Everywhere you look on social media, it’s clear. There’s increased demand on all platforms for video content. In fact, according to current research by Hubspot, at least 43% of consumers want to see more video.
For us as photographers and media content creators, that’s good news.
But before you grab your camera and start shooting clip after clip in order to cash in on the video bandwagon, you need to know that there are pitfalls the unknowing and untrained can fall into on the path to video success.
Video, like photography and writing, is an art form, and like all other forms of artistic expression, it has a core set of rules, techniques, and principles which must be learned.
It’s important to invest in your skills and understand the fundamentals as you approach making a travel video.
One winter day, when I was a young boy living in New Hampshire, school was called off because of a large storm that had come through the night before and dumped a couple feet of snow. I remember sleeping late, and when my mother came to wake me, she saw a beautiful fox outside my bedroom window, digging in the snow to find something to eat.
I eagerly got my father’s camera—a fully manual, rangefinder 35mm film camera—and confidently started taking photos of this amazing animal.
Of course, none of them came out. I hadn’t yet learned the basics of photography. I didn’t know how to set exposure and how to focus—let alone the aesthetic principles of composition and design. My intentions were great, and my confidence was admirable… but my skills were far from adequate to the task.
I can imagine some of you are in the same exact place right now. You know how to take still photographs that people like, and you may have even sold some of them as stock photography or fine art. And now, you’ve heard that video will allow you to sell at a much higher commission… or even be the means to quitting your job, traveling the world, and getting paid for doing what you love. And you can’t wait.
But before you grab your camera and start making a video, there are some very practical, important, and basic principles you need to learn to help you excel quickly and avoid making amateurish videos.
The value of learning from others…
I love traveling through Russia. I’ve been there many times, going back to when it was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and my wife and I were always accompanied (or followed!) by a government minder.
We loved the architecture, the boisterous use of color, the history of art and culture… but most of all, we fell in love with the people.
One of the guides I met in Moscow told me of an old Russian proverb that says: “A wise man learns from someone else’s mistakes, the smart man learns from his own, and the stupid one never learns.”
I don’t think anyone reading this is in that third category… of never learning. Instead, I think you are fairly evenly split between the first two groups: those who learn from your own mistakes and those who learn from what others have experienced.
After that first, disappointing experience taking pictures of the fox on my snow day, my dad realized my innate interest in photography and bought me a cheap camera to start teaching me.
I am so glad he did! Those initial lessons and the time we spent together in a darkroom set the course of my life and livelihood.
I learned and practiced… and kept learning! In college, I studied photojournalism under two Pulitzer Prize winners. Then, when I expanded into film and video, my mentors were highly respected, award-winning filmmakers and cinematographers.
At each step, I was patiently taught the fundamentals and then given the creative freedom to spread my wings, develop my style, and go in the direction of my calling and my dreams.
That opportunity is being given to you, too. Great Escape Publishing has created a course to help you learn the skills needed to excel in shooting travel videos.
And you won’t just learn the basics… you’ll also receive some of the proven “insider” tips that professionals, like me, use to create great videos that clients will pay good money for… and the opportunity to get paid to travel.
Your dream, most assuredly, can become reality! Just be sure to take that first step and invest in yourself.