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Making the Memories Last: Creating Vacation Videos

April 14, 2020

Making the Memories Last: Creating Vacation Videos

April 14, 2020

To see an example of one of our trip videos, we shared a snippet clip from our Colorado visit on our Instagram account, @gatheringtwigs.

About to embark on a drive home from northern Michigan a couple summers ago, we were looking at our videos and photos from the trip and decided to make a little video montage. With an unlimited cell phone data plan and 7+ hours of driving time in our 12-passenger van, we compiled all the photos we had taken between us and started uploading them into a video program. It took a few hours since we were new to the program, but by the time we got home we had a pretty cute 7-minute video montage. It was fun to share these videos with friends and grandparents too since photos don’t always do justice to these locations.

These video montages became a new tradition that the kids look forward to after our trips. They may not always remember the details of our vacations but enjoy watching themselves essentially grow up on these videos over the years. On New Years Eve this past year, we pulled out or old videos and played them on the television to re-live the memories. In fact, after this year’s spring break trip to Florida was cancelled, Katie’s daughter was so sad that we wouldn’t have a video to watch. Never mind the fact that we didn’t get to spend a fun week on the beach together… 🙂

Watching our past videos together on NYE

Disclaimer: WE ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS! If we can do this, so can you.

Something to keep in mind before creating your video:

  • What orientation do you prefer for your final video?
    • Portrait versus Landscape — it depends on what you plan to do with your video and how you want to share it.
    • We typically do portrait, since we usually just watch it on a phone and share to others that way. However, if you wanted to put it on YouTube or Vimeo, then landscape may be preferred for you.
    • If possible, record your videos in the same orientation you plan to use for your video.

Organize your photos and videos.

(We all have iPhones and take 99.9% of the photos and videos on them, but you can apply the same process to your own devices. )

Occasionally throughout our trips when we’ve got some down time, we’ll go through our phones and organize the media from the past few days – deleting duplicates and choosing our favorites. At some point, we create a shared album and add our individual photos and videos to it. It’s from this album that we then upload everything to a video creation app.

Shared Albums to organize photos between multiple phones / devices

We don’t usually edit the photos or trim the videos at this point. You could make it a little extra by running your photos through editing software first, but we try to keep this simple.

Find a Video Editing App or Program

There are many different apps and programs you can use for video editing. By chance, we first downloaded an app called Splice and it’s worked well for us every time. Again, we try to keep this super simple but you could go above and beyond with more professional video editing software.

Add your Photos, Videos, and Choose Music

This is where having a separate album for only your favorite photos and videos for the montage is helpful because it’s just a quick matter of uploading the entire album. We are picky about having our videos chronologically play as they did in real life, so we try to keep it organized this way.

Music can be uploaded from a few different sources, depending on the editing app used. Our preference is to purchase the song(s) and upload via iTunes.

Customize Your Video Montage

Once uploaded, you can personalize your video in so many ways. There are many different options within the apps – such as photo transitions, background noise, music, and adding text titles. This is all personal preference and as you can imagine, we keep it simple here too and go with the default settings within the app.

If you’re including a lot of photos and videos, choose enough songs to fill the time. The apps usually have a way to transition the two songs and blend it all together well. Katie is the master song picker — always has a couple tucked away in her back pocket specific to each kind of trip 🙂 Here’s a few we’ve used in the past:

  • “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons
  • “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors
  • “Good Life” by One Republic
  • “Old Pine” by Ben Howard
  • “Wish for the World” by Ryan Hurd
  • “Rum” by Brothers Osbourne

It’s pretty cute when the kids hear one of these songs play and yell, “Hey! That’s from the ________ video!”

While we’ve only done some short videos to recap our trips, it could be fun to create a video montage of birthday parties, holidays, backyard play and even quarantine life to remember these days down the road. Song selection for a video documenting this weird time in all our lives could be pretty fun… let us know what you’d choose!

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