To get started with travel video production, you need to know many things, such as equipment, editing techniques, the best time to shoot, and others. We will take you on a journey to create your own channel right now!
Our YouTube travel series, Connolly Cove, is clocking up thousands of views every week, and our Instagram channel is growing every day thanks to short videos (reels).
But we started small and have gained experience on the run. We learned a lot from practice and decided to share all our knowledge today.
But before we uncover our step beginner’s guide to establishing travel videos, let me ask you something:
Have you ever watched a travel blogger video on Facebook or YouTube and thought: “I wish I could do that”?
Trust me, we all have said that. And the good news is, you can do it!
However, it’s never been easier for someone with zero filming experience to start capturing their travels in the video. But documenting your adventures is worth it.
Who knows where it could lead? As your skills and confidence increase over time, anything can be possible— even generating income from your journeys.
What do You need to Do First?
The first thing you’ll have is a love of travel and exploration. That’s paramount. Otherwise, anything you can learn.
So, you might begin to think of your travels like a series of landscapes— much like an artist who can see the magic of a setting with paint.
You have to develop this mindset when making your video.
In your case, a camera is your brush and editing software is the canvas to add the final touch.
Also, you have to think about the style of videos you want to share. Are you simply willing to record your adventure with your family or friends? Do you want to build information-based videos to help other travellers before choosing their destination? Or do you want to inspire others with beautiful attractions (as we do on our YouTube Channel)
Or you want to try to be a travel influencer and build a following. If it’s the latter, finding a niche is an excellent way to stand out from the pack. First, you need to differentiate yourself with a unique message. Next, choose one aspect of travel you love (like road-tripping, travelling on a budget, or camping) and focus your efforts on that.
One final broad tip before starting travel video production and hitting the record button is that whatever style you choose to make, your video should be built upon a story.
Simply put, you need to have a beginning, a middle, and an end!
Before snapping any shot, have a clear vision of where your video should start, how it will progress, and where it’d wind up.
How to Start Travel Video Production
Making a travel video is a creative and fun process that can help you document your travels and share them with your family and friends. So, let’s learn how to produce a travel video.
Choose Your Camera
Travelling requires more preparation than ever, and capturing a travel video is no exception.
Before embarking on a long journey, there are several things to consider, from your budget to your destination, gathering the necessary equipment, and how to transmit easily to snap the best shots.
You must prepare a plan to ensure your travel video is a success.
It’s time to opt for your brush.
Generally, you will need a camera and lenses. Investing in a good camera will save you years of pain because you will have the right tool to capture the highest quilty videos and images.
Lenses can also help you make exciting and outstanding shots. You should also bring a tripod for more stability while recording and enough storage for all your short movies.
And so, what’s the best camera for making promotional or travel video production?
You may be at a loss as to which professional camera to buy if this is your first such purchase or if you are looking to upgrade from your existing model.
Since several different types of cameras may be purchased for around the same price, this is something that must be addressed immediately.
Think about what you want to film before deciding on a camera for your vacation vlog.
If, for instance, you plan on shooting largely landscapes and wildlife, you’ll want a camera with a powerful zoom.
On the other hand, if you’re mostly documenting action videos or shots with more motion, you’ll want to invest in one with high-quality image capabilities.
Additionally, suppose you’re a frequent traveller who hates being loaded with extra luggage. In that case, you’ll want to look for anything lightweight and compact in your pocket or over your shoulder so that it’s easier to take on your travels.
If you want more options and higher quality regardless of size, though, you can get something that’s a little bit bigger.
As an added note, plan ahead for what you intend to do with the videos you create.
For this reason, think about what you hope to get out of your camera.
Consider purchasing a professional pocket camera if you want to view your footage only on a computer and do a very little editing.
With this camera, you can take 360-degree photographs that span the full spectrum of focal lengths, from telephoto to wide-angle.
If you frequently travel, you will want to go for a camera with a wide-zoom lens, giving you a wide field of shots.
Look for high-quality cameras with LOG mode because of their enormous dynamic range if you intend to do any post-production.
Also, small systems or mirrorless cameras are best for achieving the highest image quality.
In the same way that DSLRs offer a wide variety of high-quality vlogging accessories and lenses, many older cameras also do.
If you aspire to more wonderful things as a videographer, the sky is the limit when choosing camera hardware.
You can start with the Sony Alpha a7III, one of the best cameras for YouTube films. It’s used and recommended by many top adventures and offers high-quality results.
Also, you can go for a camera with a foldable or tiltable screen.
By repositioning it to a number of different angles, you can ensure that your camera captures the entire scene regardless of where you stand.
It might be an overstep if you have no experience with travel video production or using DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera. You can start with your phone or join a course and upgrade to a more complex camera.
So, Can I use my iPhone?
If you’re a complete newbie or don’t afford to buy a camera right now, our talented photographers recommend starting with your iPhone. However, it can’t be a very humble device.
If you have one of the latest models, you have a seriously powerful camera in your pocket; well, it’s not as powerful as a professional camera. But it will be a good start. It’s perfect for creating point-and-shoot travel footage.
How to make the most of your iPhone?
Go to “record video” in your camera settings and choose 1080p HD (high definition) at 30FPS (frames per second).
It’s the ideal setting for creating outstanding quality YouTube videos and reducing the storage space on your phone. Now, open the camera app, position the phone horizontally, and voila!
You’re ready to inspire the world!
Bonus Tip: Before Shooting With Your Phone
Never say: “I’m an amateur filmmaker and like shaky footage!”
No one likes shaking footage, and no one will watch your films. However, if you only use your hand while filming, the footage will rattle, shake and roll.
Bring a gimbal, a pivoted support equipment, and turn your iPhone into a video camera. That will enable you to move the camera smoothly by hand.
This one is an absolute must-have and will set you back around £84. But trust me, it will be the best smackers ever spent. While this machine has inbuilt stabilisation, you can also shop for external stabilisers for DSLRs.
Camera Gear You Need for Travel Video Production
The first and foremost inquiry you must make is, “what camera gear will I need for production purposes?”
Indeed, the answer depends on what kind of video you will make.
Before starting packing or spending your budget on something you don’t really want, choose your style and find out what you want and can miss.
Now I’m going to try my hand at time-lapse photography.
Then you will need a tripod and a remote shutter for the wide-lapse.
Consider bringing a camera slider if you plan on shooting any sequences that involve camera movement.
On the other hand, a monopod could be useful for those handheld pictures.
Do I need a drone?
Generally, no, but it will be great. So, plan to have one and carry it along. Drone photography increases your production value by more than half.
So, let’s break down what you can bring in your camera bag based on our professional photographers.
- A camera (choose one of the previous options for us; we usually use Canon 5D Mark 4 & Canon 60D)
- Canon 50mm, 18-135mm, 70-200, 150-600mm lenses.
- Camera Slider
- Intervalometer for hyper lapses
- 2 batteries
- DJI Osmo with 3 batteries
- Chargers and cables
- 360 Camera (we recommend LG)
- Variable ND filter for DJI Osmo
- 3-4 SD cards and/or 2 microSD cards
While you need to constantly buy new equipment and update your existing stuff to match up with high-end tech, sometimes budget can be a limitation, but it’s not a reason to keep saving for growth and choose what fits your goal.
Follow Other Vloggers and Get Inspired by Trends
Have you bought your camera?
Okay, congratulations! But wait…
Do your homework before taking up your camera and setting off on your adventure.
It’s always a great idea to learn from experts.
Thankfully, there is an abundance of travel-related videos available on YOUTUBE.
- Connolly Cove (Oops! That’s Us)
It’s our channel picking many picturesque attractions around the world. You can find out interesting destinations and learn how to take better breathtaking and cinematic shots even in crowded places.
- Beautiful Destinations
Beautiful Destinations is another lovely channel you might think of; it’s a daily travel and lifestyle inspiration source for visitors all over the world. You will get to know various destinations around the world.
- Sam Kolder
Sam Kolder, a brilliant and well-known filmmaker and editor with over 1 million subscribers on YouTube, makes stunning trip videos.
Sam will inspire you with his unique style of capturing unbelievable travel videography.
- JR Alli
This one will teach you how to build an outstanding story-based video with over 300k subscribers on his YouTube channel. What we like the most in his films is his unique editing style, lots of transitions, voiceovers, and neon light effects.
His channel is a great inspiration for filmmakers and vloggers.
Determine Your Destination
Where should I go?
It’s probably the second question you might ask after preparing your equipment. After experimenting with your camera, it’s the ideal time to decide where to go.
Everyone has their preference. Some prefer going to countries not everyone goes to or destinations nobody talks about so that they can tell a unique story in their travel videos that not many know.
Others prefer to go to well-known attractions and tell a historical story beyond the place.
Feel free to reframe your channel based on the experience you want to convey.
Once you pick a location, you often have a loose concept reflecting how to structure your travel film. However, don’t assume that your mind will unintendedly find the best idea in the world.
Keep it simple! And your concept often evolves into a better version over time as you experience this country more and more. So you might develop a whole new concept while exploring this country.
That is to be exempted as you might not tell a story from your imagination alone; you have to experience the country and let the story evolve while moving forward.
If that is the case, you might wonder why to bother shaping a concept during travel video production. The idea here is to initially guide you on an approach you should take to keep everything consistent and structured.
Everyone works better with limitations; if you have to follow a concept, you will approach the video more creatively and stay calm wherever you go.
At the same time, you will be open to changing or amending once you find something more relevant.
If you visit Belfast, Northern Ireland, you should focus more on natural spaces and cityscapes instead of human interactions.
So, you approached the film by going up to discover lookout points where locals move around a lot, like a bus stop or a highway. Then, you step up your tripod and take a few timelapse videos.
But when you were there, the weather was terrible. You can not snap the shots you’re dreaming of due to the short daylight.
What can you do?
Don’t be stuck with your well-prepared concept. You can adapt to the situation and go for more time-lapse of clouds, for example.
You also can capture everything at night and allow the artificial light to do the magic by illuminating the city instead.
The central concept of capturing this film collapsed, but how you structure your travel video has evolved throughout the trip.
The lesson is your plan can be changed all the time, and you only have one option to be a successful filmmaker and have an inspiring travel blog or vlog, which is to be flexible.
Let’s Build Your Story
The process of video travel production starts prior to actual filming. You should have a story in mind, as we mentioned before.
So, before hitting the record, you must have something on hand.
That is because human brains love stories and are fascinated to watch them until the end. Such videos trigger emotions and allow viewers to absorb your feelings as if they have also seen those scenes with their own eyes.
For that reason, establishing a story behind your film is a vital part of the whole process— actually, it’s the most important step.
So, what kind of story can you narrate?
Millions! It can be about your trip itself or about one place. It can be about people’s traditions and local food. Try to think of a common thread while producing your travel video. This thread can be woven into a whole story.
For example, it can start with a sunrise and end your film with a sunset scene or rearrange events in reverse chronological order.
But what can you do practically?
- Hone Your Storytelling Skills
Again, inspiration is the key here. You can find thousands of video ideas by watching content from other bloggers. But this time, pay attention to the script and the story behind each shot. Take your notes, start experiencing what you have found, and choose the most appropriate technique.
Besides all the YouTube channels mentioned above, Vimeo Travel is another excellent source to start with. It offers an abundance of inspiring videos for world-class creators around the world.
- Find a True Purpose of Your Video
The second step in creating your video story is to explore the purpose behind each video.
Take your time to answer these questions:
- What do you want to convey?
- Through which format can you achieve it efficiently?
- What is your video for?
- What do you want your viewers to experience and feel in the end?
From the moment you start thinking of your shots to publishing the video, the key is always to remember the end goal and act accordingly.
Make decisions based on your purpose.
Also, think about why you’re here, why you want to start travel video production in general, and how you want to evolve this channel.
For example, you might love to inspire people to go to this country specifically by showing beautiful scenery and communicating the place’s vibe.
Or all you want is to create a highly informative video that will show others how they can plan their journey step-by-step.
In a nutshell, understanding the purpose will help you keep your focus on what matters and work efficiently.
- Draw Your Shots
Yes, as we said before, being a filmmaker makes you an artist, and you need to create a striking image. So, it’s time to plan for your shots after you have a purpose in mind.
Create a list of all the beautiful things you want to cover or film: what sounds, light, sights, and experiences do you want to represent and what will serve your purpose better?
Consider different angles to snap from and many types of shots.
Pro tip: these shoots can be reused on different platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and even for YouTube Shorts.
You will also need to choose a common thread or theme connecting all shots for smooth transitions between footage. For example, it might be the same angle, sound, object, or location.
Here is a common mistake most filmmakers face to shoot for the sake of shooting, and then they have random shots without proper connection or planning.
Travel video editing turns out to be quite challenging because you have to create a story out of a pile of footage. Try to find travel video ideas and plan beforehand to avoid that.
Also you can even build a Pinterest board to visualise ideas and map your movie before starting shooting.
Then, you’ll know what to capture and when to be on site.
Be Ready to Film
Whether you’re heading off on a lovely tour overseas or want to document a weekend getaway, you must map out the entire journey. So, identify the places and be ready with your story.
- Bring your shot list and add any other notes you need to focus on during shoots. Don’t forget to consider any customers, props, and other elements that would affect the video’s visual.
- Another pro tip is to get a local guide if that’s possible. Having a knowledgeable guide will help you find the best spots and give you insights into the history and culture of any location. That can make your travel video production process easier, more fun, and more informative. It will give your viewers a better understanding of the place you’re visiting.
Some videos content ideas also include:
- Conducting interviews with locals.
- Showcasing the local cuisine.
- Documenting the cultural celebrations.
- Shooting some traditional aspects of the area.
- Simply showing off the natural beauty of your site.
Also, you could make short documentaries on exciting events, such as the Indian Holi festival, or vlogs of your personal routes and experience travelling in the area. Actually, you have endless possibilities.
Name the Shots
Here is expert advice while filming your travel video. Name every shot.
Newbie videographers have a tendency to capture lots— that’s known in the industry as wide shots, which means sweeping shots from left to right or vice versa across a specific landscape with a camera frame stuffed with as much of the setting as possible in one scene.
It’s not the perfect way for travel video production. Wides are only helpful in building a whole scene (letting the viewer identify where you’re). Other than that, steer clear of them. These shots get viewers bored fast.
Focus on taking 80% medium/mid-shots (where your main subject is reasonably prominent in the frame), then go to close-ups — sometimes referred to as “detail”, where the nitty-gritty of your shoot is revealed.
There is no right or wrong when relying on creativity, but you need to focus on shots that bring your travels to life on screen, add human sense and push your story forward.
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