How to Shoot Travel Video: Guide for Beginners

Trip video is a kind of separate video genre, a huge addictive universe. All people shoot them in a very different way: someone shows beautiful views, food in close-ups, smiling locals, others make educational guides on how to behave abroad. One way or another, you need to follow several rules to make a popular blog so exciting that viewers glue themselves to the screen. Let’s find out the basic things that make travel videos truly spectacular.

Getting ready

  1. Determine your audience

Who are your viewers? How old are they? What can hook them? A detailed portrait of the audience will help you choose the desired style and format for presenting the material.

  1. Think over the video format

Pick one of the most popular travel video formats:

  • Vlog. Such videos are like notes in a diary: they describe the firsthand traveler’s experience in a carefree manner, often at bench scale. The modern audience adores vlogs because they show life as it is rather than its attractive Instagram-like side. They don’t have a definite structure – vlogs uncover the most vivid impressions, local sketches, and traveler’s thoughts on the road.
  • Guides. These are videos about what to see and how to behave in another country. They get a lot of views which helps bloggers monetize their content. Spoiler alert: it’s exhausting work that requires good preparation and planning, a lot of on-site filming, high-quality equipment, and professional editing.
  • Field-specific videos. Field-specific or niche videos are content based on a single travel theme: food, extreme sports, baby travel, or ghost town exploring. Pros – you can clearly define the target audience and, as a result, increase the conversion of your travel blog. Cons – you’ll have to professionally delve into the issue.

If you still don’t know which to choose, just start filming. In the process, you’ll understand what video format suits you best.

  1. Think through the story

The story is a key pillar of the video industry. Beautiful shots with music are great but boring. Even technically imperfect filming can be much more winning if there is a touching or funny story behind it.

A cool example is one of the famous bloggers and internet celebrity Dancing Matt. He became famous for videos in which he dances in front of architectural and natural monuments around the world. His travels received extensive media coverage, he was hired by Visa and also signed a sponsorship deal with Stride. Happy end thanks to a powerful idea, right?

  1. Get inspired

The best inspiration for a video maker comes from other travelers. Analyze the work of video bloggers for shortcomings – understand what was missing in their videos and make it cooler.

  1. Choose locations

Google for information about the places you plan to visit. Thousands of vlogs have been filmed about the most famous landmarks. Consider non-tourist destinations, so there is a chance to surprise the audience.

  1. Prepare good equipment

Shooting tools make sense. Breathtaking videos are not filmed on a phone with a 10-megapixel camera. Make sure that you have a Canon or the latest iPhone camera, pluggable flash drives, and a tripod. And charge your batteries (!!!).

How to shoot videos: working tips

  • Record the original intro. You only have 15 seconds to hook the viewer.
  • Shoot all the time. You’ll be thankful for this tip. Even unsuccessful or repeated shots are accepted. All this will allow you to have extra content and choose the best for editing.
  • Try to shoot less on the go. It’s better to shoot how you walk in front of the camera: this will make a static video of a landscape or city more vivid.
  • Shoot in landscape mode. The vertical format is good for Instagram, TikTok, or Snapchat. In other cases, it’s better to use horizontal shooting. Such a video will look better on YouTube and other video hosting websites.
  • Don’t reel the camera. Beginners often try to show the maximum per minute. But it’s better not to shake the camera too fast: you can always speed up a slow video, but you won’t be able to slow down the blurry material.
  • Try to shoot video during daylight hours or in well-lit places. Remember dawn and dusk have the best lighting with soft shadows and a winning image.
  • Don’t forget about sound. Shoot video in quiet places, try to avoid extraneous noise. Where this is not possible, move closer to the source of the desired sound or use the microphone.
  • Switch every 7 seconds. Even if you are talking in front of the camera, switch from your face to the landscape and back every 7 seconds. Cut-in is crucial for a dynamic video.
  • Use gadgets – lens to avoid overexposure and direct sunlight, a lavalier microphone to give live commentary while walking around town, a camera with remote control if you often travel alone to shoot yourself from the side.

And … drum roll … EDITING!

Editing is perhaps the hardest part of video production but it makes travel videos so exciting.

Install a free video editing software

The most popular video editors are Adobe PremiereDaVinci Resolve 17Movavi, and VSDC. Download videos and photos in one folder. Make coffee: a long way awaits you.

Pick up music

You need tracks that reflect the video and your travel mood.

Add liveliness

Try to often change shots, gradually show something more and more interesting to keep the viewer’s attention. Remove boring and poor-quality moments. Use special effects: time-lapse, slow-mo, screen porridge, and others. But don’t overplay.

Control the timing

Start small – 5 minutes are enough for the first traveling video. In case you have a slew of interesting moments and a breathtaking story, you can work with a longer format, but this is the groundwork for a professional travel blogger with a huge audience.

Final words

Bringing travel photos is cool, but bringing a stunning video means sharing lively emotions with your friends, family, or even the whole Internet. Don’t be afraid to take risks, try, experiment – this is how successful experience is achieved.

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. Now based in the Philippines!

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