We’re sitting around the kitchen table staring at the laptop, my two children are growing more and more animated, their voices rising in volume with a fevered need to be heard.
“Play that one next,” my daughter begs.
“Wait… what’s that one?” my son asks.
“Can I see what I was like as a baby?” my daughter asks next.
“Show me the one where I paint my sister,” my cheeky son asks.
On the screen in front of us are hundreds of videos backed up to Google Drive from our travels around the world and from daily life. The kids love watching them and it’s hard to get them to stop. It’s also incredibly fun, despite the noise.
No matter how many photos we have taken, it’s always the videos the kids want to see. It’s not just the big moments – weddings, school concerts and birthdays – but the little memory-triggering videos that we love to watch.
“Show me the one where I pushed Ruby over,” my son asks.
Ruby was his best friend in preschool. In one video, I asked him: “what happened today at preschool?” I picked him up early after a phone call telling me he vomited. I expected him to say “I got sick”. Instead, he divulged, guiltily, that he pushed Ruby over. My stunned reaction was caught on camera too. It’s funny now. And he’s still friends with Ruby.
One of the greatest things I did as a mum was to keep the video camera recording as my daughter began to cry.
With my son, my first born, I would always stop recording and tend to him as soon as he cried. But with our second child, we weren’t so precious.
I remember wheeling her in a clear plastic hospital bassinet for her hearing test on the first day of her life. She started to cry and I kept recording. Now, hearing that newborn sound brings back a flood of emotion, love and tears. It physically pulls at the heart-strings in a way that a photo could never do.
Video allows you to immerse in the moment – to hear their voices and watch their first wobbly steps. You can see the awestruck expressions when they see something like Legoland for the first time. Video also helps the kids get a sense of how much they have grown and changed.
Now the kids are older, they have started to try their hand at filming too. We use a Sony AX33 Handycam camcorder to record video. It has an incredible zoom, a steady shot function and slow motion.
The AX33’s steady shot function cancels out little shaking hands with an inbuilt gimble. The kids love using the zoom function to get close-ups of animals (or the inside of their mouths and noses, let’s be honest). And what kid doesn’t love recording slow-motion videos jumping into a pool or hitting a ball with a cricket bat?
You can send the videos straight to YouTube from the AX33 using the PlayMemories app. You can also trim and edit the videos on the Handycam screen.
Our kids love to remove the card to edit the videos and add music and text on their iPads. This is a great activity that uses a screen – but for something useful.
Once you’ve captured and edited the video, then you need to sit around the table and watch their video creations together.
“Please, can I see the one where we climbed the Supertrees?”
Top tips for shooting video
How do you create a good video? Just like photography – a few little tricks go a long way.
- Invest in a good quality video camera
- Select HD Vision
- Choose 50 frames per second
- Record detail shots as well as action
- Always ensure the light is behind you
- Try slow motion for jumping, water and sport
- Point the camera at someone when they are speaking
- Buy a camera with Steady Shot
- Try editing your videos in Sony’s PlayMemories Home software suite or Adobe or iMovie for fun
Read more about each of these tips in our story on shooting travel video.