Update: Travel Blog Success was merged with Superstar Blogging by Nomadic Matt. It’s an equally impressive course with a travel vlogging option that I plan to take and review eventually — click here to take it yourself!
Let’s talk travel videos.
Back when I was working making underwater videos on Grand Cayman and Koh Tao, I watched a lot of underwater video footage from my fellow videographers. And now, as a travel blogger, I watch a lot of travel videos from my fellow bloggers. In my lifetime I have watched hours and hours and hours of travel videos, and I’ve spent as many making them.
And you know what? Lots of them are just not hitting the mark. Lots of them are just okay. And lots of the mistakes that keep them from greatness? Tragically preventable. Believe me, I make plenty myself.
So when I saw that my friends over at Travel Blog Success were launching a course on travel videography, I literally cheered. I am so happy this course exists, because I want to watch great stuff, and I want y’all to make it! (Also, in case you haven’t noticed, I am totally into saying y’all right now. I just finished Friday Night Lights and I’m kind of in a Tami Taylor phase. So, you know, I hope we all can get on board with that.)
Introducing Videography for Travel Bloggers
The first thing you need to know about this course is that it was created by Chris and Tawny of , who are basically the Beyoncé and Jay-Z of travel videos. These two travel the world working with brands like Expedia and USA Today to create beautiful travel films, though they are talented enough that they run several successful personal projects right out of their Tacoma, Washington living room. ( being an obvious contender for my favorite.)
Personally, I’m not much of a teacher. If I were to try to create a videography course, it would probably consist of this: Watch good videos. Go to interesting places. Have a good eye. And for the love of god don’t ever use Comic Sans or Papyrus fonts in your titles. Thankfully, Chris and Tawny are a bit more verbose. But equally good at ridiculous photo faces.
The second thing you need to know about this course is that it is in conjunction with , a course that I enrolled in about four years ago — a moment I consider to be a turning point in my blogging career. When I heard these two dream teams had joined forces, I knew something good was in store.
The course consists of twenty-nine lessons broken into four modules. Here’s the breakdown:
Module 1: Getting Started gives an idea of different styles of travel videos (with a charming example of each), an overview of the digital storytelling spectrum, and a beginner’s guide to selecting a camera and editing software.
Module 2: Filming gets into the nitty gritty of setting up your camera, taking advantage of its many settings, shooting footage, investing in camera accessories, choosing audio equipment, settling up model releases, and more.
Module 3: Capturing Clips teaches you how to get your footage safely and effectively from your camera to your editing suite.
Module 4: Editing gets into detail about various editing softwares, editing styles, adding voiceovers, exporting, and where to put your shiny new video!
In addition to the lessons, you’ll have access to a private web forum on Travel Blog Success and a special video channel on Slack, our real-time communications platform, to ask questions and request video critiques. When I spoke to the team, they told me they’ll soon be incorporating one-on-one mentoring opportunities as part of the program.
Let’s say you’re working a 9-5 job and are interested in pursuing video as a hobby. You could easily read through a lesson while on your lunch break each day and be done in a month with barely a blip of a change in your daily routine. Making a full time go of blogging and want to add video to your repertoire? You could blast through in a few days, including time to test out some of the recommended software and do a few test shoots.
What I Loved
The course is a mix of written lessons and explanatory videos, which really helped reinforce the information provided and is beneficial to both visual and auditory learners. The video lessons were really my favorite — I loved seeing the discussed concepts demonstrated in real life examples.
Videography for Travel Bloggers is geared towards beginners and will give those who have never so much as hit a record button all the tools they need to get started. Product recommendations are made, terminology is explained, and basic filming concepts are clearly outlined. The descriptions of tricky concepts like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO were some of the best I’ve ever read — they did a great job demonstrating basic camera settings with metaphors and visuals. And the spelling out of basics, such as screenshots of best practice export settings, is gold. It’s the kind of thing you feel like you should know and therefore are too embarrassed to ask.
However, despite having taken video editing classes at university and even , I still learned from this course too! I learned I need a rode mic! And a FlyCam! I learned a few technical things I never knew (who would have thunk you’re supposed to only erase memory cards from your camera, and not from your computer? What’s that? You knew? Well thanks for the heads up.)
I’ve gotten lazy with video lately — as in, I haven’t been making them at all, and a lot of the lessons gave me an inspirational kick in the butt to take my photography knowledge and creativity and apply them to video again. Remember when I made videos for my trips to Big Island and Iceland? I want to do that again — and even challenge myself to get in front of the camera.
This course really gets great when it lifts the curtains on the behind-the-scenes workings of being a one person (or in this case, two person) production company. You’ll learn the differences between J-cuts and L-cuts. You’ll see examples of DIY sound booths and P-guards for voice over audio. You’ll gain clever ideas like cutting a ten second preview of your movie to upload to Facebook and tempt viewers towards your full length feature.
But above all, more than anything, I loved that I made a cameo in one of the example videos. NBD guys! (Except it is a BD.)
Room For Improvement
While this is no fault of the course, I am currently traveling in Guatemala and often struggled to stream the video lessons. Keep in mind that you might want to undertake it while you have a decent connection — though because it is a self-paced course, you can take your sweet time.
Overall, the lessons are perfectly aimed at the beginner, and they deliver perfectly on tone. However, there were a few areas where I would have loved a bit more details. The good news? Recently, I spoke directly to the creators of the course about my feedback, and they are incorporating it in as you read this.
Videography for Travel Bloggers costs $297.00. An investment? Yes. Travel Blog Success was a huge investment for me too when I signed up all those years ago. But the knowledge I gained — and more importantly, the community — continues to provide value back to me to this day. I believe in investing in yourself, whether it’s for a hobby or a business or simply just to never stop learning.
Anytime you buy this course, you have the opportunity to purchase alongside Travel Blog Success and save 10% on both courses. But this week, you have the opportunity to take advantage of that deal the Spring Sale, during which Travel Blog Success is offered at 30% off! Considering you can stack the discounts together for this week, you can land some serious savings — a total of $158.09. There’s no code needed to take advantage of the spring sale — just click any of the links in this post. And hurry! Sale ends Friday.
I can’t wait to see what courses Travel Blog Success produces next!
Are you making travel videos? Thinking of enrolling?
Let’s talk — I’ll answer any questions as best I can in the comments.
Note: I received a free copy of this program in order to review it for this post. Actually, I requested it, because I’m ready to start shooting video again and these tipsy rant vlogs I’ve been mentally working on aren’t going to film themselves. I am a proud affiliate of the program and thus will earn a percentage of your purchase at no extra cost to you. As always, you’ve received my honest opinions, thorough reviews, and completely irrelevant TV references.