I’ve been doing product reviews for a while now, but have recently stepped it up and am including YouTube video reviews (see my YouTube channel here) and Instagram photos, too (see my Instagram page here).  Adding on these new dimensions to my reviews has given me a greater variety of reviews to do, but also necessitated bringing help on board.  Enter….my kids!

Our product reviews are now being posted as pages within our Product Review category (browse pages) 

this should help you find items that interest you more easily!

Puppy Love

Puppy Love

While a big family has its challenges, it also i quite helpful in many ways and this is one of those!  We are now able to review a wider variety of products and enjoy some fun and laughs along the way.

One of our family favorite chaotic times is when we review pet items.  It’s not a problem getting the dogs or other pets interested; they are always willing for attention.  The problems arise when we try to coordinate what we want the picture or video to look like with the dogs’ ideas at the moment.  We try for the most natural possible, and use only our own pets,so when the bassets came in to get their share of the dog treats, we just let it happen.  Sure, we are now overrun with dogs seeking to star in the current video, but it is definitely not a staged performance!

Our family is not trained in acting; these videos and photos show our real family, our true opinions, and probably a bit more “real” than we sometimes like, but that is the idea.  We don’t want to produce commercials.  Our goal is to convey our true opinions and show the products to our viewers.  If something doesn’t work quite right, that is real life.  Of course, if we make a mistake, we will reshoot the video.  But we want our video to show the product as it is, not all dressed up to sell.

Our studio is pretty lived in; actually, it’s very lived in as it’s our home.  Our equipment is very basic, but it works well for what tripe sticks 2we are doing.  I’d love to add a separate room dedicated to product testing, photography, and maybe even add some podcasting to my blog.  But for now, our living room, kitchen, and general outdoors are just perfect!

So how does all this come together?  Right now as I am writing this, I have one teenager showcasing a product while another videotapes.  Both are laughing as words become obstacles, shots are misaligned, and we are now on take 27 or so.  Everyone is still laughing and having fun, even when the phone rings and interrupts an otherwise excellent video.  Yes, just another day in our family fun!

Dry-Ice Stone

Dry-Ice Stone

Some videos come together quite quickly but most take a little time.  After we review the product, we talk about what should be in the video and choose a victim, I mean star, to showcase our product.  Our family is not filled with aspiring actors, so we sometimes have to really negotiate to get the right person for that product.  For some reason, none of the girls wanted to review the beard products.  But then, none of the boys jumped at reviewing eye creams or tweezers.  I’ve had no problem getting multiple  people to test electronics, but they seem to disappear when the video camera arrives.  Alas, the only aspiring stars in our home seem to be 4 footed fur kids!

Great Aussie BBQ Grill Brush  #greataussie

Great Aussie BBQ Grill Brush #greataussie

I doubt our family will be featured on any major tv shows, and we don’t really want to be.  And we are not making millions reviewing products; in fact, it has yet to pay for itself.  But the kids are learning about reviews, consumer choices, and many more factors (when you homeschool, everything is a lesson!) and we are having fun along the way!

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