Confessions of a Beginning Vlogger
12 Mar '17 — What it's like behind the camera (and in front)
When the camera turns on, I feel immediate congestion. It feels like someone had hit the mute button and I've abruptly lost the capability to express myself.
There are so many details I'd share naturally, or describe with more descriptions and with more energy. I'm in the process of breaking through the invisible force that's bottling me.
I love playing around with videos, so I've started vlogging again. Also, I'm a fan of stories others share on youtube. My husband isn't a fan of the entire genre and from his standpoint, I've been able to see how this type of day to day 'mundane' content has niche appeal.
Regardless, I enjoy it and I know a handful of others do as well. Maybe it has something to do with peeking into other people's lives.
In making videos, there are a few things I try to keep in mind. These are things that I often stray away from, but are the very things that keep me in check. As someone starting out, it can be overwhelming when trying to create something bigger than I can handle. It's happened many times. I quit and end up taking a long break.
Here are the methods I'm using to reduce 'overwhelmningess':
I. Film only part of the day.
It gets super exhausting to film during the entire day. I am now just filming a few hours in the morning. Then the rest of the day the camera is put away.
When I first started, I carried my camera everywhere and pulled it out all throughout the day. It's an overwhelming amount of footage to deal with, but also, I'm hardly present in any activity. Thinking about what I'm going to do with the video or whether something in front of me should be shot, my mind has no space to be present.
There's also social anxiety in filming in public. Not everyone has it, but I haven't gotten over the anxiety and it adds stress.
Holding the camera correctly is another thing that takes time to understand. Not creating too much footage allows me to keep track of the conditions that result in better composition. Where is the lighting coming from when I shot that scene in the park? How fast can I move while walking so that I don't make the viewer nauseous? It takes attention to learn.
Keep it simple to start. Don't film so much and when filming, pay attention.
II. Don't be basic!
This has been very helpful to my personal well being. There are obvious places to film, cute brunch places or touristy hot spots.
Working on content that I know will get a good response makes me very unhappy. It might not for many people, I'm just one that should not be doing it.
It's easy to copy when starting. A lot of the inspiration comes from pre-existing videos. But the videos that inspire the greatest amount of people, of glamorous travel destinations and trendy cafes, have been done.
Yesterday, I filmed in the morning, but in the evening, my husband and I went to a hipster food event with over 50 food stalls. All were cute and all had deliciously instagrammable exotic cuisine. It would be the type of place a popular youtuber would want to do their vlog. And people would probably be very interested in watching it.
'Oh I should have brought my camera.' As if the filming of this event would allow me passage to elite Youtuber ranks. I corrected my initial reaction with the opposite thought: 'I'm glad I didn't decide to film in the evening'. Without the camera I had the mental space to enjoy the food.
Everything cute has already been done.
III. No one's going to watch.
That is a wonderful thing.
It is disappointing when only a handful of people enjoy your work, but I've realized, that's not why I do the work.
I enjoy editing and putting the movie together, figuring out how to frame a scene.
I'm just starting. Like I mentioned before, I cannot even express myself naturally when the camera starts recording. I'm relieved there aren't many people watching. There's no expectations and I feel free to enjoy creating in the way that pleases me the most.
Enjoy the freedom of being 'unfamous'.
These principles work for me right now. It's a framework that gives me confidence, a belief that I'm moving in the right direction. Of course, it'll change over time.
Follow my progrss on Youtube.