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How to Interview Your Loved Ones to Preserve Their Story

Learn to connect with your loved one through their story

Filming your loved ones to preserve their life story can be a powerful and meaningful way to capture and celebrate their experiences and memories. It can also be a great opportunity to strengthen your relationship and learn more about your loved one’s life. Here are a few tips to help you successfully interview your loved one and create a memorable and compelling film:

Young woman writing at the breakfast table

1. Plan Ahead

Before you begin the interview, think about the questions you want to ask and the themes you want to explore. You may want to create a list of questions beforehand to help guide the conversation. Avoid yes or no questions by using open ended questions that allow your loved one to share their thoughts and experiences. For example, you might ask “What was it like growing up in your hometown?” or “What was your family like when you were a child?” Click here to get a list of great questions

Girl setting up cell phone for filming

2. Prepare a Space

It’s important to find a location that is comfortable and quiet, with good lighting and minimal distractions. Turn off loud appliances like laundry machines and air conditioners during the interview. You may also want to set up a tripod or other camera stabilizing device to ensure a steady shot. 

Elderly man with big smile

3. Start with Easy Questions

 Begin the interview with some easier, more general questions to help your loved one get comfortable and confident in their ability to tell their story. You can then gradually move on to more personal or difficult topics.

mature woman showing old vintage photos to her friends

4. Encourage Storytelling

 Encourage your loved one to share stories and anecdotes from their life. These personal anecdotes can be some of the most memorable and meaningful moments of the interview

5.Show interest and empathy

Show genuine interest in what your loved one is saying and listen actively. If they share something emotional, allow them the space to process their feelings and offer support if needed. Respect their boundaries and be mindful if any sensitive topics come up.

Dad talking to his son

6. Listen and follow up

Pay attention to your loved one’s responses and follow up with additional questions to delve deeper into their experiences.

Mom hugging daughter after getting a shot

7. Thank your loved one for their time and stories

At the end of the interview, be sure to thank your loved one for sharing their life story with you. This will help to make the experience positive and rewarding for both of you.

Family sitting on the floor watching ipad

8. Edit and Share

After the interview, take some time to edit the footage and create a final film that captures your loved one’s life story in a compelling and meaningful way. Consider sharing the film with other family members or friends to celebrate and honor your loved one’s experiences.

Filming someone’s life story is a unique and special way to honor and preserve their legacy for future generations. Everyone’s story is beautiful and worthy of being heard. By following these tips and taking the time to thoroughly interview your loved one, you can create a film that truly captures their experiences, wisdom, and personality. A project like this is worth all the time and effort, and the end result will be a film that you and your loved ones will treasure for years to come. So, go ahead and start filming the life story of your loved one today – it’s a project that will be truly rewarding and meaningful for all involved.

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Tell Your Story Today

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By downloading this form I agree to receive the EverStory newsletter and get access to stories, behind-the-scenes fun, and tips on how to record my family’s stories.