My first travel video attempt was a total fail. Climbing Diamond Head in Hawaii and using a phone on a selfie stick to record the video, I never considered that the selfie stick was plugged into the phone’s audio jack which resulted in a travel vlog which was void of commentary.
My second attempt wasn’t much better – I abandoned the editing process when I realised the time and effort required. My brief video blogging aspirations came to an abrupt conclusion and I decided to leave it to the experts.
Recently I contacted a number of my favourite producers of travel videos to get their insider secrets. Here are their tips to improve your travel videos.
STOP! – PsycoTraveller
There is nothing worse than making your audience get motion sickness from a shaky video. When there is a scene in front of you or a close up you want to capture, stop. Keep your arms close to your body and focus on capturing a smooth shot. Stabalising your video in the editing stages can more often than not really mess up the clip so try to make it easier for yourself whilst shooting! I myself am still guilt of shaky shots especially when I’m in a bustling city and I have to keep going, but it can really ruin the atmosphere and feel of a video.
Hold the camera steady! – Mari Johnson
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning and actually is something I still struggle with sometimes. Especially when taking shots of scenery, making sure the camera is steady and filming for longer than you may think is necessary will produce much better results! I often travel minimally, so don’t usually have a tripod, though of course that would be helpful! You’ll be able to stabilize your video in post, but starting off with better footage from the beginning always helps. Steady shots can really make a difference and take your videos to the next level.
Learn by experience – The Life of Jord
Start editing using trial and error and just work on continually improving. Don’t be afraid to upload something that isn’t perfect, just make sure your next video is slightly better. If you’re always willing to learn and improve, you’ll never stop getting better.
Find your voice – LoveAlanaChan
The clearer your voice is, the better your content will be. There are so many people creating great content these days, and that shouldn’t dissuade you from getting out there too. It just makes your unique voice so much more valuable and important.
The hard part is figuring out what that is, it’s the age old question, “who are you?” with an audience watching. It might click for you right away, or there may be some experimenting involved. If you enjoy something there’ll be an audience out there that enjoys it too, or enjoys you enjoying it. The more specific and niche you can be, the better.
Stick to the things you love, notice what your audience responds to and keep doing more of it. The best thing about Internet content is that you can experiment until you find what works.
If you can base your voice on what you actually like, it’ll always be authentic.
I love this quote from Marie Forleo,
“The world needs that special gift that only you have.”
You’ll find it! Don’t give up, and enjoy your journey!
Find motion in your videos – Stoked for Saturday
I see many nature and outdoor videos that scroll through static shots of landscapes. While this can seem very artsy and make it feel like you’re in a museum it isn’t a very good recipe for travel video success on social media. Videos are more engaging and have greater ‘holding power” when there is motion. The motion can come from slow fluid movement of the camera (Hollywood accomplishes this with cranes and dollys) or a moving subject within a static frame. So next time you set up a shot try to make sure have either a moving subject, moving camera, or both!
Practice Makes Perfect – Flying the Nest
We have all had that feeling when you put the finishing touches on your masterpiece vlog, upload it to YouTube and then be disheartened and broken when you find out another travel vlogger did the exact same thing but 10xbetter. Everyone says to not compare yourself (and you shouldn’t) so rather than trying to directly copy their style my advice is to simply “keep making more content”. Your 2012 Thailand vlog will look like a high school media project compared to your 2016 Eurotrip if you made a dozen or more videos in between.
It’s such a cliche but practice makes perfect. Challenge yourself to make a video once a week, and if you are already doing weekly uploads then daily vlog for a month for which you will learn so much more from than a dozen videos spread out over a year. I am here challenging you to increase your output and yes there’s a chance of a few duds but your new found knowledge will lead to some diamonds.
Are you a travel videographer or vlogger? What tips would you add to the list?