We came up with our channel name (which we have since changed), signed up for a Gmail account and got a YouTube account as a signing bonus and voilà we were good to go!
I remember when we filmed the first video, I wasn't even sure what we were going to talk about. I think I decided to do the "couple tag" about five minutes before I pressed record and didn't tell Brandon until we were filming.
Check out his shocked expression here:
I knew I wanted to give people a chance to get to know us if I wanted them to actually care about anything else we wanted to do on the channel (we had no idea what direction we would take the channel... still don't but we are going with the flow and our subscribers seem to be okay with it. Praise God!)
Fast forward a few months later, we realized we needed to invest in ourselves and in the channel if we wanted it to grow, so we went shopping. This was my list:
I needed a better camera because I had been using my old Canon camera for years now and the quality was quite poor (as you can tell in the unboxing video below), and it was quite bulky and painful to vlog with.
I went with the Canon PowerShot G7 X Digital Camera. I read and watched some great reviews on it and loved its small size and weight, and Wi-Fi feature which enables you send videos and pictures from the camera to your cell phone or other Wi-Fi enabled devices (great for quick Instagram posts).
I also needed more memory space. The worst thing that can happen to a YouTuber is to have filmed a whole segment only to go and check the camera and find out that somewhere along the line (only 5 minutes in sometimes), the camera stopped recording due to a full memory.
I got a 128GB SanDisk memory card which was actually the same memory capacity size as my iPhone 6s.
Another sucky thing that can happen to a vlogger is to be out at a magic show or something and have the battery die on you. in a perfect world, I like to have one fully charged battery in the camera and another fully charged battery in my purse just in case I need to have a quick switch while I'm out and about.
I just got a replacement Canon battery pack that was compatible with the Canon G7 X and its come in very handy so far. Most recently at the African Fashion Week Charlotte event.
When we started this channel, I was in school and working, so if I didn't film while I had some daylight on the weekends, then I couldn't film at all or if I did, I could expect a poor creepy shadow filled video. Those are the videos that have the least number of views which can be so discouraging when you worked so hard on the content. So, I got an umbrella lighting kit and a ring light.
The ring light I got was the Neewer Fluorescent flash light. I also got a Collasible Photography Video Light Softbox Diffuser since many reviews mentioned that I might need one to soften the lighting. I think my video quality and views have improved since I added better lighting into the mix.
Windshield/Dash camera mount
At this point we had take some road trips as a couple and vlogged a lot while in the car. I thought it might be good to get some more stable footage by mounting the camera to the dash. Especially if I wanted to vlog while driving alone. Safety First!!
I got an Arkon windshield or dash camera mount. Yea, I'm not going to lie, I have yet to set this one up and its been a year. My excuse is that I never know which car we'll be using so why set it up in mine if the vlogging might be in Brandon's car... so I still hold the camera and either cut out half my face or give everyone watching motion sickness.
I already had a camera bag for my first Canon Camera that my roommate had given me as a birthday present years ago but although it was perfect for that camera, it was too big and bulkyt to carry the smaller Canon. The thing about vlogging is that you never know when you will witness something epic and worthy of filming so you should always be prepared and have your camera on you.
I decided to get a small vintage looking carrier bag with straps. To be honest though, I hardly ever use it.
Check out the unboxing of some of the things I got below:
To be honest, I now do most of my vlogging on my new 256GB iPhone 8 Plus. I used to feel so weird whipping out my Canon in front of family and friends just to catch a funny clip. When I pull out my phone however, most people assume I'm on Instagram or Snapchat and it's less awkward.
So there you have it. All you really need to start a YouTube Channel is a cell phone with a good camera and a Gmail account. DONE!
Wish someone had told me this a couple of shopping trips ago.
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