These tips will not only make your travel videos better, but they’ll make your time spent traveling better too.
1 – Be present; Travel first, film second.
Unless you’re working for the travel channel, chances are the videos you’re making are of the vacations you’re taking. So don’t spend the entire time filming. It will take away from the genuine moments and feel more staged. It’s also annoying for everyone you’re with- and yes, I’ve been that guy on several occasions.
Instead, pick a few days to film. The rest of the time leave your gear packed. If you come across an important shot, use your phone. As said by Chase Jarvis- The best camera is the one that you have with you.
2 – Tell a Story
There’s no shortage of eye-candy drone shots or trick video edits on YouTube. These are great for catching attention and should be included in your films to draw the viewer in, but presenting a story will keep the viewer engaged and watching until the end. Check out muse storytelling if you want to learn more.
3 – Storyboard
Once you know the story you’re going to be telling, you won’t need your camera rolling for every possible event during the vacation- Remember Tip 1. I can’t stress how much planning your shots and story ahead will end up paying off during the vacation and during post editing.
4 – Equipment – Keep it simple
I remember traveling through 7 countries in Europe while lugging around lights, 5 extra batteries, 3 lenses, 3 tripods, voice recorder, and backup voice recorder. UGH, just don’t! You’ll be happy you don’t need to lug around that gear or worry about something happening to it.
Pick the best and smallest equipment necessary to tell a story. For me that’s:
– Sony A6500 mirrorless camera
– Zies 24-70 lens (this lens has a wide range and is fantastic for travel work)
– Rode Pro Mic.
This setup takes incredible video and covers a number of different video scenarios: slow motion, fast action, interviews, and stills. The Rode Pro keeps wind noise from ruining audio, and bad audio is the fastest way to run off viewers.
Forget the artificial lighting; It’s heavy and bulky. I’ve made this mistake several times and have never needed it. Unless you’re doing ghost tours, leave the off-camera lighting at home.
Get camera bag that fits all of your equipment- if everything has a home, you won’t forget or lose anything.
5 – Include yourself
There’s nothing more regrettable then a vacation video that you not in! Include your travel buddies in process, and have them film your experiences too.