How to become a successful travel vlogger.
You love travel. You love the whole concept of immersing yourself in another country with its own fascinating culture and history. You love stepping outside of your comfort zones and embracing unfamiliar sights, sounds, scents and tastes. You love mixing it up with locals and trying your skill at learning new languages… but most of all you love telling other people about what you’ve learned, showing them what you’ve experienced and providing advice about travelling to different destinations. There are some people who bore others rigid with their holiday snaps as they recount the stories behind them without color or personality. But you are not one of those people. When you talk about your travels, people pay attention and whenever you post your holiday snaps online they’re frequently met with a flurry of “likes” and a procession of envious comments.
Could it be, then, that you have what it takes to become a travel vlogger? By documenting your travels on video and giving your social followers live updates on your globe trotting adventures you can become a popular online figure and influencer giving people valuable travel tips as well as a rewarding way to spend their time online. Travel vlogging is a highly rewarding and potentially lucrative way to share your story and your passion for travel with an avid following.
But if you’re serious about becoming a travel vlogger in 2020 you’ll need to learn how to make incredible videos that give viewers more of what they want to see. With this in mind, here are some video production tips for budding travel vloggers.
Don’t cut corners when it comes to equipment
If you’re serious about vlogging you need to get serious about your equipment. And that means investing in a good camera, lighting and microphone. You’ll need a camera that’s quick and easy to operate so that you don’t miss out on one of those golden “blink and you’ll miss it” moments like a wildlife encounter or a moment of gorgeous lighting while you fiddle with your lens cap. You’ll also need something that’s sturdy and robust so that, if the worst should happen and you wind up dropping it, your chances of capturing great shots don’t rest with your cell phone. Here are some of the best vlogging cameras of last year.
Never forget… accessibility matters
Travel vlogging is all about building a community out of your audience… and no community wants to be exclusive which is why accessibility is so important in the post-production phase of video production. For example, you might want to add audio descriptions to your vlogs to paint a picture for viewers who are visually impaired.
It’s most definitely also worth investing in good quality video captioning. Video captions make your videos more accessible to viewers who are hard of hearing but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, They also make it easier for listeners to find your videos through organic searches on search engines. When you add captions, search engine crawlers can crawl through and index the text within them just like they would a web page or blog post. This can help to give your vlog an SEO boost and help you to grow your brand. What’s more, it’s not just the hearing impaired who tend to view videos with the sound muted. Remember that many people consume vlogs either on the go or in short bursts like on their coffee break at work… both instances where it’s not really appropriate to watch video with audio enabled. Perhaps that’s why over 90% of video today is viewed on mobile devices without sound.
Start out by capturing some great establishing shots
When you arrive in your new location and start to get a feel for the place, keep in mind any opportunities you may have to capture some great establishing shots. Establishing shots help to make your video look sleeker and more professional. They are also great for giving the viewer a sense of context and making them excited for what they will encounter as the video progresses. Of course, you could go back and try and capture these establishing shots later but it’s usually a good idea to make them your first priority so that you don’t miss out on optimal lighting or find that your view is blocked by too many tourists during busier hours.
Share your perspective
One of the most appealing things about travel vlogs is that they give the viewer a real sense of being on the ground with you in your chosen destination. That sense of intimacy and immediacy is what will help viewers to form a personal connection with your content and (hopefully) keep coming back again and again.
So, try and include as many POV shots as possible to help put the viewer in your situation. Share your thoughts as you reflect on what you see all around you. The viewer will feel as though they’re exploring the natural and man made wonders of the world with you.
But don’t be afraid to step in front of the camera
However, don’t forget that it’s your character and personality that makes viewers choose your vlog over everyone else’s. Don’t be afraid to face the camera every once in a while. You may find that addressing the camera in your hotel room at the end of a long day’s trekking is a great way to add a sense of intimacy and companionship to your video that helps the viewer feel even more as though they’re joining you on your travels.
Keep it steady
If you want to stay agile while travelling, it’s likely that you’ll be doing a lot of handheld camera work. This is usually fine, but beware of the dreaded “shakycam” effect. Too much movement in camera can not only be distracting, it can actually make some viewers ill. Found footage movies like The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield have been found to actually provoke nausea and sickness in some viewers. As such, be aware of how much the camera is moving as you traverse your destination.
Moving slowly and moving the camera in slower and more graceful arcs can prevent your footage from being distractingly shaky. If, however, you find that “shaakycam” is unavoidable, don’t worry- this can be fixed during the post-production process. You should invest in some video stabilizing software which will prevent any adverse reactions from audience members.
Be wary of wind
Of course, you can’t control the weather at your chosen destination. But you must still take care to mitigate the effects of the wind if you’re capturing live audio. A wind muff can be an invaluable tool for your microphone as it will cancel out the noise of the wind and preserve your live audio. In many cases you’ll be able to mitigate wind noise in post production by layering music over it or replacing it with additional narration. However, if you’re interviewing locals, it’s not like you’ll be able to get the chance to capture the audio they provide again.
Include local people in your vlog
Speaking of locals, it’s often a good idea to try and get local people to participate in your video (with your permission of course). Ask them questions and get them to share their stories and insights with your viewers. This will add some wonderful color and sparkle to your videos and help the viewer feel like they’re really there.
With a little investment and knowhow, a seasoned travel enthusiast can become a popular travel vlogger with a great portfolio of video content.
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