Video tip: mistakes to avoid when shooting home movies

Easter is just behind us, which means most families had their videocameras out or, likely these days, tried to figure out how to take the best videos using their iPhone or Samsung.

While fiddling with the video settings on a smart phone is a topic best left to another day (although we do encourage you to explore our smart phone video editing app), as Spring approaches and people become more active, here are some video tips:

Mistakes to avoid when shooting home movies

1. Shooting into the sun
If you have young children, just keeping them in-frame can be quite a challenge, which means that it can be easy to forget about the position of the sun.

Shooting into the sun will basically make it very difficult to figure to see your subjects’ faces. Shadows will be accentuated, and colors will be washed out.

So, the solution is, always try to shoot video with the sun behind you. The natural lighting will bring out the best in whoever you are shooting.

2. Shooting from below
The change in perspective is jarring and unusual, and completely unflattering to your subject, especially if they haven’t trimmed their nose hairs.

Another equally awkward scenario is shooting video of your subjects while they are eating. There’s nothing more embarassing than watching a grown man masticulate, although video of babies digging into their first birthday cake is pure gold.

3. Shooting children from above
This is one of the most common mistakes we see here at muvee HQ. Why? Once again, it’s often difficult to keep the kids in-frame as they run around like crazed wild animals. So, as you’re chasing after them, remember that capturing video of their face and eyes is infinitely more interesting than video than video of the top of their head.

Remember to squat down or kneel as you take video, to get the most interesting shots.

4. Distracting backgrounds
We tend to tune out the most familiar parts of our surroundings that will appear completely new and noteworthy to people watching our videos. If you’re shooting home movies, is there clutter such as toys, clothes or whatever else on your living room floor? If you’re taking birthday video of lighting the candles on the cake in the kitchen, are the dishes washed? If you’re outdoors and you’re taking video of your kid learning to ride a bike, is the background distracting?

5. Shooting indoors
Beware of artificial light! Conventional light bulbs, while providing “warm” light, can cause sharp contrasts, and can emphasize wrinkles, goiters, saggy skin, hollow eyes, and, if given the chance, pigeon toes. On the other hand, fluorescent lighting washes everything out, so your subject will look either like a shop-window mannequin or a vampire… or a combination of both. If you need to shoot indoors, the best thing to do is to shoot near a window during the day, or turn on as much lights as possible – a combination of conventional lighting and florescents may do the trick.

After years of trial and error, and in an effort to avoid having his pigeon toes exposed to the world, Nevin has decided to share his video tips with muvee’s large circle of friends.

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