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Take Better Vacation Videos with Your Smartphone

You don’t need fancy equipment or special skills to shoot like a pro when you follow these simple tips.

You want to capture your vacation on video and share it with friends and family, and you already have the perfect video camera: your smartphone. It’s always by your side, and today’s models have the ability to film and edit quality videos with ease. Follow these steps for memorable vacation videos you’ll be proud to share.

Basic Tips

Keep these tips in mind when filming.

• Get close and record events as they happen naturally. Don’t try to have things feel too posed.

• Shoot outdoors or in a well-lighted area; avoid shadows. The best times to shoot outdoors are sunrise/dawn and sunset/dusk. Avoid high noon when the sun is directly overhead, casting unwanted shadows on your subjects. Avoid shooting where there is a lot of backlight, which can make your subject in the foreground too dark.

• Avoid noisy or windy areas.

• Shoot people, not just scenery. Select what you want to focus on (person in foreground or background, for example), utilizing the autofocus function on your phone or camera.

• Frame your subjects, including their heads and shoulders, leaving a few inches of headroom to account for movement.

• Try different angles, like a lower angle with a slight upward tilt. This opens up the scene, making the world look larger, brighter, and more inviting.

• Don’t move or jerk the camera too quickly; avoid zooming in/out and pan slowly. For a polished, professional feel, consider using a tripod with a phone adapter.

• To capture the natural sound, don’t speak over the video when you’re recording.

Advanced Techniques

Take your video to the next level with these tips and ideas.

• Establish the scene. Start your video with a wide shot to establish where you are and/or capture area signage when available. Avoid camera panning and zooming.

• To capture a long event like a sunrise or sunset, set your camera on a tripod and select time lapse and it will condense the longer event into a short clip.

• Select the slow motion setting on your smartphone and record short 10- to 20- second clips. Best to hold your camera completely still or use a tripod and let the subject or action move through your lens frame. This will give your final edit a very smooth and emotional impact.

Sharing Your Videos

Sharing your videos is half the fun. Here’s how to make it easy.

• Editing programs like Apple’s iMovie and other applications (often already on most computers or smartphones, or easily downloadable — often for free) make it easy to combine clips, and add music and titles.

• Edit each segment to be not more than a few minutes long — keep things moving.

• Post your videos on YouTube, Vimeo, or your own blog.

• Email the links to family and friends so they can watch them easily and in near-real time.
Now that you’ve got the tips, all you need is the perfect destination.

Inspired? Book your next getaway.

Reserve your villa and start planning the perfect vacation.