Reliving the moment

Reliving the moment
Photo by Josh Chiodo / Unsplash

Growing up my dad would always film holidays, Christmas, birthdays and when visiting family and friends on his Sony Video 8 Handycam.

We'd get back home and then I'd be all excited to have all the footage recorded onto a VHS tape from the camera and watching it for the first time.

The VHS tape would go into a box with the rest of our home video collection. Every once in a while we'd pull one out and relive that holiday, birthday or whatever funny was captured on video.

Me all hyped for getting Scalextic for Xmas

A few years ago I spent some time digitalising all our family home videos from VHS as a backup to have footage preserved forever. I have it backed up on multiple hard disks and cloud, so I can access and watch it from anywhere.

A while back, I stayed over at my cousin's and pulled out a segment from Christmas in 1997 (I was 4 years old) where we were all together opening presents that my uncle, dressed as Santa gave us, and then going to my grandparent's house in Pretoria, playing in the garden.

It was so funny laughing at ourselves.

That's when I realised all over again how absolutely valuable that footage is. It's memories of an era. Footage that I'd want to show my future kids and passed down, just like I have footage from my late grandfather that he filmed on his Super8 camera in the 50's, 60's & 70's.

Frame grab from Super8 footage, 1960s. Grandmother, dad and his sisters

But thinking about it, it feels like our tradition of taking the video camera along kind of stopped around 2005 - at least that's the the last VHS tape we have, that contains footage of a family friend flying a 1943 Tiger Moth.

Framegrab, Tiger Moth

Yet, not too long after, we entered a time where everything turned digital and internet became fast enough to upload and stream video.

Video consumption is at an all time high. We have iPhones that can shoot video in higher quality than we ever dreamt of in the VHS days. We have enough flash storage and cloud storage not to have to worry about running out of memory.

We take photos of our food, places we visit, sometimes a selfie or a group photo. But rarely switch the device you always carry with you to video mode to be able to completely capture moment to rewatch in a future time.

The movements, the sounds, the conversations that you hear in home videos is something that money can't buy, especially watching them a decade or more later. We got older, some people in those videos aren't with us anymore, yet that footage is the closest we'll ever get to be able to reliving the moment.

When you're with your family and friends again, laughing and having a really feel good moment, flip your iPhone to video mode and capture the moment in it's most natural way. It will be beyond special when you watch it again 10 years from now.