Advanced Vlogger's Guide to Vlogging

Hey, Vlogger! Can I call you that? Now that you’re reading the post on advanced vlogging tips, I think it’s safe to say you’re officially a real vlogger. Congrats on making it this far!

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It’s time to go a little bit deeper into this skill set and break down exactly what it means to take your video content from good to great! Most of the time with video creation, my overarching piece of advice is “keep practicing; the more you practice, the better you’ll be...yadda yadda yadda”. I say it because it’s true. But there is a lot of value in knowing what you’re doing when you get behind the camera. Having a basic understanding of a few video production secrets will minimize the learning curve. Essentially, these tips will help you skyrocket from amateur to pro vlogger much faster.

Are you ready to accelerate the quality of your vlogging? You’re in the right place. Without further ado, let’s dive into my top three tips for advanced vlogging:

 

1. Camera Movement. In the Beginner’s Guide to Vlogging, I emphasize the importance of never moving the camera. Have you been practicing that technique? Set up the shot. Click record. Let the scene play out. Stop recording. Simple, right?

 In case you missed it, check out our 3 Tips For Beginner Vlogging

In case you missed it, check out our 3 Tips For Beginner Vlogging

Now that you’ve mastered that rule, it’s time to break it (Yay for rule breaking)! Breaking this rule is actually a lot of fun and can add a touch of professionalism to your shooting, as long as you do it right.

Here’s the part where we add in camera movement. The reason I consider this an advanced technique is because it must be done with careful intention. You may be familiar with some panning and tilting techniques you’ve see in your favorite films or tv shows. To learn more about the names and different types of camera movement techniques, check out this article.

Camera movement should be used sparingly and with a strong purpose. Maybe you want to establish your setting by capturing the panoramic beauty of a landscape (this is called an establishing shot). Or you want to showcase what someone is wearing, starting at their feet and slowly revealing the rest of the outfit. It’s ok to cross fade between two shots like this, but be careful that you don’t use too many camera movement shots. It can easily throw the audience into a state of serious vertigo.

Practice this! Go out and start creating some shots with deliberate and careful camera movement. It helps if you have a gimbal to smooth out the shot. If you don’t, practice keeping your hand very steady as you move the camera. Sprinkle in one or two camera movement shots in your next vlog!

When you’re on a mission to capture life, you must be prepared to pivot with the unfolding story.

2. The Story. I don’t know about you, but my favorite self is my travel self. I’m a different person when I’m traveling, feeding off the energy of new people and spontaneous experiences. When you’re capturing your life journey (whether you’re traveling or not), you may have an idea of the topic ahead of time. For example, today I’m going to document my walking tour of Seville.

Content topics are awesome. The give you a framework for your story. But don’t tie yourself down to the story you picture in your head. Life is dynamic, it moves and changes despite all of our precise planning. When you’re on a mission to capture life (which is essentially what vlogging is), you must be prepared to pivot with the unfolding story.

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Here’s an example. My boyfriend and I were traveling on Thanksgiving, and we stopped at a roadside restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner. This place was owned by a world-renowned chef. Needless to say, the meal was absolutely delicious. We stuffed ourselves (as you do on Thanksgiving) with as much potatoes and stuffing and turkey as we could. That meal was the story...until it was time to pay the check. The waitress came over to our table and said, “it’s taken care of. I like to take care of my last few tables on Thanksgiving.” We were stunned! All of a sudden our dinner wasn’t about the food made by this world-famous chef; it was about the generosity of a stranger. Doesn’t that make a better story anyway?

Lean in to the story that unfolds. Planning is great. Don’t get too attached to your plans, though. You never know when they may change.

Practice this! Take your camera out into the field with no objective. Meet someone new, go somewhere you’ve never been. Document your journey, and let the story unfold. Surrender to the story, and you’ll create magic.

3. Audio Footage vs. Video Footage. When you’re vlogging, I encourage you to separate the footage with audio (A-Roll) and the footage that won’t have audio in the final product (B-Roll). This concept is technically advanced, which is why we saved it for the advanced vlogger’s guide. It requires a basic understand of the editing process and how an editing timeline is formatted. Take a look at this visual representation of an editing timeline:

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As you can see, the A-Roll is the footage that matches what you hear, and the B-Roll is footage without audio. So if you’re thinking like an editor, it makes sense that the audio on any B-Roll you shoot will be cut.

Sidebar: Often, when I’m directing people while shooting B-Roll, I’ll tell them that they can talk about anything; it doesn’t matter what they say since the final audio will be cut. That’s my favorite part of the shoot because you get more candid, comfortable conversations. The person we’re shooting doesn’t have to worry about being appropriate; they can just let go and be themselves.

So when you’re vlogging, think like an editor. Ask yourself which footage is B-Roll and which footage is A-Roll?

In the same way, think about your audio track. Is there a mariachi band playing an inspiring jam? Record that piece for longer than it seems like you should. The music could make for some great audio that you can run B-Roll over.

The key is to keep these pieces separate. You’ll have a much easier time cutting them together when you know exactly what is A-Roll and what is B-Roll.

Practice this! Before you hit “record”, decide whether the piece you’re about to shoot is A-Roll or B-Roll. Shoot lots of both. Keep practicing until it becomes second nature.

There’s your dose of advanced vlogging tips for the day. You’ve got a lot to practice right now., so get out there in the field and start creating. Which of these tips resonates best with you? I want to hear from you! Did this article help you get clarity on your vlogging skills? Tell me how!