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It’s true that you need a few pieces of equipment in order to be a videographer – but not nearly as much as you might think. And if you start looking at those items as simply being tools that will allow you to gain invaluable experiences, you will come to understand how rewarding this lifestyle can be – for your soul, your world view, and your wallet.

For example, when I visited South Africa, I had the rare and distinguished pleasure of diving with Great White sharks, which admittedly isn’t for everyone. 

It wasn’t so much fear but awe that I experienced when I saw the jaws of a Great White shark biting our cage. I did get a serious shot of adrenaline when the shark hit the cage with its powerful tailfin. Others paid $500 for the experience. I got up close with the shark for free.

But that was only the start of my South Africa journey. I also received a rental car and luxury accommodation for my drive along the Garden Route, followed by a flight to Port Elizabeth and a series of safaris in a private game reserve where we saw rhinos and lions, as well as leopards and elephants. 

My favorite part of the trip was a visit to the remote Limpopo region, where I spent a full week watching the local wildlife – seeing hunting dogs taking down their prey in an incredibly sophisticated attack. 

All in all, this three-week vacation was worth $12,000 dollars. For “work,” I managed to produce another 10 videos for the journey, the accommodations, and the game reserves—pulling in $5,000 for participating in a free $12,000 trip.

Back then, I would make a mere $500 per video, but now I make up to $4,000 per three-minute video. Even starting out, you can make a decent income and enjoy the lifestyle of a very rich person. 

And in the end, aren’t the experiences we have worth way more than the money we make? After all, we want to make the money in order to have incredible experiences. Why not simply have the experiences for free and save the money to buy more awesome equipment?

Toward that end, here’s what I recommend as the minimum video gear for the budding travel videographer:

  1. Velbon Tripod with fluid pan-head (a photography tripod doesn’t work well for video)
  2. DSLR or video camera with HD video mode 
  3. Two spare batteries for your camera (video eats up a lot more battery power then taking photos) Generic Spare Batteries should do the trick (check compatibility with your camera!)
  4. Two spare 32GB SD cards (class 10 – because the minimum writing speed needs to be higher for video) 
  5. Your laptop with Windows Movie Maker or iMovie 

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[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Five Fun Ways To Get Paid To TravelA Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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