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You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can go from zero to producing professional-quality videos from your travels. Once you get a handle on a few fundamental skills, it only takes a matter of weeks to start swapping videos for free stays… and, soon after, actual paychecks. To help you get up and running, here are some top tips for videographers to bear in mind… 1. Take your time. Beginners tend to rush things when they start out filming. You should record a shot for at least 20 seconds and leave 4 seconds at the beginning and 4 at the end without any movement. That way, if you don’t like your pan, you can still use the 4 seconds without any movement. 2. Always use a tripod — especially when you’re filming landscapes and when panning. Exceptions: when filming a close-up or fast-moving action like a bicycle or people running. 3. Don’t pan too fast. Your panning should be very slow and deliberate and, you should move across a straight line. For panning, you’ll need a video tripod to pan. A photography tripod won’t give you the same smooth result. (If you don’t want to spend a lot, this Velbon Tripod works great.) 4. Ensure your lens is clean. It seems obvious but it happens quickly and often that some dust or a smudge gets on your lens. Frequently check your lens for dirt before you start recording. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration. 5. Stock up on batteries – and memory. You’ll notice very quickly that video uses much more battery power than shooting photos. So, if you only have one battery with you, then you’ll probably be done filming after about 30 minutes. Best to carry at least two extra batteries wherever you go. Video also uses up much more storage space than photos, so you’ll need a bigger card. Go for a minimum of 32 Gigabytes on a class 10 card. 6. Take advantage of good weather. I’ve found over the years that video buyers tend to want the same things: sunny days and iconic shots. If you have a clear day with blue skies, get out and shoot your outdoor scenes. You can shoot inside hotels, museums, and other attractions in any weather. 7. People sell. As with photography, it’s important to feature people in your videos. Video buyers love to see attractive people having a wonderful time. Be sure to ask people for permission. You can offer to send them with a photo via email as a thank you. 8. Start with the essentials. Supplies come and go and technology is always changing. If I were going to start today, my backpack would include: a video tripod, a GoPro Action cam, spare batteries, spare SD cards, a cloth for cleaning my lens. Over time, you can add to your inventory. Right now, I’m loving my drone for getting a bird’s-eye view of a place. (Stay tuned tomorrow for Bonnie’s experience with her drone.) The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll start to see those paychecks. Good luck and happy shooting! Share on Facebook

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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