It’s 2019, and the modern-day social media is no longer just about connecting with friends. Today, platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube have become incredibly powerful for finding your voice and creating a career and business in photo and video blogging.
I founded IG PHOTO AND FILMS, in the year 2013 as a contemporary wedding photography and films company. It’s the power of social media that turned me from a chemical engineering from IIT Roorkee into a wedding photographer. After six years of running this company shooting 150+ weddings all over India, I still find social media is a very important part of the overall marketing strategy for the company. It all started with sharing my work on social media platforms. People started recognizing my work and asked me to cover their wedding celebrations.
The two ways of sharing your content impactfully on social media platforms is either with photographs or videos.
With easy access to the Internet; and the availability of tools like smartphones and cameras that are becoming cheaper every day; one can create powerful and high-quality content for photo and video blogging. For instance, it is now easier than ever before to put your voice on these free platforms, becoming a social media influencer.
In this blog, we will learn about how to get started with photo and video blogging.
Let’s talk about Photography first. Today we are living every moment in photos. With mobile cameras becoming more sophisticated, they have become a powerful photo tool.
For photo blogging
STEP-1: Get the right tool (phone/camera).
STEP-2: Get the right editing apps to build your unique style.
STEP-3: Get on social media and start uploading (using the right words to create impact).
Lets dig deep into each step one by one.
STEP-1: Get the right tool
The first step is to create. The best tool to create photos is in our pockets. We all have them, and they are getting smarter and smarter every day – our smartphone. Phones today have become an essential part of our lifestyle; all phone companies are working hard to make their phones the ultimate tool for creating great content. Every phone these days is capable of creating good images, but if you have to pick a phone as per a professional photographer’s choice; here are my top 3 picks:
Google pixel 3A:
Pixel phones are undoubtedly the best camera phones in the market right now. The latest Google pixel 3A is a good budget range pixel phone. It has the same rear camera sensor as the more advanced and feature loaded Pixel 3 XL. The 12.2MP dual-pixel camera with Optical Image Stabilization and with f/1.8 aperture is great for daylight; especially for low-light photography. At a much affordable price than the Pixel 3XL; the Pixel 3A manages to deliver the same performance to Pixel flagship phones.
One plus 7 Pro:
OnePlus 7 Pro is winning accolades for its camera performance. It has a triple camera setup; consisting of a primary 48MP sensor, an 8MP telephoto lens, and a 16MP wide-angle lens. The details of the camera of one plus 7 pro are amazing. And this is a great mid-range budget phone to get you started.
Huawei P30 Pro:
Huawei’s P30 Pro comes with quad camera set up. This is capable of 5x optical zoom, and digital zoom up to 50x. The low light camera mode offers great images under any lighting conditions. And the overall image quality of this phone is worth all the hype.
For more advanced and professional looking images, you can consider investing in a professional camera. Mirrorless cameras are the latest technology and help the camera to be lightweight and fast. So you can carry them with you everywhere and create professional quality images anywhere, anytime.
My top pick for super lightweight and feature loaded mirrorless cameras is:
Fujifilm’s X-A5 is a 24-megapixel APSC sensor mirrorless camera in a small body having a cool retro design.
The camera has touch screen operations for easy use and 180° Tilting LCD and Portrait Enhancer for selfies. It also has 4K burst shooting which is great for video blogging as well.
STEP-2: Get the Right Editing Apps to Build Your Unique Style
With the mobile camera phones coming into everyone’s pocket; millions of pictures are being clicked all over the world every second. And they are getting uploaded at an even faster rate. So, now having your unique look or style is important to stand out in the crowd. That’s where avoiding the urge to use the in-app filters comes handy. Yes, these filters can give you a good starting point; but to create your own unique style use mobile-friendly editing apps.
Top 3 picks are: Snapseed, VSCO or Adobe Lightroom mobile. These apps are user-friendly and can be mastered with a little practice. You can maintain a similar colour tone to your images while editing so that your timeline looks consistent; and has your unique feel or style.
STEP-3: Get on the social media and start uploading
Now you have the right tools and you have started taking pictures and edited them to your liking and style, its time to start uploading. This may look like the simplest part of the process but it is the most vital one. Don’t worry much about the likes or comments on your pictures when you are just starting. Just be disciplined in creating and uploading the content using the right hashtags to reach your target audience. Soon, you will understand the style and voice you want to put forward. When this happens, things will start getting into shape. Especially, if you are regular at creating and sharing the content and interacting with your audience. Just remember, “Start shitty, but start dammit”!
The other way to share your ideas in an engaging manner is using the moving media aka videos. With platforms like YouTube and IGTV becoming more and more popular, video consumption by people has increased exponentially. YouTube has become the most popular video sharing platform and has created great career opportunities. But the technical side of creating a good video intimidates many bloggers. At the same time, many bloggers do not know how to get started on acquiring the right equipment. So, let’s dive into how you can produce easy-to-share videos with the minimum of tools required.
For video blogging
The 3 main aspects of video production are: Lights, Camera, Sound and Editing. If you get these right you can create great videos anywhere anytime.
Light is very important for making your videos look more professional. If you are photo and video blogging, documenting everyday life, try to avoid shooting in direct sunlight. This is considered harsh and can be a bit challenging to control. Harsh highlights in your video can be difficult to edit in post production and can put off the audience.
If you are planning to start video documents inside a closed space like your room or a studio; investing in a continuous light is the best first step towards making your videos look professional.
Two great budget lighting options to consider are:
1. Godox LED ring light LR-180:
This light is great to light up a room. And as shown in the image above, it can be used to hold the phone on which you can record your video blog.
2. Godox Ultra Slim LEDP120 Video Light:
This LED light is more advanced and generates higher light output. And can be used to light up a bigger room or studio setup.
As far as video blogging cameras are concerned; there are many advance setups that can be used like DJI Osmo pocket.
But for a start, you can start with the mobile phones mentioned above in the photography section. Put your mobile phone on a selfie stick or on a gorilla pod for better control and start shooting.
Later, invest in a gimbal to stabilize the video footage. The DJI Osmo Mobile 2 can enhance the look of your video exponentially.
For an indoor setup, invest in a simple mini tripod. This can be put on a table or any flat surface and get going.
For any video to engage with its audience, the sound is one of the most important parameters to get right. Therefore, for good audio video blogs, invest in a basic lavaliere microphone. The audio can be directly connected to the camera or a zoom H-1 sound recorder. A shotgun microphone to attach on the camera hot shoe is another option for travel like video blogs.
Every video needs some sort of editing to connect the clips taken. Editing helps create a story and that’s where the editing software comes handy. To get started, try the free software like:
• For Windows: Windows Movie Maker
• For MAC: IMovie
For more professional looking edits and to have more control over the overall editing of the video; there are two main editing software available. They are Adobe Premiere Pro (for both Windows and Mac) and Final Cut Pro (For Mac). Though these two software platforms require advanced level editing skills. But with practice, basic editing on these can be mastered in no time.
Perseverance and Discipline
After acquiring all the basic tools to create your next photo or video blog; then the next most important skill to acquire is still the perseverance and discipline to keep creating and keep sharing. Any tool is only as good as the person holding it. So once you get going in photo and video blogging everything starts falling in place.
“Start shitty, but start dammit!”