Experiment with slow motion.
When things are slowed down, you often catch details that you might have normally missed, be it toddlers giving one of their mischievous glances or noticing the way their curls bounce when they run. Often scenes where there are fast(ish) movements are ideal for this.
- Blowing bubbles in the backyard
- Jumping on the trampoline
- Coming down the slide
- Swinging along the zip line
While they may be few and far between…
Look for the quiet moments.
When I’m filming families, I love it when there is an opportunity to capture these quiet, more intimate moments. For you, this could be filming a few seconds of your child who loves to read, being absorbed in their book in their favourite reading spot. Or maybe it is the younger ones creating their own little world by themselves in their bedroom amongst their toys.
To film these moments, it’s not so much about being in the space with them but rather documenting them in their element that they will soon grow out of.
Play with movement.
You can let the movement come to you.
Example 1 Set up your DIY tripod/stabiliser and have your baby roll, crawl or walk their way in and out of your camera frame. If they are older, maybe this could be them dancing or swimming through the frame.
Example 2 If you know your child is going to run into the arms of dad, anticipate the movement and have a wide shot locked on dad while your child runs into the frame and is lifted, hugged, thrown into the air by dad. This is also a great setup as you’ll be able to capture dad’s facial expressions.
Include only the good stuff.
You have a limited amount of space on your screen, so fill it with what is important to you.
For those of you with newborns, maybe it is close ups of your baby’s eyes as they look up at you, or perhaps it’s their tiny fingers & toes that are just asking to be rubbed. Or it could be filling the frame with a wide shot that includes a foreground & background that add to the story.
Your feet are the best zoom you have, so use them rather than the in-camera zoom to put you at the angle, distance and perspective that you want to be in.
Try a new perspective.
Explore what it looks like if you film directly above them as they look up to you. Then try squatting down to their eye-level and see what the world looks like from that perspective.
One example of where you could try this would be if your child is outside drawing with the sidewalk chalk, place your camera at the ground level and point it up towards their face as they draw. This allows you to capture their concentration and unique facial expression that you might not normally see.