Back in the golden oldies, when people actually used to read something more than 140 characters, blogging used to be a popular trend. Blogging granted individuals the freedom to speak their mind and share their opinions on their blog without facing some form of censorship from the powers that be. They created their own community of people who essentially followed their writing. However, with the rapid progression of technology, people tend to respond to visual picture and audio more than reading a blog, so vlogging (video blogging) became the new “in” thing. Now, vlogging has become lucrative business for some people and it just keeps expanding. With that being said, stick around to get some useful tips on starting your own vlog.
Vlogging, video blog or video log, is described by the ever so credible Wikipedia as “a form of blog for which the medium is video, and is a form of web television. Vlog entries often combine embedded video (or a video link) with supporting text, images, and other metadata. Entries can be recorded in one take or cut into multiple parts. The vlog category is popular on YouTube.”
Essentially, vlogging is a new internet craze that allows everyday human beings to talk to a camera about literally anything and people will watch it. That just about sums it up...
The fact of the matter is that vlogging is a growing platform to express views, reviews, advice, opinions or beliefs without owning a media conglomerate.
If you’re interested in starting a vlog, you’re in luck because we’re about to discuss what you need to do before you execute your plan. What better way to learn about vlogging by asking a vlogger? Well, that’s exactly what I did. This blog post will highlight some of the key points Al Postman, a Youtube vlogger on “Pags and the Postman”, highlighted in his interview.
Before we get into the equipment, Postman says you will need the following in order.
Postman highlights that most people have the misconception that bloggers just turn on their cameras and speak. Whilst some vloggers have been given this skill, most of the successful ones, including the likes of Alfie Deyes, Zoe Sugga and Gabriella Lindley, actually plan their content and study their market before they release a vlog. In order for people to watch your video, they must feel like what you’re talking about will impact them in one way or another. Whether it be through humor, tips, tricks, hacks or an opinion on something they care about, it needs to be something that will keep the audience watching from beginning to end.
Most vlogs tend to keep their shooting location consistent. A space that has some character and is relatively quiet is often ideal. Popular backgrounds include bookshelves with books you will never read, lounge areas that, for some odd reason, never welcome people or a stool that’s never been sat on. Be sure to choose a well-lit area as that could save you the hassle in post-production.
Once you’ve got those two things covered, let’s talk equipment.
If you have a standard entry-level camera, good for you. If you don’t, don’t despair. Camera phones that have good low-light compensation are perfect for vlogs. After all, your audience is not looking for a video produced by Michael bay.
A few great camera phones that come to mind are the Galaxy S4 and up, iPhones 5 and up, the Huawei P8 and P9 and the LG G series. All of the aforementioned camera phones will do just fine in a relatively well-lit environment. If you’re looking to go more professional, the Canon range is something to consider:
Always consider the investment you are making and whether it is worth it. Consider whether you will make money from being a vlogger. If so, it’s advisable to invest in one of the more expensive cameras above. If not, or if you’re just starting out, try choosing from the list below to start off with and progress from there.
The cheaper options include:
Sound is a crucial element to your vlog. It’s important that your audience can hear what you’re saying clearly without being distracted by sound refraction or horrible reverb from an empty space.
There is also no point in focusing on getting the most crisp video when everything you say sounds like it’s coming from your foot.
Sound equipment can be very expensive. Booms and shotgun microphones prices will turn your monthly budget upside down.
All you need is a Zoom H1 and a lapel microphone. The microphone simply plugs into the recording device and Bob’s your uncle. The Zoom H1 has simple input settings that can be adjusted appropriately for every voice.
What to get:
Out of the aforementioned items, lighting can be and most likely will be the most expensive. With that being said, it’s the most vital for the platform. If your camera phone is okay in low lighting, it will be excellent if you’re shooting in a well-lit space during the day. However, If you are looking to add some extra light to your vlog, I would suggest not selling an organ to afford it. A few lamps with standard fluorescent white light will do the job if used effectively as a three point system - key light, fill light and back light.
What to get:
Standing lamps - white fluorescent bulbs
Editing is the last step of the vlogging process and is easily the most boring! Once you’ve recorded your footage, chopping and splicing it will decide the pace and the feel of the video.
Adobe Premier Pro CC is the ideal software to edit on. It’s got a simple user interface and great rendering for smooth editing on a decent PC. It’s also got the added benefit of having grading options and audio effects built into the programme so you will never have to leave the program for audio or lighting post production.
What to get:
Adobe Premier Pro CC
Postman said in his interview that vlogging is something you have to commit to. It looks quick and easy to put together but this is the biggest misconception amongst people from the outside. The general process of vlogging is time consuming, from the content planning to the post production editing. This is not to discourage those who want to vlog but rather a friendly reminder about the commitment it is. Check out the top 5 Youtube vloggers here to see how they get it right.