In this post, I’ve put together 13 GoPro tips for kids and family vacations. Along with the tips, you’ll find some ideas about how to put them to work. And some gear suggestions that’ll make getting great footage easier.
13 GoPro Tips for Kids and Family Vacations
Have you used your GoPro to take family photos?
These action cameras aren’t just for base-jumping, wingsuit-flying, kamikaze-athletes anymore. Here are some GoPro tips for families:
1. Set the GoPro to Time Lapse Mode
Want some new family photos? Why not try doing it yourself – with your GoPro?
By putting your camera on a tripod and setting it to time lapse, you won’t have to worry about missing your shot. Unlike cameras that will only shoot a certain amount of photos on a set timer, the GoPro (in time lapse mode) will just continue shooting.
A time lapse video is made up of individual photos. Those photos are then stitched together in editing to make a video. But, you can also choose individual shots out of a time lapse to use as still photos.
For best quality choose the 12-megapixel option. This will allow you to enlarge your photos up to 24 x 36 inches with great resolution.
The 10-megapixel setting will also give you a nice 20×30″ print.
Ideas for Fun Family GoPro Photos
Set the tripod up at different heights as you try some of the following ideas. This will give you different perspectives to choose from when editing.
- Have everyone (in unison) step closer and closer to the camera. Don’t forget to have the youngest / smallest kids out in front.
- Get down on your hands and knees and crawl toward the camera.
- Stand above the camera in a circle. Bend down, bringing your faces closer and closer to the camera.
- Mount the camera to a tree branch (facing down) and lay in a circle (head to head) while looking up at the camera.
- Put the camera on the bottom of a pool and do a family dive photo shoot.
- Set it up on a tripod (poolside) and get a family midair cannonball shot.
Those are just some suggestions to get the ideas flowing. If you have some more, I would love to hear about them in the comments at the end of the post.
2. Shoot in Protune Flat
If you want to get the best color out of your GoPro, Protune Flat is the way to go.
Protune flat captures more detail in the highlights and shadows than the default GoPro color mode. So, when you edit your family adventures you’ll get richer color.
If you enjoy bringing the best out of your photos with editing, try shooting in Protune flat.
If you’re not into editing (or don’t care to play with it) then GoPro color will still do a great job.
3. Use Your Tablet or Phone to Check Composure
It can feel a little weird when you start shooting with a GoPro. They don’t have viewfinders and the older ones don’t even have an LCD screen.
By using your mobile device as an LCD screen, you can check the composure of your shot/video. This is also great if you have the camera mounted somewhere else (your kids chest, a tree branch, or your dog’s back).
The GoPro has a really wide field of view so you may not need to be concerned about composure. Chances are you’ll get what you want, and you can just crop out any extra in editing. But, sometimes you want to make sure you nail composure, like in the family shots mentioned above.
4. Carry an Extend/Selfie Pole For Family Selfies
This is one of my favorite things about the GoPro. We love taking family travel selfies!
If you have an active family like ours, you’ll love how easy it is to get great travel selfies with your GoPro on an extend pole.
You can toss one in your backpack and take it on all your outdoor adventures.
Ideas for Family Selfie Shots
Set the camera to time lapse mode (same as tip #1 mentioned above) for continuous shooting as you try out these next ideas.
- Stand close together and have everyone follow (with eyes and head) as you move the camera from left to right, and up and down.
- Hold the camera in front of the group as you walk along a hiking trail.
- Take a selfie as you snorkel along the top of the water.
- With the smallest family member on your shoulders, get them to hold the selfie stick looking down at everyone. The GoPro will capture more of the scenery and add a great effect to your shot.
Why not make a fun GIF from your family selfies shot in time lapse mode?
5. Take Storytelling Shots and Footage
When you’re on an adventure, make sure to get some footage of the story that leads up to the event.
Ideas for Storytelling Shots and Footage
Here are some ideas to get things started.
- Pre-adventure excitement and expectation. Capture your family packing for the trip. Ask them what they can’t leave home without. What they are looking forward to seeing and doing.
- Suiting up. Getting into the bike helmets or the snorkeling gear.
- Inside the car shots. Has someone fallen asleep? Is someone singing along to their favorite road trip songs? Don’t miss that…
- Arriving at the hotel. Entering with your luggage, finding your room, flopping down on the beds.
- Don’t forget to capture your family having fun on the adventure by turning the camera around (selfie style) on the extend pole.
- Mount the camera to one of your kids helmets, or have them hold the extend pole. A kids perspective is always interesting, and they are going to want to see storytelling shots with you in them.
6. Have a Family Brainstorm Session
Get the family together before you set out on your adventure for some brainstorming.
Ask them what they think would make for fun and exciting GoPro footage. Tell them about the different aspects of your trip and pick their brains about what they would like to see in the family video.
Children are so creative – they are geared for fun! You’ll probably come away from your family meeting with some super ideas.
7. Let Your Kid Have A Turn
Make sure to put the GoPro in your kids hands.It’s tough inside that waterproof housing, even little kids can’t hurt it.
Show them how to hold it. A floating hand grip is great for little hands, it’s chubby and easy for them to grasp.
Once they get their turn, things will come alive. And whether it’s pointed at them or you, you’re going to get some fun footage.
8. Buy Some Mounts
Mounts make the GoPro extremely versatile. With a few mounts, you’ll be able to get different perspectives which will add interest to your shots/videos.
A Few Great Mounts to Look Into
There are so many wonderful mounts for the GoPro, these are some great ones for families.
- Floating hand grip For water activities and little kids hands.
- Selfie/Extend pole. We own a large and a small, we take one everywhere. They are great for family selfies and getting close-up for animal shots.
- Helmet mount. Many sports require a helmet. This mount keeps your hands free.
- Gorillapod Tripod. The Gorillapod is a super versatile mount that’s small and easy to use.
9. Take it Everywhere
The GoPro is so small you can take it almost everywhere.
You can use a GoPro as a point and shoot. And if you shoot in Protune flat you can edit footage to get rich color results.
Having your GoPro on hand means you’ll use it more, and learn what it’s capable of. So if you’re heading to the park with the family, take it. If you’re going to visit the grandparents, take it. Sunday drive, take it…
The GoPro is pretty small, and just shooting it handheld is not very comfortable. It’s also hard to keep your fingers out of the shot. I recommend bringing a small extend pole.
10. Use Moisture Absorbent Inserts for Temperature Changes
Fog happens inside the waterproof housing because of temperature changes. You’ll want something to absorb that moisture. Otherwise, you’ll have a fuzzy ring around your photos/videos.
We use generic anti-fog inserts. After use, you can pop them in the oven, dry them out and use them again..
11. Avoid Water Spots
To avoid ruined footage and photos, you’ll want to use something to prevent water drops on your lens.
It’s super frustrating to look back over photos/videos and find water spots where your kids (or husbands) face is supposed to be!
This happens when you go from shooting underwater to shooting above water. Often water will cling to the lens area (of the waterproof housing) and distort everything you shoot.
To help repel water, you can lick the lens or spit on it. You can also apply some Rain-X to repel water. It will make the water roll right off. Here are some other ways to keep drops off your GoPro lens.
12. Don’t Forget Your Pets Perspective
If you have a pet, don’t forget to include them. As part of your family, their quirky sweetness will add fun and warmth to your footage.
Another idea is to mount the GoPro to your pet. Capturing things from your pets perspective will add spice to your footage.
13. Have Fun
When it comes to the GoPro and your family, this is probably the most important tip of all.
Get familiar with your GoPro before you start shooting. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to spend too much time worrying about composure. If you point it at something, chances are you’re getting what you want, and much more besides.
The GoPro is versatile and practically indestructible (inside that waterproof housing,) so you can do just about anything with it.
Have fun with your family, and let the GoPro help you capture your memories.
I hope these GoPro tips for families help get your creative juices flowing. If you have some to add, please share by commenting on this post.
Dena Haines is a co-founder and blogger on ClickLikeThis. We cover action cameras and outdoor photography with a focus on GoPro cameras. She also blogs about travel at Storyteller.Travel and is partner at Storyteller Media, a publishing company she started with her husband, Bryan.