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We all like the idea of finally taking action and doing the things that we love, maybe that means moving overseas and dedicating yourself to exploring and doing street photography, or maybe that means getting over your inner fears and starting a YouTube channel.
But there’s a difference between giving a piece of advice and following it. And after reading dozens of books, filming over 80 videos and 2 years later, this is the result:
Right before posting my Fujifilm X-E1 review, I passed the 4,000 subscriber mark, and exactly 2 years ago, on July 9th, 2020, I posted my very first YouTube video.
I would like to take a moment to say thank you to everyone that has watched a video, liked it, subscribed, or shared a comment, thank you for your contribution to this channel, it means a lot. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
I’ve been working on a little project to celebrate the 2 years of this channel and also the 10 years of Fujifilm cameras, specifically, the cameras that I have reviewed, stay tuned for that.
That being said, there are a couple of things that I have learned during these 2 years, about the YouTube process and the creative process that I’d like to share with you today.
Some of these tips or lessons work best for people just starting out, and some of these are better suited for improving or growing once you already have a channel o a creative path.
Someday Is A Disease...
If you have watched my previous videos then you know that I used to work in the film industry and decided that I wanted to move on. I wanted to move to japan and focus on travel, exploring and doing street photography.
I left my job, friends, family, and my country, hell even my language behind just to do that, focus on my craft, and see if travelling and being a digital nomad was something that I really liked or not. I wasn't sure.
I didn’t document life, I didn’t start a YouTube channel in Japan, I just wanted to live this experience, enjoy it and absorb it, there was no need to make it public. It was for me, not for anybody else.
And towards the end of that year aboard, I thought to myself, I really like this, I can see myself doing this multiple times in multiple countries, let’s make this my main job, let’s start a YouTube channel.
I was not only fully motivated and inspired by my own experiences, but also motivated by books and podcasts of people that had done it before, The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris was a huge inspiration.
So I came back to Canada around march of 2020, and life obviously changed for everyone, no travelling, lots of restrictions, some people lost their jobs and some lost family members.
I thought that there was no way to really do want I wanted to do, and the logical thing was just to give up. Except I’ve been wanting to make a Youtube channel for 4 or 5 years before that, and I just kept convincing myself to not do it, to postpone it or just to give up.
And The 4-Hour Work Week really helped me put things into perspective. In his book, Tim Ferris writes:
“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time."
"The universe doesn't conspire against you, but it doesn't go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. "Someday" is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you."
"If it's important to you and you want to do it "eventually," just do it now and correct course along the way."
And this was really it, that was all I needed to finalize the idea, I started brainstorming, thinking of what was possible within my means... maybe I can make videos about budget cameras, or settings, or street photography, if people lost their jobs then they don’t have disposable income.
Perhaps budget camera reviews might be interesting to watch, helping people focus on their passion might help save their souls or have something to look forward to at the end of the day, etc. And so I did... here's some of that work.
Long story short, things change, sometimes you don’t have control over things like a global pandemic, but you do control your thoughts and your actions. Someday is a disease, if there is something you want to do, do it now, and course-correct along the way.
Gear Matters… Just Not At The Beginning.
I'm sure you've seen this time and time again, some really big YouTubers telling you gear does not matter when they own single every piece of gear that money can buy. Or maybe they got it for free. This is dishonest.
The other side of the same coin is a small YouTuber telling you that gear does not matter, just because perhaps they can't afford it, or perhaps they don't have the same access to equipment as other people. Or perhaps they just resent people that do have these things, this is also dishonest, but here is the reality of things.
Gear matters… just not at the beginning.
The most important thing at the beginning is to get you going, get you creating, get you motivated, and get you excited to make videos. It does not matter if you do it with an old iPhone 8 Plus or an Alexa 65.
I started this channel filming videos with my iPhone and a rode video micro, and yes these look and sound terrible, it's hard and very cringy for me to watch these early videos.
But at the very beginning, nobody cares and nobody is watching your stuff, it’s all about learning, getting the iterations going, and getting started. Done is better than perfect.
However, as you make progress, you start to pay attention to things that are important, and you start improving, upgrading and using gear that either makes your life easier or teaches you something and makes you grow as a filmmaker or photographer.
Don't Forget The Goal Or Objective Of Your YouTube Channel
This is very important to consider from the very beginning, And I think some people do start their journey or their youtube channel for the wrong reasons. Yes, it’s okay to want to grow and at some point make some sort of income from youtube. But if that’s all you care about, then you will give up eventually, because the path is not easy.
In my case, I wanted to help people out there, to try to provide useful information and make the videos that I wanted to watch when I was trying to learn and figure things out while trying to make a living out of that. And In that regard, I’m partially achieving my goal already.
I’m reading your comments and DM’s of people saying that the videos were helpful or inspiring, that my reviews make them want to go out there and shoot more, or dust off their old camera and do something with it. And I really appreciate that.
And your goal or the reason you started needs to be your baseline every single time that you question yourself, let me show you what I mean.
I received this really kind DM thanking me for the videos and saying that to them I’m in their top 10 photo YouTubers list, alongside some other YouTubers. And that’s really kind, I replied back and thanked him as well. But I had no idea who these other YouTubers are, I don’t have time to watch YouTube, and I barely have any time to make videos and write these posts.
So I quickly searched their names, and these guys are incredible, doing some great work, growing and blowing up like crazy, and I’m really happy for them.
Youtube is not a zero-sum game, where you have to put people down in order to win, I’m really happy that these other YouTubers are doing great, but it makes me wonder, man, do I suck? I thought my photographs are decent, but maybe they suck, are my videos not good enough or boring? should I change my style or this or that, Is my writing mediocre at best?
This is where I have to relax and give myself the same advice I’m giving you, right now: don’t forget the goal or point of your channel. As long as one person finds the videos helpful, informative, and inspiring, then I’m partially achieving my goal.
Course Correcting Along The Way
The last thing is course correcting, If you feel you’re not achieving your goal or learning anything new, it’s okay to pivot, it’s okay to try new things. Don’t try to copy popular things or people, but it’s okay to try new things.
This might mean trying a new or improved lighting setup, a new editing style, or a filming style, there are tons of things to improve and change. Just make sure it aligns with your goals or the objective of your YouTube channel.
In my case, my original goal was travelling, exploring and doing street photography, and that is something I will be integrating slowly on this channel in the years to come.
2 Years On YouTube
I'm happy with the results that I have, I’m thankful for those of you who watch and like my content, and find it useful, thank you.
I'm happy that I'm slowly building a small community of like-minded people that enjoy the same things and share thoughts and experiences in the comments
And although I don’t control how many people watch my videos or the growth of the channel, I do control making videos, and pushing forward, so in years 3, 4, 5, and 6, I’ll be here, making videos.
Video Review - YouTube
This post is a written version of my YouTube video review, you can watch the full YouTube video here: