7 Family Vacation Video Tips

The problem with most family vacation videos is simple: they’re boring. You’re subjected to grainy zoomed pans over the Grand Canyon, slideshows of absolutely every photo the family took, and long shots of people walking or looking at things. Small wonder so many people cringe at the thought of watching vacation videos.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With these family vacation video tips, you can put together a short, entertaining video that perfectly captures the best parts of your trip.

Find the Story

Think about the trip as a story, and create a narrative around it from start to finish. Have the camera running when you tell the kids they’re going to Disneyland, or when you surprise your parents with cruise tickets. Document the end of the trip as well—for instance, you might take a photo of the kids back at home, asleep cuddled up with their stuffed souvenirs. It’s your vacation—what makes it special?

Short Shots

Within the larger story of your trip, find the small stories. Each shot you take should convey a story. “Katie walks around Disneyland” isn’t a story. “Katie meets her favorite Disney princess and talks to her” is.

Keep your shots short, aiming to convey a single action, event or thing. Some shots only need to be five seconds long to convey an event (no-one needs to watch a romantic couple watch an entire sunset in real time). If shots go on for too long, edit them down.

Steady Shots

Here’s one of the best family vacation video tips we can offer: buy a tripod. The more stable your camera, the better the shot. Choose a lightweight tripod so you can move around easily.

Tripods also make zoomed shots steadier, but be careful when using zoom. Zooming in and out of a scene disorients your viewers. If you have to zoom in, do so first, record what you need to, and then end the video before zooming out.

Shoot People, Not Scenes

People go on vacation to see the sights, but that doesn’t mean your vacation video should highlight the scenery. Everyone’s seen pictures of the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, and the Great Wall of China, probably taken by professional photographers.

Instead of taking pictures and video of the sights, take shots of people in front of the sights. Make the video about your family’ adventures, with the scenery providing an intriguing backdrop.

Look for the Unusual

While most of your video should focus on your family and friends, take some “B-roll” shots. These are shots of objects that give a sense of location and atmosphere, like a ball bobbing on the ocean, or a glass of wine in the foreground of a sunset. Intersperse these with your people shots to evoke a particular mood.


Gone are the days of the silent Super 8 home movie, with everyone wordlessly waving at the camera. Today’s videos have sound, and this entry on our best family vacation video tips encourages you to make the most of it.

Interview family members during the vacation to get their opinions. For instance, your five-year-old will experience Disney World with a unique sense of wonder. Ask her about it. Let her explain what’s going on to the camera. You’ll have captured a moment in her life that will never come again.

Be Selective

When the time comes to turn your video and photos into a home vacation presentation, only use the best photos. You may cherish each and every one of the seven hundred photos you took, but even the most doting grandparent’s eyes will glaze over if you include them all in your video / slideshow. Only pick the best, so each photo and shot captures the imagination. Remember the golden rule of the entertainment world—always leave them wanting more.

Now that you have captured those memories made on your vacation, back them up with your Picture Keeper Connect! A quick tip is to keep all of those photos and videos from your vacation on one Picture Keeper drive and label that drive with your vacation name example – “Summer Vacation 2017.” Throw it in your fireproof case at home, so it’s safe and secure and organized!