Vlogging: Storytelling in the Digital Age

The internet is one of man’s greatest creations. In case it hasn’t been said enough, this enormous, hyperconnected network has granted us advantages that would take the whole magazine–and several issues more—to cover. But, we can all agree on one thing, it has significantly improved the way we communicate.

For most of us, it supplies a boost of confidence when we are a tad apprehensive to socialize. With the way social networking platforms work, people, albeit initially slowly, are becoming accustomed to sharing their most epic and even mundane experiences to the world. And it is amusing to get to know people better through snippets of their everyday lives posted online. If there are things that bother us or life events that just begs to be celebrated, we get to easily send these sentiments across and have people respond to it within a matter of seconds.

But for vloggers, “sharing” is an understatement. If you’ve come across the names Casey Neistat, Michelle Phan, Felix Kjellberg, Ryan Higa, among others, you’d understand why.

A vlog or video log is similar to a blog or weblog, in that the person involved shares a diary-type narrative of certain interests or more commonly his/her daily life, but in video form as opposed to written account. This type of showcasing appeals to many, as humans are visual creatures. We enjoy watching a good show or better yet real-life experiences we can relate to.

If you want to take your documentation of activities beyond Facebook or the 280 characters provided by Twitter, you’ve come to the right place. But first, you must determine if you’re really cut out for vlogging. Here are a few things to mull over: are you a confident speaker?; are you comfortable in being in front of a camera?; do you have a camera?; and can you edit videos?

Starting a Vlog
If you fit the bill. Let’s proceed. To get started, you must have an idea on what kind of vlogging you want to pursue. Do you create an online persona or remain your authentic self? Will you be recording yourself while you play games, do your makeup, create original skits, or montage videos of your adventures? After you get that down, we recommend you watch vlogs to get familiar with how long these videos usually run, their format, and other elements that goes into making them. But we advise only picking up things for making an outline, and sticking to concepts that are unique to you. This way, you can proudly say contents you put out are all you and avoid future conflicts.

Vlogging Essentials
Next: equipment. You can start a vlog with a smartphone camera that has at least 4K video-recording capabilities. But let’s be honest, no matter the pixel-count, dedicated cameras are still a notch above these smartphone shooters. For beginners, a mirrorless camera is capable of capturing footages with just the right brightness and quality, both of which make post-processing easier. You will also need a tripod or a camera stabilizer, as you don’t want viewers to be put off by your shaky videos. If your camera has an in-body image stabilizer, then good for you. For travel vlogs, a camera drone is ideal for getting bird’s eye view shots of majestic sceneries, but this you can do without if you’re just starting out.

Post-Processing
Vlogging isn’t just shooting and posting videos directly on streaming services, it requires editing just like how you’d go over your essay before turning it over to your professor. Post-processing does wonders to videos as it injects fun and rids them of dull moments (or blunders you don’t want people to see).
In this process, you will need a PC or a laptop that can smoothly review clips and handle a video editing software such as Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas Pro, and Adobe After Effects. If you have no idea what these are, a quick search on Google will take you to sites or YouTube channels that offer crash courses on video editing. Learning how to cut and stitch together raw videos is a small but essential step in the right direction. After getting your basics down, you can proceed to taking up effects and animations to give your videos more flair if big is what you’re after. This is where you also establish a signature style viewers will recognize you for, so it pays to exert effort here.

Building a Brand
What’s a vlog channel without an audience? The key to attracting viewers is having a solid brand. You would want an audience that care about your content and would stick with you throughout. And gaining that depends on how interesting and unique your content is. Viewers have different preferences and if you put out videos that you enjoy and are close to your heart, people will start seeing that too. For people like you new to this world, making your videos relatable as possible will help you gain footing in this industry. And as your viewer and subscriber count rises, you can begin monetizing—that is if you are considering vlogging as a career rather than just a hobby.

Vlogging is a nice hobby to get into if you’re always beaming with ideas and if you’re really passionate about sharing your life experiences. It is both enriching and rewarding as you get to influence and inspire others by doing what you just love to do.

Words by Mia Barrientos
Art by Theresa Eloriaga

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