Taping Tips

By Family Tree Editors Premium

Want to share your home videos with the rest of America? That’s what TV shows such as “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “The World’s Funniest” are for. Consider these tips from “America’s Funniest Home Videos” for making a winning video (of course, it also helps if someone in your family falls down on-camera in a particularly comic way):

Focus, focus, focus
If your camera has an autofocus feature, always use it. If your camera doesn’t have autofocus, zoom in all the way on your subject (a nose is always good), focus, then zoom out to the desired framing.

Keep action in frame
When composing your shot, try not to zoom in too closely. Allow your subjects some room to move in the frame. You’ll capture many unexpected and delightful moments that otherwise would have happened out of frame.

Use adequate light
Shooting indoors requires plenty of light. Most cameras compensate for low light levels, but it’s always best to ensure a well-lit subject. This allows for color to “punch through” and makes your video more crisp and vivid.

Don’t back-light subjects
Keep the main light source at your back, not theirs; otherwise, they’ll appear as dark silhouettes. If back-lighting can’t be avoided, some cameras adjust for this.

Where’s the sound?
Today’s camcorders have sophisticated sound controls that can be adjusted endlessly and overridden if necessary. You’ll probably need an external mic to capture voices at a wedding. Be sure you grasp how sound works on your camera so you don’t make a silent movie.

For more video-making tips, see 10 Tips to Beat Bad Home Video and Digital Video Pocket Guide (O’Reilley).