Thoughts on Starting a YouTube Channel

Well, it really was inevitable........I've started a YouTube Vlog!

It's actually really exciting and I've now been out twice in an attempt at getting some footage for my first video. But before I go into that and my thoughts on vlogging and how I hop it will complement my existing blog, I want to first share with you some of the reasons that I have decided to start a YouTube channel.

Why Start a YouTube Channel?

There are many reasons that I have decided to start a YouTube channel (and several reasons that I've been putting it off as well). But, having put it off and stalled for quite a long time, I've decided to just go for it and see how it goes. 

But why did I decide to start a YouTube Channel in the first place? What possible reason could I have to put myself out there, on camera and for the whole world to see?

Well, I love YouTube as a platform. It is a great way for the world to communicate and share ideas and I watch a lot of Photography related YouTube video's, the majority of which are truly excellent.

In fact, the very high standard of the videos out there on YouTube are hugely intimidating to someone like me (who is just starting out) and is one of the reasons that I have been putting off vlogging for so long. You see I have a very low budget, no filming experience and, being a bit of an introvert, I'm generally nervous in front of a camera - as a rule, I prefer being behind the camera rather than in front of it.

However, I have always wanted to have a go at film making, so vlogging my photography journey does seem like a great way of trying a new and exciting creative challenge, whilst sharing my passion for photographing the outdoors.

Another reason for starting a YouTube channel is to share my pictures and drive more internet traffic to this blog. I love photography, blogging and sharing my images through this website and I hope that I love vlogging as well. My new YouTube channel should compliment this blog really well and I hope it helps me to continue sharing my passion for the outdoors and photography with more and more people - in the hope of inspiring as many people as possible to get outside and go on an adventure for themselves.

What did I Learn on my First Vlogging Trip?

Well, the first lesson I learnt was that vlogging is not as easy as it looks (and I don't think it looks easy). Talking into a camera and trying not to say things like "um" and "err", whilst staying coherent and not waffling in front of the camera is really hard. 

I also discovered that trying to film the first ever vlog in a full-on blizzard is really REALLY hard............

After putting it off for ages, I finally decided on a date to start and, to keep to my promise, I stubbornly went out to shoot some footage. I went up Halin Fell (which is a small mountain on the shores of Lake Ullswater) in the middle of the "Mini Beast from the East" storm. I can tell you that climbing Halin Fell that day, there was certainly nothing mini about it!

The icy wind blew hard for the whole time I was out; my lips went numb, so talking clearly wasn't easy and, to top it all off, I forgot my warm hat and the old camcorder I was using to film on proved to be worse than useless.

So freezing, unable to speak clearly, attempting to film on a completely unusable camcorder and being buffeted by freezing wind, I finally decided to call it quits.

However I did learn some valuable lessons from my first adventure in vlogging:

  1. Always check that you've got a hat

  2. Don't use old camcorders (my phone's camera is so much better)

  3. Take a hot drink to thaw cold lips

  4. Think about the story and take plenty of B-roll

  5. Try to relax when talking into the camera

  6. Remember to check the camera's switched on (this ones really impotant - ha ha)

  7. Check the weather forecast and be prepared to adapt

So, I went out today in much calmer weather and, armed with the lessons from the weekend, I managed to get some footage which I am happy with (although I still struggled to remember lessons 5 and 6)!

How do I see My New YouTube Channel Working with my Existing Blog

Firstly, if you enjoy my blog then don't worry, I love writing and I really can't see any situation where I would be forced to stop.

I see YouTube as a perfect compliment to this blog. I hope to film myself as I go about my photography; showing compositions and giving photography advice on location as it happens. I would then like to go into more detail about the hikes, compositions, locations, camera settings and personal insights through the blog - as well as extra photo's not featured in the vlog.

I envisage each YouTube video having a corresponding blog post. In this way, I hope that the blog and the YouTube video's will give the full story behind each image that I create, as well as all the information that you would need if you wanted to find and shoot at one of the locations I discover.

When Will I be Up-Loading my Videos?

I'm going to start off up-loading every other week on a Wednesday evening. Once I'm more established (and quicker at producing them), I'd like to produce a video on a weekly basis - but let's see how it goes first!

My first video and corresponding blog post, from my recent trip up Castle Cragg in the Lake District, will be up-loaded 1 week today (Wednesday 28th March), with the next vlog and blog post (I've no idea where this will be yet) being posted 2 weeks later, and so on.

So stay tuned and check out my video next week for my first steps into this exciting new adventure!