We only have one little grommet running around when we go on family outings (for now) but still it forces my love of photography and taking portraits into the back seat. Between wrangling the dude, prepping and schlepping for the dude and just soaking up the natural beauty we came to see, taking photos with my big DSLR or even my plain old point and shoot has taken a back seat to quick snapshots from my iPhone. But I recently replaced my old GoPro with the new Go Pro Hero2 helmet camera and it is beginning to change the way I approach taking video and even photos of the family and documenting our outdoor activities.
5 Tips for Documenting Family Outings With a GoPro
1) Time Lapse Portraits & The Family Photo Singularity
Trying to capture the perfect group or family portrait in one click is never going to happen. Best you can do is get it in 5 of so repetitions of “look at the camera dude, hay dude, lookiee here! Hay buddy, buddybuddybuddy…” You look and feel like a tool. But with a GoPro on time lapse mode you just stand there and pretend there is some amazing sight just behind the camera, no pressure, no fuss, no time crunch. When you get home just pull the photos up and toggle through until you find the perfect one. No editing and using “the cloud” to composite multiple images. The law of conservation of gawking requires that at some point everyone is going to be looking in the general direction of the camera making an reasonably acceptable face for your christmas card. Or better yet, you capture a funny moment you never could have gotten otherwise.
2) Time Lapse Video With a GoPro
3) Follow Video
4) Self Panoramas
5) Let your kid cary the camera
Essential GoPro Gear For Dads
1) The GoPro Tripod Mount
This lets you mount the GoPro camera to a tripod so that you can set up to do some of the above GoPro tricks. The GoPro Tripod Mount is just a small platform with a 1/4 by 20 threaded tripod mount. Without this, the camera won’t sit or balance on anything as it’s shape isn’t like a regular camera.
2) A Big SD card
3) Photography and Cinema Pistol Grip
This thing is AWESOME for using with a GoPro. I used it to shoot the entire video below when I tool my son and his cousin Kayaking at Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe. The grip and the GoPro tripod mount let you hand hold video and photos steadily. You can use the pistol grip to bungie the camera to things using simple bungie straps like the ones below, or use the straps on backpacks, kayaks or anything else. The pistol grip also can be used as base to prop the camera up on a rock for shots as you paddle, hike or ride by for cool perspective shots.
4) Joby Tripod
I use the basic Joby Gorillapod flexible tripod. It works perfectly for small cameras like my Sony TX10 and the GoPro. It’s always in the pack when we go hiking and I use it almost every time. I also have a Joby Flashlight that is mounted on a small gorilapod that has magnets on the feet. It’s super handy, so if you think you’ll be using your GoPro around iron rich metals, check out the Joby Gorillapod Magnetic Tripod. Buy the Joby Tripod for GoPro on Amazon.