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How to Video Record a Life Story: Yours or Loved One’s!

One of the most rewarding experiences in life is listening to the stories of our loved ones. However, the fear of missing out on details and the anxiety of not fully understanding their life journeys can often leave us feeling overwhelmed. Yet, documenting these cherished stories is essential for preserving our family’s legacy and sharing it with future generations.

The key to starting anything that feels overwhelming is to take baby steps! You don’t have to do it all at once- you can start small and build on things as you make a habit of recording your family’s story however you choose to.

EverStory can do this for you

Taking the first step to record your life story or that of a loved one is commendable. At EverStory, we understand the significance of preserving these precious memories. If you’re unsure about embarking on this journey alone, our team of expert documentarians is here to help. From capturing heartfelt moments to crafting full-feature documentaries, we are dedicated to immortalizing your story in the most captivating manner possible.

Tools

If you are still wanting to do it all yourself, we love to hear it. You can do this! Let’s start out with the tools you may need or that may be useful for you. 

Before diving into the process, it’s essential to choose the right recording tools. While a smartphone is a convenient option, investing in a DSLR camera can elevate the quality of your recordings if that’s what you would like. If you would like some guidance on what type of camera you should use for this and the settings for it, comment below!

mac laptop, iphone, and a dslr camera

Additionally, pay close attention to audio quality by using lapel microphones and ensuring a quiet recording environment. At the end of the day, you can listen to good audio without quality video, but you can’t watch a video with bad sound. It’s just the way it works. 

So when you set up for an interview, be sure to record a snippet and play it back to make sure it sounds good before you just click record and you’re an hour in before you realize the sound is horrible. Even if you think you’ve created a quiet environment, the microphone itself (or the cord) could have the issue and could be causing a buzz. It’s always important to check the audio before officially starting.

Lighting and Composition

A bright window with sun coming in, white walls

Creating an aesthetically pleasing video involves knowing at least some basics of lighting and composition. Utilize natural light whenever possible and implement a three-point lighting setup to achieve nice-looking shots.

A three-point lighting setup is a fundamental technique used in photography and videography to illuminate a subject evenly and create a visually pleasing image. It consists of three primary light sources positioned strategically around the subject to control shadows and highlights. Here’s a breakdown of each light in the setup:

  1. Key Light: The key light is the primary light source and serves as the main source of illumination for the subject. It is typically the brightest light in the setup and is positioned at a 45-degree angle to one side of the subject. This angle helps to create depth and definition by casting shadows on one side of the subject’s face.
  2. Fill Light: The fill light complements the key light by reducing the intensity of shadows created by the key light. It is placed on the opposite side of the key light, also at a 45-degree angle to the subject. The fill light is usually softer and less intense than the key light, helping to balance the overall lighting and minimize harsh shadows.
  3. Backlight: The backlight, also known as the rim light or hair light, is positioned behind the subject and aimed towards them. Its purpose is to separate the subject from the background by creating a subtle halo or rim of light around the edges of the subject. This adds depth to the image and helps the subject stand out from the background.
 

By trying your best to position these three lights, you can achieve a well-lit and visually appealing image with balanced highlights and shadows. You will most likely not have professional-grade lights, but work with what you have – sunlight (if you do it in the daytime, which we recommend if possible). 

Next, remember to frame the shot to include the upper part of the body and maintain eye-level positioning for a natural perspective. This framing allows viewers to see the subject’s facial expressions, body language, and gestures, which can convey emotion and add depth to the storytelling.

Maintaining eye-level positioning ensures a natural perspective that helps viewers feel connected to the subject. When the camera is at eye level with the subject, it creates a sense of intimacy and engagement, as if the viewer is having a face-to-face conversation with them.

By framing the shot to include the upper part of the body and maintaining eye-level positioning, you can capture the subject’s presence and personality more effectively. This framing also allows for better composition, as it prevents the subject from appearing too small or insignificant within the frame.

 

Overall, thoughtful framing and positioning are essential for creating visually appealing and engaging shots that draw viewers into the story being told. Paying attention to these details can enhance the overall impact of your video and help you connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Telling the Stories and Interviewing

Whether you’re recounting your own experiences or interviewing a loved one, outlining and structuring the narrative is crucial. Consider organizing the story chronologically, focusing on life lessons, or highlighting significant individuals who have shaped the journey. Utilize prompts and questions to guide the storytelling process and ensure a seamless narrative flow. 

We have many tips and an huge selection of prompts for great storytelling that you can find in our free story guide, which you can find here

Conclusion

Embarking on the journey of recording a life story may seem daunting, but remember, simplicity is key. Whether you choose to document your story independently or seek assistance from professionals like EverStory, the act of preserving your legacy is invaluable. Start today and embark on a journey of self-discovery and connection with your loved ones.

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Tell Your Story Today

Download Our Guide

Name *
Email *
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.