I love family reunions, but trying to document them is something that has always stressed me out. Group shots are a sweat-inducing challenge with some older family members who are barely able to move to get into frame, and other younger family members who can’t stay still enough to keep in frame. Capturing 4 generations in 360° : my summer challenge.

This past July was my first experience trying to capture a family reunion in 360° with the Giroptic iO. Here’s how it went.

Generations in 360° : 4 to 90-year old

Ignoring the grease smudge, here’s what I found neat about the above video:

1st Generation: I chose to focus on my grandfather, the least mobile member of my family, for this shot. He’s 90 years old and I wanted to capture plenty of footage of him and my son together without disturbing either one of them. So my strategy was to record the activity as it occurred naturally around my grandfather as he sat in his favorite chair.

2nd Generation: Peripherally, I was also able to include the next generation in this video: my uncle to my grandfather’s left, and my dad in the background.

3rd Generation: As the person holding the camera, naturally I’m clear in the shot as I observe what happens naturally around me. Looking back, I wish I had asked my grandfather to hold the camera!

4th Generation: The video gets interesting when my 4-year old son enters the scene, showing off his prize catch of the day: a 6-inch bluegill! My son never spends more than a few moments in the same spot or doing the same thing, but with 360° that doesn’t matter.

 

I think that’s what I love most about the 360° format. Everyone is free to do their own thing at their own pace and in their own space. You don’t have to lose time or get stressed out (not to mention, annoy everyone) constantly trying to squeeze people into frame. Just click, point in any direction, and let the action happen naturally. As long as the lighting is good and there aren’t objects blocking faces, it’s almost guaranteed the shot will come out looking nice.

 

Intergenerational imagery: some tips

As I’m still a new user of the iO, I’m learning as I go. Here are three tips I’m giving to myself to keep in mind for next year’s family reunion:

Tip #1: Ask the older, less mobile members of the family to hold the camera while taking a pic.

Tip #2: Have the younger, more mobile members of the family run around while holding the camera and taking a video.

Tip #3: Wash your hands after eating grandma’s famous sloppy joes, and keep your grubby fingers off the iO lens!

And don’t forget to have your iO handy for all those cool intergenerational moments!