Panasonic's top tips for filming your child's birthday party
Each week, Michael Price, Panasonic’s video expert, is offering some top tips to UKMUMS.TV readers to help you create wonderful home videos that you’ll want to watch over and over again. This week, Michael’s got some great advice to help you capture children’s birthday parties.
Birthdays are a major milestone for every family and each is a different memory to treasure. Capturing the unique flavour of a child’s birthday is all about capturing children’s happy faces and spontaneity.
Think about your position and different angles
To make sure you’re capturing children’s faces try to hold the camcorder below your knees for some shots and use the flip-out screen to see exactly what you are getting while you shoot. This ability to tilt the viewing screen is a huge advantage over most standard cameras so why not make good use of it? A great way to capture children’s merry mayhem without distracting them with your presence is to actively look away from the camcorder or turn your body in a different direction.
Plan (a little)
As every parent knows, a little bit of preparation – even amid the bedlam of a party – goes a long way. Think about, say, where the candles will be blown out makes a huge difference to being able to capture a cool clip of it. Is there a spot for the cameraperson to stand – bearing in mind that the main source of light should ideally be behind them – or must you move a chair beforehand?
Little ones love the limelight and are fascinated by the cool buttons on camcorders which their sticky fingers can explore. Unless you want to showcase toddlers stumbling towards you with arms outstretched like mummies, discretion is crucial. Position the camera away from the scene and use zoom to get closer. You’ll get better results if you use a low tripod or any other stable surface as zoom tends to magnify camera-shake.
Engage with the troops
Great home videos tend to feature unexpected action ¬– or at least it often looks that way. Ask non-leading questions like “what are you doing?” or, better still, “what are you about to do next?” which can yield genuine video gold. Questions like “are you having a good time?” get batted back with a one-word answer, so try and make sure your questions are open. Remember that the microphone is closer to you, so speak quietly or, better still, keep the camcorder on standby and only start recording once you’ve ask the question.
Get the grown-ups involved
One of the most cherished aspects of a child’s party video is the opportunity to ask relatives and party guests to share their memories. Even an impromptu shot of grandma getting misty eyed as she recalls the day your little one was born or recollecting her own experience of organising a toddler party can add real variety to the footage.
Don’t forget, we also have a competition running to win a videographer to come to you and film a special family experience to keep and share http://www.ukmums.tv/hot-topics/win-your-own-professional-videographer-to-film-your-family-s-precious-moments-in-hd.