3 Tips to improve Baby Videos
Taking videos or pictures of anything with any camera is simple. Making sure that it is gorgeous is another story.
Just as when 8mm film and cameras became affordable to most households in the 1930s, there was a surge of home movies and films being shot, for the next 40 years, the ubiquity of camera technology has also created a new wave of home videos being created in what can be considered the most documented generation of all time.
As a video guy, I have often been asked about how to make better videos. So below are 3 tips I usually provide on how to get the best videos and images from your camera.
Having a good camera can make a good video or photo great.
But what exactly is a good camera?
My answer to that is that the best camera is the one you can get your hands on when you need to take a picture.
Mobile phones are usually very handy for quick snaps. And the quality of the cameras of the mid to high end phones are generally as good as the point and shoot cameras available out there.
However, most phones do squish the data of the videos so that it can be stored onto your storage card without taking up too much space.
This is the same for photos. The phone optimizes the videos and photos for its own screen. So it will look gorgeous on your phone, but when you view it on the computer, the quality suffers a little.
It becomes even worst when you want to edit them and make them look prettier.
Which is why many video and photo editors on phones give you a generous amount of filters and effects. These paints over the lack of data by overlaying with colours like sepia or Clarendon or Juno filters.
So while the best camera is the one you can reach. The best quality video and photos comes from the dedicated camera that is designed to not just make your videos look good, but also allow you to enhance them after it is taken.
My tip then? If you can afford it, get a dedicated camera, that isn’t too bulky, and has a quick start function; so that when the need arises, you can quickly whip it out, turn it on and record the moment.
Natural is the best. Videos and photos are about catching moments, that would otherwise be lost forever.
Your baby’s first steps, first few words, first time they roll around, and of course smashing a cake on their first birthday is best seen in motion.
Videos of these events become a documentary of your child’s life, and is also record the place, time, sounds and overall atmosphere. They complement the posed photos in a highly tangible way.
It is all about nostalgia; seeing the event happen again and again in perfect clarity.
So the tip here is to be generous with capturing videos of your child, and all that they do. Keep them natural, unposed, candid.
Just as the home videos that your parents or grandparents may have made with the humble 8mm film, these digital videos will be seen by future generations or just to embarrass your children during their wedding.
Now that you have a decent camera, and have set you mind to just be ready to capture videos at a moments notice; here is the key to how to make your videos shine.
As it turns out, the key ingredient to better videos and photos is….
Whether you have a really good digital camera, or your phone camera, it needs light to see what is happening, same as you.
If you are wondering why many of the videos and photos you have taken look muddy, or dull, it is usually because of the lack of lights.
Cameras try to compensate for the lack of light by guessing what is in the darker areas and filling in the blanks. They do it in a few ways that I won’t go into, but what happens in the end is usually not great.
How much light do you need? If you think about how much more vibrant your videos and photos are when you take them on a nice sunny day, that’s basically how much light you need for a great image.
But you can’t always have the sun, and most of your videos and photos will be taken at home. So there are 2 tips here to help you get the best from your camera.
The first is to open windows and curtains to let as much natural light in. If it is overcast, or not too bright, turn on as many lights of the same colour as you can.
Yes, tungsten light is warm yellow, whereas fluorescent lights tend to be white. The idea is to not mix the colours of lights because it will confuse the camera, and the colours of your videos and photos will be affected.
Sunlight in the morning and evening tend to be closer to tungsten, and in the afternoon, closer to the white lights. Matching the environment lights will not only enhance the quality of the image, but also preserve the colours of the clothes, and other objects accurately.
And add on to this tip is: Don’t point your camera towards the window or door when taking a shot.
No, it is not that obvious.
When you have your child against the window, and the camera thinks that you are trying to capture the outside. And because it is bright, it darkens the image and what you will see is a silhouette of your child.
You can’t fight the sun, as the professionals will say. So move your child away from the window. Use the light from the outside to light your child, and don’t fight the sun’s brightness.
The second light related tip here is to try to have more light coming from one side then the other, when recording.
This creates shadows which your eyes will use to give you the sense of space in your video and photo.
Believe it or not, shadows actually make images look better if done properly. So this tip is really for more advanced parent videographers, because it take a lot more thought to get it right.
So if getting the lights in a good position is too not second nature or proves to be too difficult, go back to tip and have good amount of light to take videos and photos
Even the poorest cameras will give you good results if you have enough light.
Hope these tips have helped. If you need help to get great videos of your child, reach out to me, via my contact page, and I’ll see how I can help you.