First off, I just want to say that by no means are my weekly vlogs something incredible sculpted by the YouTube gods – I mean, my editing skills are comparable to my athleticism skills, BUT they are now drawing in OVER 5,000 views each which I’m feeling pretty bleedin’ over the moon about.
Hashtag humble brag.
Anyway, it took me a lifetime to find my flow with vlogging and to get a good mix of HELLO MY NAME IS HANNAH GALE AND LOOK HOW MANY CHINS AND I HAVE, and y’know, something that makes for alright viewing.
I used to just vlog on my iPhone and mash every clip together and hope for the best using an editing app on my phone – but I don’t recommend you do that (although if you haven’t already got a simple point and shoot camera, it’s well worth using your phone for the first few videos to make sure that this is even something you even want to do and not just something you feel like the internet is silently pressuring you to do to ‘up’ your online presence).
So yeah, let’s get cracking…
I do the majority of vlogging on my Olympus Pen e-pl7 and just use my standard 14-42mm kit lens – it gets the job done but by no means is it the snazziest vlogging camera out there (I ~believe~ the Canon G7 X is the baby gal everyone raves about).
I also have a GoPro which, if I’m entirely honest, I haven’t used as much as I’d have liked. It’s great because you can set it to have a super wide lens (which means you get loads in shot) and also has 573655 different add ons that mean you can wear it on your chest or on your head, you can hold it on a selfie stick, or you can do what I do and use the sucker attachment to stick it to wardrobes/shelves/mirrors so you get a jazzier angle.
I think so long as the camera is light and compact (i.e. it’s easy to just sling in your handbag) it’s good enough. I try not to stress too much about whether my video quality looks as good as Zoella’s because let’s be honest here, I don’t have an endless money pot for new cameras and actually, the content is way more important than the HD quality.
I edit in iMovie because it came free with my MacBook, and also because it’s super easy to play around with. You can speed up/slow down clips, detach audio, phase sound in and out, have different transitions and insert text. Admittedly Windows Movie Maker isn’t as good – but if you’re just starting out it’s absolutely better than nothing!
I would love to start using Final Cut Pro but a) it costs $$$ and b) I don’t have room on my Mac.
It took me about three years to finally feel sassy and confident enough to vlog down Oxford Street and I’ll tell ya now, it was only because I was high on adrenaline because I’d just smashed my phone.
Most of my vlogging happens either in my car or in my house – and the footage I’m always happiest with and when I feel most ‘me’ is when I’m alone.
There is no shame in feeling awkward vlogging in front of other people – even if those people are your best mates or boyf. I definitely think it’s more important to try and get across your true personality than to feel pressure to vlog at things that seem interesting – like events or hanging out with your mates.
I only bothered putting an intro at the start of my videos relatively recently because someone left me a comment to say they didn’t like the way it jumped straight in – which to be honest, is p. fair.
Mine isn’t jazzy – although a quick Google will give you tons of websites where you can download a customisable intro (I’ve never tried this so have no idea how they work).
For mine I simply added a plain black background and then downloaded a font I liked from the internet, saved it using Font Book, and then had access to it in iMovie.
And then voila, I write my name and ‘weekly vlog’ and I’ve got myself a wee little basic intro.
I only learned what B-roll is when I did Trek America with loads of YouTubers and felt so out of my comfort zone that I wished I’d bought a cuddly toy because HELLO WHAT IS THE YOUTUBE PLEASE.
It’s basically all the footage you get that helps tell a story – often the footage that you’ll see in my videos that has the sound stripped and music placed on top. It helps make the video flow better and breaks up all the chatting parts.
I think a mistake a lot of people make (including me, sometimes) is that you end up with 17 video files for a vlog and they all start with ‘so, now I’m at the train station’ and ‘so, I’ve just got back from London’ and ‘So, I’m just about to go to the post office’ and it’s dull af.
My fave bits of B-roll are when you capture movement. So, like a train pulling into the station, or pouring tea from a tea pot, or a bath bomb fizzing away in the water.
And I try and get a few bits in a series so that I can overlap at least 10 seconds of music to break up the chattier video files.
You can download free music direct from YouTube (just look up their free audio library), and this worked for about a year for me before I was fed up of using the same tracks over and over again.
Now I use Epidemic Sound, and pay about £12 a month for a subscription – but there are other options available. The music is A++ and I feel like it adds so much more to your video.
I use music in my intro and for my B-roll but I’ll also sometimes lower the volume and have it in the background to clips with me talking. I find it really helps uplift a video and you can use it to set the sort of tone you want to get across – plus it makes it feel a bit snazzier and more professional!
I like a polished, glossy video as much as the next gal but lordy, isn’t it nice (and I say this in the least horrible way) to see that other people struggle and have problems and feel miserable too?
When you can let out a sigh of relief and go THANK FUCK IT’S NOT JUST ME?
Those are my fave vids. And one of the first Tanya Burr videos I ever watched was one where she cried and said the pressure of living life online was just getting too much and I just thought YAS GIRL.
Never be afraid to ugly cry on camera, never be afraid to show off your make-up free face on camera, never be afraid to show the whole you on camera.
A life that is just cute new clothes and perfect make-up and afternoon tea is lovely and everything, but my favourite vlogs are the ones which show ~balance~ (same goes for IG stories tbh).
AND… BREATHE. Man, I’ve got a thing for blog posts that could form a short novel at the moment. But if you’ve got anymore questions or top tips, leave ya girl a comment below!