I’ve been a keen consumer of YouTube content for around 4 years now. I used it previously to watch funny viral videos or maybe the odd tutorial, but I never subscribed to anyone or kept up to date with the trends on YouTube of the time. Then just after I started my role as a Studio Manager and Photographer in April 2015, I saw this video
I didn’t know who Casey Neistat was, or what he did, but I was immediately hooked. I followed the daily vlog for the next couple of years (or however long he did it for on and off). His work levels, creativity, stories and the watchability of his videos lit some sort of spark in me that just made me think, ‘I want to do that’.
At the time, I was a photographer, but through necessity at work and inspiration through YouTube, I gradually built up my skills in video. Some of the skills I already had, but lost earlier in life. I have such awesome memories of making home videos with my Dad’s camcorder when I was younger, and spending summers with my friends filming stuff and trying to recreate programmes that we’d seen on TV. This was way before mobile phones were even mainstream, never mind when they had video capabilities. In fact back then, the only thing bigger than a ‘mobile’ phone was the camcorder we were using to make our own version of Grandstand. Back then, editing to us was playing one tape and recording the clips we liked form it onto another tape complete with static and terrible sound. Then,I grew a bit older, discovered beer and girls and forgot about the fun I used to have making videos and life moved on.
That wasn’t the only thing that changed over that time.
I don’t know if this is more me and how I’ve developed, or if it is more of a general disposition in western society but I’m always worried about what other people think of me. I never used to be as a kid. As a kid I pretty much just breezed around without much of a care. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve had instances of mental health deterioration in the past (mainly anxiety and depression) caused by previous trauma, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is part of why I’ve felt this way in adulthood, but it’s something that has grown in my consciousness and is something that I want to change.
Slight tangent, I’ll try and get back on track.
I knew as I started watching Casey’s videos that I wanted to make videos, and I wanted to make videos that people wanted to watch and bring enjoyment, entertainment, teachings and inspiration to their lives. But at the same time I didn’t know where to start, and I didn’t have the skills or tools to make decent quality videos. I used those as the constant excuse for inactivity, when really I was just scared. Terrified actually.
Over that time, I’ve seen more and more people using the platform to release some really awesome work. I’ve learnt so much from there and I genuinely don’t think I’d be in the position I am now – having my own business making videos for a living – without everything I have learnt from YouTube. I’d hate to see my total ‘watched’ stats!
The more recent favourite excuse has been time. When you work a full time job and have two kids, it’s hard to find the time to do much else without some other part of your life suffering. But then I quit my job and my excuses began to evaporate.
I was incredibly lucky in my first role as a freelancer to start working as an editor with Nigel Danson (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkJld-AoXurbT2jDnfM8qiA, 127,000 subscribers at the time of writing). Nigel has built his channel solely around Landscape Photography, which is one of my main hobbies. He’s worked incredibly hard making tutorials to help people (including me) become better landscape photographers, and has seen the benefits of being a YouTube success first hand. He’s a really inspiring guy, and has been so helpful to me in explaining his channel growth, and how he has worked over the last few years. Please give him a follow if you have any interest in photography – his enthusiasm for his craft is infectious, and the way he teaches is so easy to get along with.
I have Nigel to thank for getting past my excuses, and finally starting my own channel. I believe that without his input, I’d still be making excuses, I’d have just have had to be a bit more creative over what they were!
So, here’s my first YouTube video. Second to come next week, no excuses now….