A Guide to Creating High-Quality Run-and-Gun Vlog Videos
Run And Gun Vlogging Outdoors.jpg

Here is everything you need to know about creating high quality vlog video content on the go.

When you look at the landscape of the film and video industry, perhaps the most exciting options for aspiring content creators are not traditional production, but social media content. One of the best examples of this new age of content creation is YouTube, where millions of video bloggers (or vloggers) are creating high quality content on a wide range of topics.

If it's your first time to start a vlog or just want to improve your vlogging skills on the go, check out this guide on creating run-and-gun video blog content – great for YouTube and social media channels.

Find your style and format

So, before we dive into camera overviews and gear recommendations, the first and foremost decision is the style and format of your vlog. Of course, not all vlog videos are created equal, but many of them share similarities. You want your vlog to get noticed so I recommend watching lots of vlog videos – especially within your content or niche – to understand the state of the country.

From there, you need to make some decisions to get started. How professional do you want your videos to be? Do you want to be in front of the camera or behind the camera all the time? Will interviews, voiceovers, or text provide most of the information? Do you only want to take photos of yourself in a controlled environment at home or in the studio? Or would you like to capture yourself organically in the field?

Once you've asked all of these questions, it will be helpful to create some kind of template for your videos. This includes your standard introduction, the core of your video format, and a standard outro that includes all of your call-to-actions (CTAs) or anything else you want your viewers to do.

You can see many examples of these choices in the video above, which describes how to create a travel video that really stands out. From the set-on-camera intro to the different types of shots and montages, you can see how all of these styles and looks are perfect for the niche of video.

Put in the right gear

Depending on the style and format you chose from above, now is the time to choose the right camera and gear for your vlog. Since most vlogs are solely for online distribution on social media channels like YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, etc., you don't really have to break the bank for the high-end cinema cameras.

Instead, I recommend focusing on your needs and the types of footage you want to get. Below are three camera recommendations from our list of the best and cheapest cameras for vlogging round-up. These three range from the most affordable and accessible to the most professional for high-end production needs that still conform to this social video format.

From there, you'll want to make the rest of your equipment purchases based on your main camera and your needs. If you're taking photos by yourself and want to be in front of the camera most of the time, check out some swivel gimbals, as well as cameras with fold-out screens (or attach a monitor to your small camera rig).

When it comes to lighting, you can possibly get away with natural light if you are out for most of the online videos. However, keep at least one or two battery operated LEDs in case you want to make one of your shots more beautiful. Remember, when you're working on running, you want to work fast and still be in control. Take a few minutes to make sure your shots are literally in the best light.

For all of the tech settings and pieces of gear you might be considering, this article is a perfect introduction to how a real videographer's guide to vlogging is.

The challenges of audio

Go to audio. I wouldn't recommend relying on your camera for sound. Even in most settings, you'll need at least some type of lapel (or Lav) microphone or shotgun microphone. Audio quickly becomes an issue when shooting in the field and on the run. Everything from the wind to background noise can result in the loss of an entire shoot if you don't plan on mitigating any annoying audio barriers.

Not only do I recommend finding a solid boom and lapel setup, but also checking windshields or windshields for your microphones as a precaution, but not a solution. Good audio comes from understanding your surroundings and making smart decisions about how to avoid bad situations. If you can, always position yourself and your shot so that as much wind is blocked as possible. Choose your battles too. If you know audio will be a big problem on-site, consider adding more audio later through voice-over or other creative alternatives.

Also, check out these audio recording options and resources.

Edit on the go

Finally, and unfortunately for a lot of seasoned film and video professionals, I would say that creating better vlog videos really boils down to editing. Technological advances and new and innovative apps and plugins make editing so much easier and more powerful. In typical online video style, having fun and quick edits can help save even the most troubled productions.

No matter when or where you're filming, today you have options for editing on the go. Image from Virrage Images.

When creating vlog videos on the run, you have two options for making your changes. First, you can always bring a laptop (or full PC) with you to edit your footage later in the day or at night. Since you're only recording video for the online audience, there's really no need to push for anything higher than 4K. This means a standard laptop shouldn't have much trouble shredding the footage for quick editing and export at this point.

You can look even more forward-looking and take advantage of many of the new mobile editing platforms that are making filmmaking and editing from smartphones a realistic option for a new generation of vloggers. Mobile editing breakthroughs are revolutionizing video journalism, urging developers to even photograph and edit directly on their social channels. Depending on your style and needs, I recommend checking out some of the best mobile editing tools for filmmakers on the go.

For more tips and tricks on vlogging and filmmaking, see the additional articles below.

Cover picture above Ayush Gurjar.

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