Turn your clips into keepsakes: What to do with all of those videos | Ottawa Gatineau Photographer

Are you like me and have a ton of video clips just waiting in folders on your computer or on your phone? What do you do with all of those clips?

I like to create a short video montage of key events or trips that we take but what about all of those other random clips of everyday life that don't make the cut? I have so many little moments that are meaningful, that tell a story but that don't fit neatly into a specific event. What I've started doing is creating videos with these short little snippets of our life. Enough to trigger a memory, a feeling, to take us back to that time. It can be clips from a specific month, videos taken throughout a full year or whatever makes sense. Seeing them together in one place and set to music makes them come to life in a new way. My kids love watching them and reminiscing about a specific outing they loved the most or something they would like to experience again. The key is to pare it all down to tiny moments and not cramming everything in. It's not always easy but it helps those key moments really shine.

A few quick tips to keep in mind if you are taking video clips:

1) Take more than you think but use only the best

When I shoot, I usually take a bunch of clips from different angles. It's difficult with my own family since I want to enjoy the moment with them AND I'm responsible for their safety - so I still need to be the mom. But if you're in a situation where you can do it, take the time to capture the same scene in different ways: wide angle, close up, from above, from different perspectives. Pick only the best, your favourite or maybe an interesting angle to include. If you use 10 clips from the same scene, it will feel too repetitive and the best elements will get lost and lose their impact.

2) Take more than just faces

Try including video clips of nature, a meal you really enjoyed, the movement of water, raindrops hitting the ground, snow falling, details of hands, shadows and light. Think about telling a story with more than just faces and people. What elements of the environment around you help tell the story? Adding these details into your videos will enrichen the story and create variety.

3) Keep the clips short or edit them to include a favourite moment

When I'm shooting, most of my video clips are short 3-5 seconds. When I edit them down, I try to keep them under 2 seconds. Occasionally I will shoot longer if I want to capture a story being told or waiting for something specific to play out so that I get the exact moment I was hoping would unfold. When editing your clips together, take out the excess to really get to the heart of it. There are some cases where you will want the longer clips for context or to create a build-up but for the most part, shorter is better.

4) Don't forget sound and voices

Are there any cute words your kids say that you want to remember? The sound of someone's laugh, waves crashing, leaves blowing in the wind. Include some elements of sound to really elevate the emotion of the story you are telling.

I don't take out all of my stabilizing equipment and microphone on every outing with my kids as I do with clients. I keep it to a minimum so it's easy and doesn't take over us enjoying our time together. Sometimes it's just my phone and it's enough to get the job done. Here's a little look at what we did last July. I can almost smell the sunscreen and feel the heat. Summer can't come soon enough!

Oh and one last thing - if you are taking videos for the purpose of creating a film for your family, don't forget to be in it too! Our neighbour's cat Mimi is featured more prominently here than I am. I'll have to change that next time :)

One Second a Day - Inspiration

While most of my videos centre around family and my kids, they don't have to. You can create videos of anything that's meaningful to you or that tells the story of your daily life - places, things, people you love. Whatever it may be, video as a complement to photos can really elevate that sense of reliving a moment that has passed. Check out this video by Jonathan Britnell to inspire you - One second each day for a year.

Make it easy with an App

I use my camera on video mode for the most part but there are several apps for your phone that can make it even simpler to create a similar video project. Here's one to try: 1secondeveryday

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