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Funding Your Life with Your Camera

Whether I’m zip-lining, rappelling down a waterfall, or gliding in a boat next to enormous crocodiles, I’m working. The only thing differentiating me from a tourist is my exceptional video equipment, and the fact that I was paid to take the tour! As I film gorgeous islands, snorkeling trips, and exotic hikes I can’t help but think how fortunate I am, that I was able to figure out a way to do what I love and get paid for it. I enjoy working as a videographer because it combines the things I’m passionate about: travel, experiences, and the outdoors in a creative way.

Pictures and marketing pamphlets are a good start, but a video will send your message home, demonstrating what you have said in your pamphlets. Video evokes an emotion in your clients. It builds excitement and drastically extends the reach of your message.

No matter what kind of business a company does, when they add a promotional video to their site they increase their first-page Google chances by 55 times! No other one adaptation to your client’s site can accomplish such a jump. Did you know that Youtube now has more searches requested than on Google? That means consumers who aren’t even searching for your client’s company will find it. A well constructed promotional video, lasting no longer than two minutes can provide the most powerful and dynamic marketing tool possible.

When I was getting started, I did videos for everything: adventure tours, hotels, real estate, products, services, and the occasional wedding. While I will still take on projects in each of these classifications, I have refocused my efforts towards adventure tours. I enjoy them the most and believe my skill sets are best suited in the genre. I’m excellent at shooting on the go, and quick thinking.

If you are considering a new business in videography, I would recommend that you set up a few trades to build a portfolio and work out the kinks on your end. Create a YouTube channel utilizing your business name. Make sure you have reviewed the website of each business you plan to pitch to so you can explain to them how your video will help. If they don’t have a website, explain to the customer that after you are done with the video they will have a website to give to their clients, the link to your video! After you complete a project, and have a fully satisfied customer, ask them if they know of any business owners that could benefit from your service. I also offer a 15% commission to connected expats for client referrals.

I film with a Canon XA10. It’s compact and versatile. I also use a GoPro HERO 3+: Black Edition for underwater and wide-angle actions shots. I keep numerous extra batteries for each camera and back up SD and micro cards. Many videographers are opting to use DSLR cameras for their video needs. If this is your plan, keep in mind, on some adventure tours you will not have the time to change lenses. I also use a variety of straps (chest, head, and helmet for the GoPro), and a lightweight tripod. I hold all of these valuables in a Nanuk 915 case, it’s waterproof, drop proof, and it floats. That came in real handy when I had to swim in underwater rivers in the hidden caves near Arenal. I use Final Cut Pro X for my editing needs.

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