How to take a good travel video


Capturing your favourite family travel moments on video can ensure hours of future fun looking back on that amazing travel adventure and reliving the memories. While a good digital SLR camera will improve the quality of the footage you can do great things with a digital compact camera (which almost all have a video function) or a smart phone too. And if your holiday involves action and adventure, a camera like a GoPro is ideal.

Remember you are telling a story and every bit of footage you get will help.

Here’s our Travel Without Tears cheat sheet (with the help from our friends at Captive Creative) on getting the best from your videos on holiday.

Always use your camera on landscape view

It’s a common rooky mistake to shoot video in portrait (vertical). If you want to edit different scenes together later you need to shoot on landscape format.

Use different types of shots

Think about capturing the action from three different perspectives – the wide shot which shows the whole action, the mid shot from a person’s waist up or knees down, and a close up or detail shot – perhaps their hands touching something or doing something.

Get close to the action

Help your audience feel like they’re right there with you. Don’t be afraid to get close.

Use the techniques that professionals use

PAN – move the camera slowly from one side to another.

TRACK – walk forward or backwards, towards or away from the action.

ZOOM – use settings on the camera to get closer to or further away from the subject.

FOLLOW SHOT – follow someone as they walk through an interesting area, such as a market or busy city street.

POINT OF VIEW – the camera interacts with the world as if it’s a person (GoPro is great for this).

HIGH ANGLE SHOT – camera positioned high facing downwards towards the subject giving the audience (through the camera) power and authority.

LOW ANGLE SHOT – camera is positioned low on the gorund facing up at the subject matter, giving the subject matter power and authority.

Be steady when holding the camera

When you are moving the camera to pan, track or zoom do it slowly. If you are serious about your video quality think about getting a small tripod or gorilla pod. GoPros have a whole heap of accessories to help including suction cups, body harnesses and helmet attachments.

Do as many takes as you need

Before you do the retake, however, think about what you might be able to do differently or better.

Think about the bigger picture

Always consider how the footage you shoot fits with the rest of the story.

Review footage when you can

Editing each day will mean you aren’t wasting valuable space on the data cards and you know what you’ve got.

Back up

Use a hard drive or cloud based service like Dropbox to back up when you’re away. If you lose your camera you won’t lose all your photos or video.


Enter your best family holiday snaps for a chance to win some great prizes including a $1000 travel voucher towards a holiday package or itinerary consultation from Travel Without Tears, fabulous photography books from Lonely Planet and copies of Travel Without Tears: 645 ways for families to take on the world. Simply tag us @travel_without_tears, and hashtag #travelwithouttears and tell us what “travel without tears” means for you. Start snapping and posting today!

For more details click here.


If you want more video tips, get your hands on a copy of Lonely Planet’s fabulous little book, Best Ever Video Tips ($14.99).

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