In our house, we have a shoebox in the top shelf of the closet with 8mm film from my wife's childhood. This small reel is the only film remaining from that period of my wife's life. This holiday season, your video and camera may capture the only memories that your family or friends will have of your group 20 or 30 years from now. Although I talk a lot about shooting video in my book Digital Video Secrets, I wanted to add a few specific tips about the holidays.
A few quick thoughts...
- Get images of everyone: young and old. (If someone doesn't want their picture taken, respect their wishes, just smile and move on.)
- Don't worry if you feel you are being 'pressed into service' as the photographer. Just smile and go along with it. Often, if you don't take photos or videos, no one else will.
- Get a few wide angle shots of the location--house, yard, cars, rooms.
- Do a few video interviews. Ask people to tell their stories on camera.
- At some gatherings I hand the camera to another person, someone I trust, perhaps a friend or child, and ask them to shoot pictures for a while. They get different images, often very good ones, because they see people differently than I do.
- Print the best stills immediately and give a set to everyone. (WalMart and Costco do inexpensive prints.)
- Edit a few of the videos quickly, perhaps on your laptop, and post them online someplace like YouTube. Flag them as private and send the movie links to everyone. The YouTube site has simple instructions on how to upload your movies and flag them as private.
- Oh, and don't forget to bring the battery charger.
Last of all, relax and enjoy yourself. Have a great holiday season.