Monthly Archives: May 2012

Video tips: how to shoot video of toddlers and young children

Shooting video of toddlers and younger children can be challenging, because they present two very different problems for videographers: 1) they often freeze up and try to pose for the camera or 2) paradoxically, they never still enough so that it’s easy to capture their facial expressions.

Here are a couple of tips and tricks for shooting video of toddlers and younger children.

1) Make the camera boring
Often when I’m shooting video of my youngest son, he’s amble over and gently yank the camera out of my hand so he can see what’s on the LCD screen. The trick I’ve found is to realize that for the first 5 minutes or so he’s going to want to see the camera, and plan on taking more meaningful footage later. This works for us, and will help with taking more natural video

2) Dream up a distraction
Sometimes you may not have 5 minutes or so to “warm up”. What you might want to do instead is have someone else serve as a distraction – anything to take the attention away from the camera.

3) Get more kids into the picture
The only thing more interesting to toddlers than your camera sometimes will be other toddlers. Children love other children, and their interactions will help you take even better videos.

4) Get up close
We adults sometime forget how gigantic we are compared to our tiny toddlers. Be sure to kneel down right at eye-level to best capture facial expressions.

5) Do some planning
If your child is going to be in a pre-school play, it may be very difficult to get up close and actually see what’s going on. So, what you might want to do is attend a rehearsal to get close-ups of costumes, and close-ups of your child. Combine this earlier footage with the actual performance to create a more compelling muvee.


Here’s how one muvee user approached making muvees of small children:

Use muvee to make a Father’s Day video slideshow

Father’s Day is just around the corner (well, it’s about a month away, but it never hurts to start early), and, instead of buying him new socks, why not make him a muvee? Nothing says love like a personalized YouTube video, and by making him a muvee, Dad will likely share it with family and friends – you can’t do that with a pair of argyle socks.

So, while Father’s Day is just under a month away, the minutes are ticking by, and you can use this lead-time to prepare your muvee, and marshal the troops – your kids – to help out.

But what should you include in your Father’s Day muvee? Why, the answer is, include things that fathers like! It’s a fact: fathers are men, so their favorite things in life, apart from their wife and kids, are extremely detailed objects, such as motorcycles, spaceships, multi-bit cordless drills, and other expensive things.

However, making a muvee about power tools may be fascinating for Dad, but maybe not so much for other people who might want to watch the video and share with others.

However, fathers, like children, tend to like things like dinosaurs, sharks, spaceships, or model trains. If you have been to, say, a dinosaur museum recently with the kids (or perhaps took them with you in a shark cage to come face to face with a Great White) and managed to shoot some photos and video, make a muvee out of that. Remember, the idea is capture Dad’s attention with incredibly detailed or incredibly cool things that also appeal to kids and relatives (which is why muvees of power tools are out).

For example, we recently took a trip to the fabulous Osaka Train Museum in Japan. If you’ve never been, it’s worth the airfare to Japan alone. Imagine a warehouse full of model trains, train dioramas, and remote-controlled trains, plus perfectly preserved old time trains. And you need to take a train to get there.

Here’s a potential Father’s Day video, then, incorporating highly detailed objects guaranteed to capture Dad’s attention, and still captivate the kids:

Visits to toy stores can also work as a Father’s Day muvee:

The most important thing is to have fun making a Father’s Day video slideshow – or at least give Dad something more fun than a pair of socks.

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