Tips for Making Better Travel Vlogs

 Making a Video in Iceland

Travel vlogs can be a lot of fun. They can even be profitable. With the right endorsements, the right content and a little bit of creativity, you might have all your expenses paid for by sponsors.

Travel is a 7.6 trillion dollar industry.

That sounds like a fake number (kind of like fake news and fake memos). But even if the number is half-correct, that at least gives you an idea of the potential income available to those with a little motivation, the right tools, and the right knowledge.

I would love to get a teeny, tiny slice of that pie, but I am nervous when it comes to doing videos. That's why I reached out to my friend Amanda who recently created some great videos on her trip to Iceland. When I asked her about it, she said, “The first thing you need to do when making a travel video is to visit interesting places.”

Duh. That I can manage!

There are a myriad of reasons one place may be more interesting than others. It's up to you to find the right story. You are probably not going to make a lot of money shooting video of the Eiffel Tower. It is one of the most photographed landmarks in the world. We all know what it looks like. But if you find a story angle that is unique, you may find that your footage can garner a little bit of income.

After she stopped laughing at me, she pushed her point a little further. She said it might just be easier to go to places that are not only historically interesting, but that are relevant. However, knowing where to go and when is half the battle.

Amanda just got back from an amazing trip to Iceland and here are a few of her tips that will help you tackle the other half:

Stay Mobile and Ready to Be Where the Action Is

Photographers face many of the same challenges as videographers. And as a result, make many of the same mistakes. One of the common mistakes made by photographers and videographers is missing the action. You go to an exotic location and take a walking tour or even a bus tour. When you find out something interesting is happening across town, you are out of luck. There is no way for you to get there in time.

One solution is to rent a car. Iceland rental cars was a part of my travel plans. It is not that you won’t have a fun time riding a yak. It is that when something newsworthy happens, you won’t be around for the shot unless you can get there quickly. So be sure to have a way to get to the location where the action is. The first rule of good video is being where the interesting things are happening.

Shoot a Lot of B-roll

If you are going to do video, you have got to take a lot more footage than what you think you need. Chances are, you can use it all. The thing is, you will not use it as your featured video. You will use it as b-roll.

B-roll is the video that helps tell the story without being the direct subject of the voiceover. You may be talking about a new theme park. But your b-roll may be of nearby places of interest such as hotels and restaurants. You may be talking about the food. But you can only take so many shots of shrimp cocktail. So you may spin up video of people waiting in line to get into the restaurant and the things you did to work up an appetite.

B-roll is the video that you use to tell the story behind the story.

Short Clips and Multiple Angles

From newscasts to soap operas, video stories are told in 3 to 10-second intervals. Your video will not look polished or professional if the camera lingers on a scene for much longer than that. Even if the video is just you talking to the camera, you need more than one camera so that you can change camera angles periodically.

Travel vlogs are about taking the viewer to new and interesting places. Or regular places with new and interesting stories. There has to be a sense of movement to the video. The viewer has to feel as if they have gotten a flavor of what it is like to be there. Even if you are covering just one small area, you want to do it from different views and perspectives, switching between those views and perspectives frequently.

For better travel vlogs, go to interesting places. Be mobile enough to get where the action is. Shoot more footage than you think you need. And use short clips and multiple angles whoever possible.

Thanks Amanda!

How about you? Do you have tips for doing video while traveling?

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