fishermen talking about their daily routine. Most folks are prepared to talk about what they know if you make them comfortable. A big smile and a gentle tone helps. I’ve interviewed complete strangers with this approach.

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    Trip End

    At the end of the trip you can record comments from family members. How have they enjoyed the holiday? One way you can end your video is to have your family members bidding goodbye to the holiday destination by waving at the camera. Then you can have a shot of your vehicle leaving. Of course the vehicle returns to pick you up.

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    Use these tips as a starting point to come up with more creative ideas to make a dazzling vacation video.

Vacation Video Secrets Series

Vacation Video Secrets Series takes you from planning a quality vacation video to getting your equipment ready and finally shooting your video like a pro.
  1. How To Plan Your Next Vacation Video
  2. How To Prepare Your Vacation Video Equipment Checklist
  3. Your Vacation Video Shooting Strategy