It’s true that you need some video equipment in order to shoot travel videos…but it’s not nearly as much as you might think. Some folks get started with just a simple camera or smart phone. You can always look into better equipment down the line and start charging your customers more for better quality and features. You should look at your video equipment simply as tools that unlock a world of invaluable life experiences.
For example, when I was shooting some video for a client in South Africa, I had the rare and distinguished pleasure of diving with great white sharks—which admittedly isn’t for everyone, but was always a dream of mine. It wasn’t so much fear but awe that I experienced when I saw the jaws of a great white biting down on our cage. Others paid $500 for the experience. But I got up close with the shark for free—camera in hand, of course.
But that was only the start of my South Africa journey. I was given a rental car and luxury accommodation for my drive along the Garden Route, followed by a flight to Port Elizabeth and a series of safaris in a private game reserve where we saw rhinos and lions, as well as leopards and elephants.
My favorite part of the trip was a visit to the remote Limpopo region, where I spent a full week watching the local wildlife. All in all, this three-week vacation was worth $12,000 dollars. I managed to produce 10 videos for the journey, the accommodations, and the game reserves—pulling in $5,000 for participating in a free $12,000 trip.
Back then, I would make a mere $500 per video, but now I make up to $4,000 per three-minute video. Even starting out, you can make a decent income and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle with plenty of luxury perks.
If you’d like to increase your earning potential as a travel videographer, you can reinvest some of the money you earn in better equipment. Below is a good quality kit I’d recommend, that shouldn’t break the bank. Chances are you have some of these things already.
1. A digital camera or video camera with HD video mode.
2. A tripod with fluid pan-head (for smooth panning shots of those breathtaking landscapes).
3. Two spare batteries for your camera (video eats up a lot more battery power then taking photos). Generic spare batteries should do the trick (but check compatibility with your camera).
4. Two spare 32GB SD memory cards (ask for “class 10” cards. The higher speed is required for saving video).
5. A laptop with Windows Movie Maker or iMovie.
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