I never would’ve thought I would start vlogging in a million years. The primary reason being self-consciousness over what people might think with regards to the way I speak and the way I look. And what more when I speak to the camera in public! The other reason that comes a close second is the difficulty in creating unique content and the uphill learning curve that is video editing.

Nonetheless, I’ve found it quite enjoyable to share my shenanigans (strictly on off-days only)  with my family and close friends. It has also allowed me to learn some useful skills in the process. I’m very very certain these skills will come in handy in the future.

Honestly, you don’t have to get the latest and greatest in gear in order to get started or to be a good vlogger. I started out recording short clips on my mobile phone and sending it to family and friends to show them what I was doing at the time. Then I started putting clips together haphazardly on an iPhone app (such as iMovie). One of my friends started encouraging me to vlog more. Of course, I do have a full-time job so I only do so on days when I am able to.

My buddy mentioned in passing today that he doesn’t fully get vlogging. He understands how it’s fun but he couldn’t imagine filming and being so dedicated to it. I think beyond the learning curve (and I do enjoy learning), it’s a creative outlet for me, much like this blog is in order to stay sane in a busy busy world. We have to have something for leisure, don’t we?

My sister asked me recently about the gear I use and how I go about editing. While I am no expert, here are some simple suggestions as to how you could possibly get started.

1. Use whatever camera you have.

I use a Canon G7x Mark II and a Manfrotto mini tripod while I’m on the go. I also recently ordered a Joby Gorillapod for a few euros (€3+ to be exact) as I had a discount voucher from one of the local shops here. I’m waiting for that to arrive in early September as they’re backordered for some reason. I did use the first version of the Canon G7x but it’s not working so well and in need of repair so I took the opportunity to upgrade at the poisoning encouragement of that same friend. The first version is now my backup camera for vlogging. What a relief that they use the same batteries!

The image quality of both cameras are excellent and both are fairly pocketable. I hate to break it to you but there is no perfect vlogging camera. All of them have their own flaws. It’s a matter of what you prefer. I know some YouTubers use the Sony RX series, but personally they’re priced far too expensively for me. If you enjoy photography, you might want to give those a shot although I’m not sure about the quality of those images. I photograph with a Fujifilm X70 which I absolutely adore.

The mini tripod gives me added reach and makes it more comfortable to hold the camera out in front of me. It also comes in very nifty for propping the camera up in places (hello, time lapse sequences). You’ll also notice I always carry an extra battery. I have one original and 2 other Wasabi Power batteries. You can never have enough juice. It’s horrible to run out in the midst of an exciting day. I never have (yet) but you can never be too sure.

But yeah. Try vlogging with your mobile phone first before you jump on the bandwagon and buy a whole truckload of gear. See if you like it first and if it’s for you.

2. Learn simple editing with simple software.

iMovie is a great place to start honestly. If you want to piece something simple together or if you’re not sure whether vlogging and the subsequent editing is your thing, then use whatever free software you have to start off. I did with iMovie. Eventually I realised that due to my background in graphic design, I was able to grasp editing much better and could graduate to Adobe Premiere CC (subscription – thank God!) so I could have more control. I’m still learning, but it’s been quite fun so far.

I use a pair of comfortable bluetooth headphones for this purpose. I know I look like an idiot with it on, but it’s so much less painful on the ears than having earbuds in. These are all extra paraphernalia and honestly, you don’t need that to edit. Just use your free software and normal earbuds to start with.

3. Content is king.

I learnt this from Casey Neistat, my favourite YouTuber of all time. He’s always challenging himself to the next level of creativity and while I’ve learnt heaps from watching his videos (timing music to video sequences, engaging an audience, etc), I’m trying not to be another Casey. There are already tons out there. No one needs another copy of another, right? The most important thing is your content. What do you have to say that is uniquely yours? What perspective can you share of what’s going around you? And how does your film reflect that?

Personally, I simply enjoy sharing my day with family and friends. And that is also why my vlogs are unlisted. Until they can be available freely (which I highly doubt so due to the nature of my work), I won’t be showing any samples of my vlogs I’m afraid. Sorry about that.

I hope this is somewhat helpful for you if you’re looking to start out with vlogging. It won’t be easy, but it’s pretty fun… once in a while. I now leave you with a screenshot of one of my vlogs. I was up on a very high and narrow parapet at the University of Coimbra (I’m not a fan of heights). Now that’s dedication.

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