Being a traveler and photographer, I knew that vlogging would be a natural fit for creating content. I figured it would add a new dimension to my brand and allow me to reach viewers in ways I couldn’t do before.
The problem was that I was scared. While I had absolutely no problems being on camera in my own apartment, I was deathly fearful of being on camera out in the public, on the streets, the parks, basically everywhere I needed to be in order to create compelling content.
Fortunately, through lots of trial and error, I was able to overcome this problem. Now, I have no problems at all vlogging in public.
Here are five things that helped me to overcome this fear.
Practice vlogging in control environments
Before you can fearlessly vlog in public, you first need to become comfortable simply being in front of the camera. If you’re more of an introverted person, like myself, you’re probably more comfortable being behind the camera. That’s another way of saying that you prefer to not expose yourself.
This is something you must overcome. Practice filming yourself during the day in your apartment. Take your cell phone if you must and, while sitting at your desk or walking from room to room, create little videos. Feel free to talk about whatever you want. Over time, this will desensitize you to become more comfortable in front of the camera.
Practice vlogging on low-traffic streets
Once you’re more comfortable talking to the camera in a controlled environment. It’s time to go outside. Since it’s more intimidating vlogging in a busy street because many people would be looking at you, start by vlogging in less populated streets.
An example would be small alleys that criss-cross wide busy streets in most cities. This way, you’re not out in the open, carrying your camera in front of your face and attracting attention from lots of people.
When I started out, that’s exactly what I did. I began vlogging on streets that didn’t get much traffic. After I got comfortable simply talking to my camera, I transitioned to busier and busier streets. Nowadays, I don’t have much of an issue vlogging even on some of busiest streets in any town.
Use a smaller camera/phone without any extra equipment
We’ve all seen Casey Neistat’s vlogs. He’s usually lugging around a huge DSLR (Canon 70D), an external microphone (Rode Videomic Pro) and a tripod (Gorilla Focus). Nobody doubts that it’s a great setup for vlogging.
The problem with that kind of bulky setup is that everyone can see you a mile away. You WILL attract attention pretty much anywhere you go. And, if you’re just starting that may not be a good thing.
My recommendation is to start simple. Use something like your smartphone without any external microphones or tripods. Another option is a compact camera like the Sony RX 100 Mark V or the Canon G7X Mark II.
While people will still notice you while you’re walking while talking to a camera, you will attract much less attention with a minimalist setup than someone with a much bigger setup. And, anyway, once you become comfortable with this setup, you can always get a more complicated setup later.
Bring friends with you
Regardless of the activity, it’s always easier to do it with someone else than alone. This applies to anything from traveling to foreign countries to going out to a bar at night. The reason for that is security. If something happens to you, your friends will have your back. Although this isn’t much of a problem in civilized society with low crime rates, it’s still an issue for most of us because that’s how we, as humans, are designed.
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This plays a huge role when it comes to vlogging. It’s always a lot scarier to vlog alone, whether you’re in a new city or on some busy street than when you’re doing with a bunch of friends with you.
So, when you’re just starting out, take a friend or two along. This would make you much more secure and, because you’re just having fun with your friends, you won’t be perceived as “weird” by others.
After you do it long enough, you’ll get to a point where you’ll be able to do it alone as well.
Others don’t care as much as you think they do
Ultimately, I’m here to tell you that other people simply don’t care about you as much as you think. People are mostly inside their own heads. They have their own concerns, issues, problems to worry about. Sure, you might get some looks here and there, but it’s not going to be as bad you think.
This is why fears are so potent. They’re in your head and nowhere else. They block you from doing something amazing, something that can ultimately change your life in the future. But, yet, here you are paralyzed by your own thoughts and nothing else.
Having said that, the best way to start is to simply to start. Get comfortable recording yourself with the camera. Start getting out of the house and doing it in public.
In absolutely no time, you will be a complete natural, vlogging everything and everywhere. And then wondering why you were worried about such inconsequential things for so long.