This blog post is about what I learned from uploading 950 videos in one year.
During 2016 I uploaded almost a thousand videos to YouTube, with some being old videos I had recorded in years gone by, but over half were new videos created as the year progressed. Whilst I will still be uploading to the same channel, I’ve just created a new YouTube channel to focus on vlogging, and I’m reflecting on the experience and skills I’ve gained during 2016 and how I can use both during 2017.
Don’t underestimate the time required
I was on a steep learning curve, and I did underestimate the time required for the various parts of the process I followed: preparation, recording, editing and uploading.
As the year progressed the quality and file size of my videos went up, which in turn took more of my time in various ways. Sometimes to cope with the time requirement, it meant pushing myself to make changes: broadband, hardware, software etc. Sometimes I had to work with what I saw as limitations, and push myself to experiment and do the best I could, with what I already had and the time available.
One video I uploaded contained over three hundred segments, took a while to edit and had good backing music, whilst another video took a fraction of the time and effort, yet had vastly more views and feedback. Even after publishing a video, I’m still learning from that experience and that in turn at times has shaped what I do in the future.
Learn what you really should carry with you
On more than one occasion I found myself carrying a heavy backpack, feeling prepared, but later regretting the amount of items I had taken. On the flip-side this experience also made me aware of what was important, and what I needed, but didn’t yet own.
I’ve made some purchases that have turned out for the best, but some that didn’t or I intend to use for a short period of time. Part of the fun for me, is experimenting, and if something hasn’t worked out, it isn’t because I didn’t do my research beforehand, and I just move on, often gaining from the experience in some way.
Create your own style
As the year progressed I was drawn to specific styles time and time again, but also pushed myself to try something new, and this means being prepared to record footage that is never used due to being unsuitable for one reason or another.
I am respectful of others, never putting myself in a dangerous situation, but sometimes people will stare, and I try to focus on the objective. Often I become so focused, that only later I notice people waving, sticking out tongues and smiling at the camera!
As part of creating a style and refining my filming processes, I’m often doing things differently, which I probably should blog about another time.
Pay attention to detail
Things didn’t always go to plan, such as forgetting to clean a lens, not being prepared for the types of footage I could record, or even recording at an angle by mistake! Sometimes it is easy to overlook the obvious, and in 2016 I started marking my batteries and writing on my SD cards. I now also have a dedicated charging area, and can recharge multiple batteries at once.
Know when to move on
I could of purchased some expensive items, but instead spent the same money on cheaper items, helping me to cater to a wider variety of situations, which whilst is okay for me, it might be the wrong decision for others.
I’m not using the latest hardware, but my hardware is ideal for my filming locations. I made some new purchases last year, and as prices drop, coupled perhaps with a change of requirement, I envisage replacing some of my current hardware later this year or early 2018. I’m not allowing familiarity with hardware and software, to stop me from moving on when the time is right.
Know your objective(s)
Whilst more subscribers to my older YouTube channel would be nice, that isn’t my main objective. Sometimes I record because I feel a moment needs to be captured, and those moments often have a natural home on my older YouTube channel.
For me recording videos started as capturing memories, and whilst I will often have a camera of some sort with me, I will often let opportunities pass me by to be more in the moment, not looking through a lens. All too often I’ve later regretted not taking photographs, because I was too focused on recording videos. I have also regretted uploading some videos and not recording others, but I view it as a journey, where I still have much to learn.
… and finally
As many of you will know, I see myself as a ‘lifestyle experimenter’, and for me part of recording videos is experimenting, as well as having fun, learning etc. I’m excited to see what I will create in 2017 and won’t be scared of trying something new.