Are you thinking of getting into videography or filmmaking, but are not sure where to start? Look no further! In this article, I want to first talk about my journey into the world of videography and then detail how you too can make a start. Whether you’re looking for a new hobby, or eventually would like to earn money from video, you’re in the right place.
Let’s start with my personal journey with videography. As someone who has always been into the arts and creating, it was only natural that I would one day venture into the world of photography and video on some level. I bought my first “proper” DSLR camera back in 2015 with the intent of documenting my travel experiences, so it definitely began as a hobby. Instantly I found I really enjoyed creating videos and taking photos.
In the beginning, I would create little films about anything and everything…or sometimes nothing at all! The next step was to pick a video editing program to learn, as this is half the battle. Over time, I slowly taught myself the basics of video editing. Keep in mind, learning and improving in any skill is a lifelong endeavor and there are definitely moments where one can be frustrated or overwhelmed during the process—but if you truly enjoy it, it won’t be a “chore.”
As my skills improved, I started doing free jobs, which later turned into small paid gigs, and eventually higher paid gigs—a natural progression. The great news is that if you’re looking to earn some income from video, there are plenty of opportunities out there. Every business, whether, big, medium, or small, needs visual content. Video is also required in many other areas, such as events and weddings.
Now, let’s address how to get into video, improve your skills, and get paid jobs. First and foremost, you will need a camera of some sort. I would recommend a DSLR or mirrorless camera, as they are very affordable nowadays and can have a lot of amazing features and functions packed into them. Secondly, you need to learn the basics of your camera. I started learning how to control my camera manually and found photography to be a great way to practice this. Learn about ISO, apertures, and shutter speeds, as they are all critical in both photography and videography. Additionally, learn about frame rates, as this is this very important for filmmaking.
The great thing about owning a camera is that you can practice anywhere. Once I had the basics down, I would film anything. I would go to a local park and film trees, animals, flowers, ponds, people, etc. When traveling I would film the highlights of a trip, beautiful locations, transport, and the people I was traveling with. Sometimes I would make abstract videos without a real purpose and at other times I’d try and create a little story as a challenge. The point here is that you can practice new techniques every day and can make films about literally anything or nothing.
OK great, we have a bunch of footage, but what do we do with it all? Pick a video editing program, whether free or paid, and start with learning the basics. What I found useful was to find videos on YouTube that I was inspired by. This will show you what’s possible and help steer you in a direction that you want to head in.
At this point, just try to copy different styles and approaches, whether from a filming or editing point of view. If there’s a particular technique that you want to learn, take the time to learn not only how to do it, but also why it works.
And don’t forget the audio side of things, as this is a common mistake when starting out. A video is 50% about the audio and 50% about the visuals.
Eventually you will build up the skill set to get your vision and point across and develop your own style.
Now that you have some skills in capturing video and video editing, you can start making videos for others. At first, make some videos for friends and family. Maybe a music video for a friend’s band, or film a local event. Take your camera on a vacation and make a “vlog” style video. If you’re truly passionate about a topic, make a short documentary.
Once you have a few free “jobs” under your belt and a small portfolio, you can try and earn some money from filmmaking. Perhaps over time you will be recommended to others, at which point, don’t be afraid to quote a job and ask for some money (you can learn how much to charge in Chapter 14 of Travel Videos for Profit). If you’re in it purely from a hobby point of view, just keep pushing yourself to learn new skills and to create meaningful videos that you can be proud of.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Three Fun Ways To Get Paid To Travel: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]