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Julian Elliott
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#1
After much though and deliberation. Much thought about is this actually going to be worth it etc I've decided to see a psychiatrist who pushed me out the door and told me to get on with it.

This is my first attempts at doing this kind of thing. Just doing this intro segment took 5 goes. Builders next door hammering away. The cat meowing and whatever else.

If you get fed of me wittering on then fast forward 1:13 from the end to see some of my work. Next week I'll be in the UK around Salisbury and I'm hoping to have decent weather to do two different vlogs on a cool London location and a landscape.

Be very grateful if you came along for the ride to see if I crash and burn or if it actually interests people seeing how I produce work that is used in things such as book; magazines and whatever else!!!

 
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Steven
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#2
Producing good videos is very demanding and difficult for some of us. A lot of it is "personality" and comfort; a lot of us who specialize in wildlife/landscape/sports/macro/etc are not really "people persons" and that makes it even harder... and I think it is something you will have to work on, but it will get easier with time/experience.

A few tips which I hope will help... although I'm no professional at it myself.
Look into the camera when talking to the audience directly.
"Smile" when you talk... it will help animate your voice more. There's a few "tsks" in there which are best avoided (I find that VERY hard to eliminate).
Less reading of/referring to the script. It will probably mean you mess up more often, so work in shorter segments that can be reshot and edited together.
You could have interspersed some of the images as transitions, or even talked over them, in order to break it up a bit more.

You did a good job of not saying "uhm" a lot :).

I subscribed as I am quite interested in this genre... I've entertained the idea of becoming a full time travel photographer. But the realities (or my perception of them) makes it seem rather unrealistic.
 
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#3
Thank you!!!

Very nice comments and very appreciated.

Got me on the script. i thought it a little easier for this intro. But out in the field it will be direct to camera and unscripted as it would be impossible otherwise.

What I'm hoping for next week is a particular view over London. If the weather plays ball it should work nicely. Well, I actually have two in mind. The landscape one will be in the Dorset coast but the place I'm thinking of is only open at the weekends. If the weather is decent only at the weekend the landscape will be out of the window.

If my plans come together this year, and I get some decent image sales then my schedule is hopefully something like:

End of Jan: Paris overnight
Mar: Hong Kong
Apr: Netherlands for the tulips
May: Rotterdam and maybe one other city
June: Dolomites
July: Maybe some London and other stuff including Italy
August: possibly Rome
September: if I do really well I need to use my 130000 odd airmiles and Banff beckons me quite hard
October: Dolomites
November: fingers crossed for Japan - I lucked out last year as our car went up the creek and unfortunately that came first
December: unknown

The realities of being a full-time travel photographer. Very little if any time for yourself to stop and just relax. Forget "enjoying" a place you start seeing it with the voice that says "I wonder if I can make some money from this place?"

But I wouldn't ever go back to a normal job. I'm unemployable now ;)
 
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#4
I agree with SK66 on pretty much all points, especially the one about interspersing images in. It's well put together though, however, and please take this in the right spirit, you sound a tad bored. Your enthusiasm that comes over in your writing doesn't come through in your voice. But I'm sure that will change when doing it in the field, as opposed to recording it in your dining room!
 
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#5
I know what you mean about my voice @viewfromthenorth. By the time it got to take 5 and having had to wait all morning for the damn builders next door to stop hammering I was a little fed up. Lunch came at about 230PM this afternoon as I became engrossed in getting things done.

Just hope that my plans in the UK can happen next week!!!
 
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#7
Just a thought, but you might want to address the grammatical inaccuracy in "Diary of a unknown stock photographer" if you plan to continue with your vlogs. As it's the first thing that people see on the videos, it would appear slicker if the grammar was correct.
 

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#8
Got me on the script. i thought it a little easier for this intro. But out in the field it will be direct to camera and unscripted as it would be impossible otherwise.
I'm not and never will be a vlogger. But I have a fair amount of experience in public speaking, and I think my experience should be relevant to you

First tip: Write the script like you'd say it. The way to do this is to *say* what you'd want to say, and then write it down. Don't *think* what you'd want to say and write that down, and certainly don't even try to write without considering how you would say it.

Second tip: Learn the script. Really learn it, by speaking it aloud, as you will when you deliver it for real. It should be easy because it's written the way you say it, so it's very natural. And you don't have to be word perfect, because you're just talking like you always talk. This is where you time it (and edit if necesary), if timing is important.

Third tip: If you don't have the luxury of multiple takes and edits, make a set of memory-jogger notes which are *brief*. Ideally one word per topic, so that one word will remind you that you wanted to say something about that topic. You've learned the script, and anyway the script is just what you wanted to say, so one word is enough. Write them big and well spaced so you can just glance at the notes and see the words without having to search for them.

Finally, a question: Why do you think that "in the field and direct to camera" implies "unscripted" ?
 
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#10
Hi, I've had a Youtube channel for a while now and it's very much 'run and gun', and more as a video diary :)

First thing that I noticed was white balance seemed to be off. You might be aware of this already.

I've never been keen on the looking away from the camera style. I'd prefer you looking at the camera.

I'd like you a little more animated and to have a more varied vocal tone, it's a little monotone.

Anyway, I have no real experience at professional or indeed, 'good' vlogging, so these are just my thoughts (y) and I'll subscribe to follow your journey.

Cheers.
 
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#12
Thanks all.

OK, to answer some of the questions.

Video had a script. I thought it best and had tried my best to get as much of it in my head as possible. My problem on the day is that it took 5 attempts or so to get it right. I had wanted it done on Tuesday but the relevant gear to get this done wasn't around until the afternoon.

I live in a new build area where they are building houses on the fly. There is a completely new house next door where the roof is going on and I had to sit around on Thursday waiting for them to stop hammering. This caused me frustration as I just wanted to get on with it. And I guess some of this frustration ultimately presents itself in the video.

The recording volume was too low in the video. It doesn't help I'm a quite speaker anyway but that should be evident when listening to the second video.

I the field and unscripted. Why is going to be better for me? Because I simply don't have the time to sit down and write things out. I would prefer to get my thoughts out there. I used to teach people in an office environment and one lady warned me she liked to speak out her how she was thinking. I said it was fine as at least I could hear if she was on the right track. I think it's a horses for courses thing.

The white balance. It was a pig to get how I wanted. Having two different, but the same make, SLRs hasn't helped. Each is seeing things slightly.

And yes, I know it's a little monotone. I've never really been one for getting myself out there so it'll take me a bit to find my feet and find what works. In the world of a full-time photography it is very difficult right now. Everything has to be tried to see if a crust of bread can be earned :)
 
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Sarah
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#13
I found it really interesting, thank you! I'll look forward to your next vlog
 
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#14
I found it really interesting, thank you! I'll look forward to your next vlog
Thank you Sarah. That's nice to hear!

Question for all that read this. How do you find the volume? I turned up the recording volume for the 2nd video on the recorder. It seems fine on my Mc but when my wife watches on her PC it seems quiet. I am unsure as to why.
 
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#17
Thank you Sarah. That's nice to hear!

Question for all that read this. How do you find the volume? I turned up the recording volume for the 2nd video on the recorder. It seems fine on my Mc but when my wife watches on her PC it seems quiet. I am unsure as to why.
You're welcome :) I'm only a beginner so hearing about how others work is great :ty:

Oh, I can hear it perfectly by the way. I've listened both through my phone and laptop, with and without headphones. With headphones is better obviously but without is still okay.
 
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#18
You're welcome :) I'm only a beginner so hearing about how others work is great :ty:

Oh, I can hear it perfectly by the way. I've listened both through my phone and laptop, with and without headphones. With headphones is better obviously but without is still okay.
Thanks SarahMarie! OK, it does leave me in the quandary that I have one person saying it sounds OK and another that it's quiet. What to do? Just been reviewing both videos to see what I can. A fix is on the way.

All input is appreciated on this :) Trying also to practice to my voice so as it doesn't sound monotone, something that is apparently quite common.
 

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#19
I simply don't have the time to sit down and write things out. I would prefer to get my thoughts out there.
I guess this is a generational thing, but you've put your finger on *exactly* why I hate so much material on YouTube. It's the low signal/noise ratio.

So many people post videos where they haven't really thought through what they want to say, or how to make their points effectively. The results are videos full of ramblings which are four times as long as they need to be. They want "to get their thoughts out there", and they seem to think it's OK to waste *my* time because they're not willing to invest a bit of *their* time.

I should stress that this is not aimed at you personally. And I guess people like me probably aren't your target audience anyway.
 
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#20
Thanks Amanda!

OK, on the next one I'll try again to see what I can with the volume. I may see if I can fix the last one too.
Double checked - it was quiet when I played it within TP and better on the YouTube site. I'm guessing you're naturally quietly spoken which may account for the volume.

Great that you're so open to your learning journey. Kudos. Mandy
 
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#21
Understood @StewartR

Strangely enough, yesterday I came across a video on Youtube where a guy said "we don't need yet another photographer" and he's right. The World is full of them and one of the reasons I don't like doing stuff in the UK as you're forever falling over photographers.

Me I have the problem that I am British but live in France. Discussing it the other day with someone in the industry it leaves me in the position of who do I pitch to? Do I pitch to an English/ British/ English speaking audience OR as I am in France do it to a French speaking audience.

But isn't YouTube about quirkiness and people just putting themselves out there? I think that is something that's been forgotten about the medium.

I watch stuff on Youtube and like and dislike things. One thing that does strike me about photography videos on there is that seem to be becoming more and more of a "production" which looks very nice but the resulting end image isn't that brilliant. But because a channel may have X number of subscribers the perceived quality of the end product is that it is.
 
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#23
Why? Just curious.
Well the title was going to be Diary of a Stock Photographer with the Unknown inserted as an afterthought.

But I've gone and changed it slightly again, and for the better, to Diary of the Unknown Stock Photographer which I think makes more sense.

First video has been re-uploaded with the volume enhanced. The gear one is in the process of being uploaded.

Just looked too at my recording device and sorted the recording volume on that while paying attention to both how I speak and how the recording meter is peaking.
 

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#24
Me I have the problem that I am British but live in France. Discussing it the other day with someone in the industry it leaves me in the position of who do I pitch to? Do I pitch to an English/ British/ English speaking audience OR as I am in France do it to a French speaking audience.
Surely the answer to that stems from *why* you're vlogging in the first place? What is your business plan for the vlog? (And if you don't have a business plan, it doesn't really matter what you say or which language you use....)
 
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#26
Julian,

Nice 1st attempt, I agree with lots of the comments above.
  • More excitement needed
  • More enthusiasm needed
  • Smaller segments / intersperse with video or shots of the locations
I guess my question is who is you target audience?
  • what are you trying to achieve with them?
  • why would they watch?
  • what will they get from your vlog?
  • why would they come back for more?
Some examples of channels to take a look at :-

digitalrevTV yes Kai is an idiot but an entertaining one !!
Schmee150 its all about expensive cars but the style is engaging
Bob Roman Mobile vlogging on photography

Keep it up, I will subscibe and watche developments :)
 
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#27
Thanks @mipevo6.

All advice is helpful. if people don't feed back to me how am I ever going to know what they like and don't like.

Target audience. In my head it is though that like seeing the journey of how an image is made. From the physical journey to the end product.

Why would they watch them? Why does anyone watch anything? Hopefully as they enjoy the above and also as I travel around each vlog should be in a different. I tend to spend time in various places and especially in Italy.

What will they get? Million dollar question. I'd like to intersperse it with the physical journey to showing why it is that I do something. I'm also toying with the idea of doing specific tutorial videos as I know some people do want to know the ins and outs of how something is done.

Why come back? Hopefully because they like what I do.
 
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#28
Thanks @mipevo6.

All advice is helpful. if people don't feed back to me how am I ever going to know what they like and don't like.

Target audience. In my head it is though that like seeing the journey of how an image is made. From the physical journey to the end product.

Why would they watch them? Why does anyone watch anything? Hopefully as they enjoy the above and also as I travel around each vlog should be in a different. I tend to spend time in various places and especially in Italy.

What will they get? Million dollar question. I'd like to intersperse it with the physical journey to showing why it is that I do something. I'm also toying with the idea of doing specific tutorial videos as I know some people do want to know the ins and outs of how something is done.

Why come back? Hopefully because they like what I do.
All good answers and very personal to you...

So how can you shape and deliver content that achieves those aims?

  • what will be interesting to this audience? (Probably need a mix to different types of content)
  • what is the best way to deliver content to keep it interesting? (live, studio,voice over etc..)
Good luck I will keep watching :)
 
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#29
My 'VLOGs' are epitome of amateurishness and more of a video diary. I'm going to take all the point made above into mind as well, because even an amateurishness video can be polished :)

I follow a lot of photography and wild/camping Youtube channels. Some are very poor but I really enjoy the enthusiasm and the scenery shown. Some are very polished, professional and engaging with wonderful subject matter The Art Of Photography by Ted Forbes is one I've followed for years and always enjoy his content.

Cheers.
 
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Marc
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#30
Interesting thoughts and comments. There are right answers out there, and there are many many ways to do it. Many of the big names on YouTube are doing it very differently, not how I would have ever wanted to make a video, but what they are showing is this isn't TV made by anyone and everyone, it's an interaction medium in the same guise as social media and it can be anything you want it to be. The sheer amount of content uploaded every minute means we don't have to worry about liking one style or another, as look down the lists and there will many style you do like.

I accidentally started a channel when I accidentally went viral on social media lat last year. I made a video simply to answer some questions and explain a situation, and that too went a bit crazy, so I thought I'd stick at it and just do more for fun and to help others. It nothing anyone here would want to see, and after the initial hit my videos don't get any views at all now, but they are still fun to make and I now have a film project planned with a production company and they have agreed I can film the filming (as long as it doesn't spoil the final result) and they are going to help me to learn all I need as we go along. It's a long term project so I should get plenty of practice - I need it!

My point is I don't see why anyone would want to watch any of my videos, but they do, and they watch through a fair chunk on average. I'm slowly adding extras, I'm making more appropriate title cards and I now have a channel logo, a proper channel URL, I'm adding closed captions and considering translations and I'm slowly making better quality videos I think. Is my style right? Hell no, not at all, but it's the only one I'm going to use, take it or leave it type of thing. If I had to make my living out of it I may think again, e channel is monetised and over time it may grow into something I can make a little loose change a week, who knows, but I don't care and I'm not doing it for that. I have a desire to educate and inform through it, maybe that means my style and performance doesn't matter so much. Not sure.

My videos look rushed, but apart from one I made feeling very ill over Christmas they all take many hours of prep and editing. I've just got a Zoom H5 and have some mics on order so my sound will improve, I have new cameras coming soon and lighting so I can't start going out to do proper interviews and do the things I really want. I'll never put on a suit and tie, I'll never change the way I speak, I always put in as much effort as possible within my limitations (I'm a full time carer to 3 so I don't have much free time to do stuff I enjoy). I look scruffy, it's my look, but looking like this I ran a charity, ive chaired big meetings with politicians and many other people, I've presented to crowds of many hundred, appeared on several national and international TV channels and news items (some live some recorded) and in photographs in hundreds of papers. I have done nearly 200 radio interviews (mostly live some recorded) and never tried to speak differently or script anything.

My point is nobody (yet) has turned me away because of how I look or present, if anything they keep on coming, I've got several other things bubbling and it seems stuff I'm excited about and didn't think I'd get. Nobody has said I need to dress up, have a shave, brush my hair (I haven't brushed my hair ever, I shower, it dries, it's done) and yep it's messy, but it's me. I don't mess it up for TV! I don't think of making a video and put on scruffy clothes and mess my hair up and quickly grow a beard. I have had to wear makeup on TV of course but that's it, other than that they take me as they find me.

Of course as most of this stuff was news stuff it's different, but the calls for other involvement are not, they like what I say, how I say it, how I come across. Do they like how I look? Tough, this is how I look.

If you have a way and it's who you are stick to it. Don't be yet another YouTuber following the pack, and don't try to be an average presenter looking like a twerp stuck in a field for a news piece. Wear what you wear, act how you act. The vast majority won't like what you are talking about, those that do may not like you, your to camera style, what you've got to say or how you see it, they are not your audience. The rest, well, they are I guess. If you want to make a huge successful channel you need more than a bit of luck, changing the way you act in front of the camera will help some to stick around but unless you want to do that for every video and change more on top of that it's not going to be enjoyable. Chances are you will get bored of it before you make a success of it - that's just how it is, most won't stick at it, I probably won't - but success is your own measure, not mine or anyone else's.

For me it's about the enjoyment. If the only way I could continue was to change who I am I wouldn't want to do it anymore. Good luck for all those giving it a go - I think it's fun! :)
 
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#31
My 'VLOGs' are epitome of amateurishness and more of a video diary. I'm going to take all the point made above into mind as well, because even an amateurishness video can be polished :)

I follow a lot of photography and wild/camping Youtube channels. Some are very poor but I really enjoy the enthusiasm and the scenery shown. Some are very polished, professional and engaging with wonderful subject matter The Art Of Photography by Ted Forbes is one I've followed for years and always enjoy his content.

Cheers.
I absolutely agree with this. It goes back to a point I made earlier in that these things do not have to be polished. That wasn't what YouTube was about in the first place but it seems now people are expecting to something akin to National Geographic!

But I am a bit of a stickler for quality so will do my best to try and attain a decent level of footage and watchability (is that a word???).
 
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#32
@NDevon I think we're on the same wave length. You are either are going to like it or not. Who am I or not.

Things that can be improved are being worked on. The sound in my VLogs have just been re-done and are up on YouTube. The monotone voice in the first video should be better in the second. Hopefully going forward as I get comfortable it will improve again.

And everyone. Thank you for being open; honest and helpful. It is very appreciated that people are responding in the manner that they are :D
 
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#33
Well the title was going to be Diary of a Stock Photographer with the Unknown inserted as an afterthought.

But I've gone and changed it slightly again, and for the better, to Diary of the Unknown Stock Photographer which I think makes more sense.

First video has been re-uploaded with the volume enhanced. The gear one is in the process of being uploaded.

Just looked too at my recording device and sorted the recording volume on that while paying attention to both how I speak and how the recording meter is peaking.
I think the new title works better IMO
 

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#39
Do I have to have a business plan for the vlog? I think you may be looking at it too much from the business side of things. Sure I'm in business but does it have to be reliant on being commercial? Can this not just be about how I work? How I see the World?
Sure. Of course it can. But then why does it matter whether you do it in English or French, for a UK audience or a French audience or both? If you're doing it for you, none of that is important.
 
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