As many of you know, I do the blog and John does the videos about our travels. It works well for us and we can both work together on similar projects at the same time. Many people have reached out to me about John’s travel videos and for his advice on GoPros, drones, etc. I wanted to write this post for anyone who is curious but hasn’t asked or for those who ask and want something to reference for travel videos. So I enlisted the help of John to answer some of the frequently asked questions.
First though, take a look at his videos from our last few trips if you haven’t already! If you want to know more, check out the Q & A below 🙂
What made you want to start making these travel videos?
I knew I was planning to ask Emily to marry me and I wanted to make a video that we could have forever and was from our perspective. So I invested in some better equipment and software and started learning everything I could. When I started getting feedback from that video I realized I had a lot of fun making the video and wanted to continue doing it for all of our trips.
What software do you use to make your videos?
I use Adobe Premiere Pro. It is subscription based so I pay $20 per month and I always have the latest software. If you are looking for just a basic video, then yes, IMovie or the GoPro software could work but for anything professional looking you would probably want to invest in a better software. I recommend Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro X (Mac only) because there are a lot of resources out there to help you learn and they has all of the features you would need to make a cool video.
What equipment do you use for your videos?
I mostly shoot with the Go Pro Hero 4 Black and Canon T6i. For my drone shots I used to use the DJI Phantom 3 4K but recently upgraded to the sleeker DJI Mavic Pro (PSA: He’s selling the DJI Phantom 3 4K so if you’re interested, send me an email!). For my GoPro I have the Feiyu Tech G4 Gimbal that makes all my videos smooth no matter what I am doing. As far as other mounts go, I tend to use the quick clip and the Go Pro 3 way (essentially a selfie stick) a lot.
What do you find is the most useful tool?
The gimbal has really come in handy just walking around or taking video while moving. You don’t normally realize how bumpy a car ride or walking on the beach could be but having a smoother shot with the gimbal really makes your videos look more professional. My only complaint is that this one is not waterproof so I am not able to use it everywhere but they did just release a waterproof one that is on my wishlist.
How much would you say the investment is to make good videos (time and money)?
Time varies on how much effort you are willing to put into it. In the beginning I spent a few hours a day watching Youtube videos about using the software as well as getting to know all of my equipment and what I could do with it. A lot of things are trial and error and you’re not going to have an amazing travel video on your first go. In terms of money, it isn’t cheap. Here’s a breakdown of my setup:
Go Pro Hero 4 Black: On sale on Amazon for $366
DJI Mavic Pro: $1000
Canon T6i: $600 refurbished. It’s about $750 on Canon’s website but I saw it as low as $628 on Walmart.com
Assorted Mounts: About $40-$50 each
How do you get your videos out there and where do you get feedback from?
I belong to a video Facebook group that we discuss videos and the administrator, Thomas Alex Norman, does a lot of travel videos and gives us all a lot of feedback. If you are looking to make videos I suggest finding a group like this where you can get valuable feedback from people that are in the same niche and are working toward a similar goal.
In terms of getting my videos out there, I write a descriptive summary on Youtube for any organic searches as well as promote through social media.
What other videographers do you follow for inspiration?
What are your goals as a videographer?
I mostly do it to challenge myself creatively and have a lot of fun while doing so. I always want people to feel what it was like to be on the trip and have a good experience while watching my videos.
Any suggestions for me just starting out?
Get out there and keep practicing. It can be very frustrating and time consuming at first but if you stick with it you will only get better by doing it more and more.