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Shooting to Edit

If you know that you're going to use editing software to cut your videos, you might aim for certain shots and make certain considerations. For starters (um, literally), shoot an establishing shot to begin your piece with a chronological and geographical reference. For example, if you're shooting your kids on their first airplane trip, get a shot of the airport sign or the gate number to open your video sequence. If you're shooting a dance recital, get a shot of the theater or a program, or perhaps a wide-angle shot of all the kids getting ready, which will lend context to the upcoming footage of your children. These establishing shots create a nice opening and will provide relevant information even decades later, when you're viewing old family videos. The iPhone makes it very easy to cut these shots down to just a few seconds, which is all you need if you're planning on editing.

If you're shooting to edit, there's no good reason not to shoot lots of footage—perhaps even too much. It's easy to get rid of footage you don't like, and generally it's better to have more in your archives if you plan on choosing and editing the footage later. Furthermore, shooting to edit gives you the freedom to shoot experimentally and without perfectionism. Try shooting at fun and unusual angles, aim for audio that you can pair with different video images in postproduction, shoot establishing and explanatory shots.

Above all, remember that the best moments you're shooting your kids are the ones where they're having fun; to truly capture the moment, you should be having fun, too. Relax and enjoy—the results will speak for themselves.

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