It’s officially summer and no doubt we will want to be spreading our travel wings this year. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been itching a while to get out and do something adventurous with your family.
So, let’s talk about Vacation Memories - Do This, Not That style. Here are some of my top tips for ending up with killer memories and, in the end, a plan to actually *do something* with them.
Do Take Lots of Photos
Don’t Get Stuck Behind the Camera
Take alllll the photos, of course! Document the entire experience. Think different angles - get down in the sand with the kids. Take some boomerangs of those epic pool jumps. Have everyone take their sunglasses off so we can see their eyes, but don’t face the sun (can we say pinch faces?)! Shoot the action and the relaxation. Maybe have someone document the fact that you did indeed lounge by the pool with a good book (and a summer cocktail)!
But, don't get stuck there. Trust me. I have an entire 5 day vacation, where I grace the photos with my own dang presence in about 2 of the 500 photos. It’s like, was I even there!? Oh, but I was. I was just behind the camera shooting everyone else! So, enlist your partner, your kids! Heck, ask a trustworthy-looking stranger to snap a family photo! But get out from behind that camera and stop hiding - yes, I’m talking to all you moms! I’m gonna preach: Get in the photo!
And one more thing: Not getting stuck there also means putting down the camera (phone) completely and reveling in the moment. Allowing yourself to look everyone in the eye and just experience the moment. Take a snapshot in your mind - the most powerful way to record a memory. Take in the smells, the sounds, the feeling of the moment - and take that with you as well.
Do Take Video
Don’t Forget to Shoot some B-Roll
Take video, my friends! One of my favorites: follow your kids and record them just walking and experiencing their new surroundings. Travel is about learning. Allow them to let the experience wash over them. Encourage them to look around and take it all in while you walk. Maybe it’s a sunset, or the intriguing sights of a foreign city, or the rare glimpse of an animal on a nature walk. It seems simple, but these videos are fun to watch in hindsight AND your kids will love seeing themselves in the context of the vacation.
Don’t forget to shoot B-Roll. I learned this from Kalee at Isbell Family Films. B-Roll is video that is used as filler or secondary shots in movies, TV, ads, etc. They are establishing shots. They establish the environment, the mood and help to create the feel of the video. Think of them as supporting the story you want to tell. Maybe take a video of the hotel room or AirBnB you rented before everyone wakes up, maybe the outside of your favorite restaurant or coffee shop you discovered on the trip, or short snippets of scenery you want to remember. If you make a family vacation video, you’ll love having B-roll to really enhance the storytelling in your family movie!
Do Get your Kids Perspective
Don’t Write it Down (WHAT?!)
Interview your kids about your vacation! This is especially helpful if you have a long car ride and you need to find a way to get off the screens for a bit, but help pass the time! Lucky for you, I have created a list of 25 Interview Questions to ask your Kids About Their Vacation. You can download and use to your heart’s content! What’s really cool is you can integrate some of their responses into your photo books - making them truly memorable and customized!
But, don’t write any of it down! I know what you’re thinking...come again? How am I supposed to remember it all? I got you. Hit record on your phone instead! Do this interview podcast style and freeze that sweet little voice in time so you can go back and listen to it again and again! Your kids will love it and feel super important that you are interviewing them! Plus, by recording it, you do not interrupt the interview process by asking everyone to pause so you can “write that down real quick!”
Do Choose your Favorite Photos
Don’t Leave it “for Later”
Curate in real time. This means choosing your favorites either during your vacation or shortly after. I recommend doing this in your cloud provider so that when you go back to filter and further curate your photo book, half the work is already done! (I recommend Amazon Photos, in case you’re wondering - at least for now, shameless plug for the Memory My Way app). I always suggest replacing your Instagram or Facebook scrolling with choosing your favorite photos instead!
Don’t wait until later to choose your favorites. Because friends, later most likely never come. Do it while it’s fresh, do it so it’s a habit. If you choose your favorites now, when it comes time to actually do something with all those memories, it will be so much easier and much less time consuming and you will end up with meaningful home décor (this is my fancy term for photo books on the shelf!). Being surrounded by meaningful things will only bring back the joy you felt on that epic family vacation. Isn’t this the state we all want to live in constantly? Yes, I think so.
Nichole Healy is the Founder of Memory My Way where families get the help they need to rescue their memories from the cloud. Memory My Way pairs members with a professional Designer who custom creates their family photo books for them - saving tons of precious time. To learn more about how Memory My Way can help you, go here.