Ask The Expert

Making Family Videos

Last updated 3rd January 2017

Mark Frary shares his tips on capturing a high-quality family video while on holiday.

While most of us now just carry around our brilliant smart phones to take family holidays (an extra camera is one less thing to carry, right?), the results can end up looking pretty amateur. How can you make them more professional so you can keep them to give to your children when they’re older?


There are some simple tips you can follow that will make a considerable difference in your videos. To keep your recording device steady, buy a tripod, such as the GripTight GorillaPod, £25, or hold your phone against your chest when shooting. Avoid panning and zooming while you’re shooting.

If you don’t have a dedicated microphone, find the quietest place you can and make sure it’s out of the wind – a light breeze can sound like a hurricane when you play it back. If you want good sound quality, invest ina Rode SmartLav lapel mic, £34.99, which is designed especially for smartphones.

If you’re filming a person, don’t put them slap-bang in the middle of the frame. Put them to one side and have something interesting on the other.

Once you’re home, spend some time editing your video – is very easy to use. It lets you edit your clips into something more professional by dragging them onto a timeline and allowing you to cut out anything unwanted. You can also add fades, other effects and music. It has recently upgraded its audio library with loads of free soundtracks.

– Mark Frary
Travel and technology journalist