Nikon COOLPIX digital cameras shoot great video—in addition to stills—many capable of shooting in HD or Full HD. In addition, they also offer a variety of special effects built-in. With a little practice, you can create great videos of your child’s next birthday celebration, complete with interviews, narration, music, or still images incorporated throughout for a wonderful memory of the event.

When shooting video of a child’s birthday party, keep these tips in mind:

  • Have fun. Look for unique angles such as carefully climbing high above your subjects, or getting the camera low to the ground for a change in viewpoint. Take both video and stills when you do this for more variety. Its even ok if you need to ask your subjects to repeat a task so you can capture it in more than one way.

  • Try the variety of special effects that most Nikon COOLPIX cameras offer—such as slow-motion, selective color, or miniature effect—for a truly unique look.

  • Stabilize the camera whenever possible. If your camera has VR (Vibration Reduction), turn the feature on. You can use a monopod or tripod when panning or zooming into the frame. If you don’t have a monopod or tripod, brace yourself against a sturdy object such as a fence or wall to keep camera shake to a minimum.

  • Make sure there is enough light for the situation you’re in. You might have to increase the ISO; open the curtains to let more light into a room or even turn on lamps to increase the level of illumination indoors. Remember that a camera’s flash will not illuminate your scene when shooting video.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask your subjects a question, or prompt them to tell a story or share their thoughts about the event you’re capturing on video. You can always choose to leave in your own voice making the request or edit it out of the final video.

  • Lastly, Make sure your batteries are fresh (if your camera uses disposable batteries) and fully charged (if your camera uses rechargeable ones); We’ve all run out of power at one inopportune time or another but doing so during special events can be devastating. Have extra media cards on hand too. You don’t want to face the decision of having to delete images or video clips to make room for new ones in the middle of shooting.

By using only the best images and video clips, you’ll be able to tell a better story, one that your fiends and family will want to see again and again.

Learn from photographer Ann Cutting in this video, as she explains these tips and more for capturing great video of your child’s birthday celebration. While the video focuses on a young girl’s birthday party, many of the tips and tricks are general enough that you can use them anytime.