When you’re starting out as a content creator it can be hard to know what equipment you *really* need. Is it worth splashing out on that camera? Is that free editing software really going to give you all of the functions you need? Here’s our guide to the essentials that are required to create compelling content.
Creating compelling content
So, you’ve decided you want to start creating content. It can be exciting and liberating to create content for yourself and build an audience based on your aesthetic and interests. At the beginning of your journey it can be tempting to splash out on lots of fancy equipment with the expectation that the more you spend, the better your content will be. We don’t believe you need to spend lots of money to create amazing content, in fact you can probably create some great videos and photos with what you already have to hand…
Camera – This is definitely the most essential item when it comes to creating content. Whether you’re looking to film vlogs, create recipe stop motions or take aesthetically pleasing outfit photos, you’re going to need a camera to capture it all on. Firstly, it’s important to decide on what your aesthetic will be. If you want to take your audience on your travels with you then a GoPro is likely going to be your best option.
For more relatable, in-the-moment images and videos (street style photos and vlogs, for example) then you can probably shoot on your phone. The great thing about shooting on your phone is that most people are familiar with this, making it easy for your friends or family to help you to shoot quick videos or snap a couple of photos when you’re out and about. For a great quality camera, we recommend the Huawei P30 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro.
If you want your imagery and videos to have more of a professional feel, then it may be worth investing in a proper camera. This will give you more control over the focus of your images, and will give you the option to blur your backgrounds and pick up lots of detail in each image. The most popular blogger camera is definitely the Olympus PEN, but why not shop around and ask your favourite creators what camera they use before you decide on which model to invest in.
Editing equipment – The second most essential part of creating content, you’ll need some editing software so that you can cut your videos together and enhance your images.
For image editing: If you’re looking for something free to use, Pixlr X can be used online. You can also use Adobe Lightroom for free on your iPad or iPhone. As well as making basic edits on Lightroom (eg. Exposure, grain, contrast, white balance) you can also create your own presets, or download others from Etsy, which allows you to keep a uniform editing style and colour theme across all of your imagery. If you want to be able to make more sophisticated edits to your images, we recommend Adobe Photoshop. Using Photoshop you can add elements to your images and create some really creative and compelling imagery. For example, when editing an image from your holiday, you could add some clouds to the sky and remove people from the background of your images. You will need to pay a monthly fee of £9.99 to use Photoshop, but it is definitely worth it if you want to be more creative with your imagery.
For video editing: If you want an app that’s free and easy to use on your phone, we recommend InShot. The app allows you to edit your videos in a variety of formats (landscape for YouTube and portrait for Instagram), add backgrounds, music and text. If you want a more sophisticated video editing software, we recommend Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro. They both require you to pay a monthly fee, but if you are regularly editing video and want to be able to be more creative with your edits then they are definitely worth investing in.
A few extras
Tripod – This will be especially useful if you are shooting at home, or on your own. A tripod will help you to set up your shots and get the perfect angle for each image or video. If you’re into filming TikTok videos, having a tripod will also make it a lot easier to film full-length or mid-length videos as you will be able to stand further away from your phone. You can find lots of different tripods (and different price points) on Amazon, we would recommend going for one that fully extends to 6ft and has the option to take overhead photos so you can take great flatlays.
Remote – Again, this will be useful for those of you who are shooting your content on your own. A remote allows you to take the image/video without having to press any buttons on the camera, which is great when you’re trying to take full length or mid-length outfit photos. It can also be useful for recording videos as you will be able to adjust the focus when you are sat more than an arm’s length away from the camera.
Photo props – If you’re into taking flatlays, beauty photos and lifestyle photos at home then having some props to hand will make your imagery a lot more interesting. We would recommend creating a mood board to begin with, then sourcing props that fit this aesthetic. Shops like Tiger, TK Maxx and Primark are great for finding low cost props that you can switch up seasonally. Paperchase is also great for finding seasonal props (eg. Ribbons and confetti during Christmas) for flatlays.
We hope this guide is useful, if you want to learn more about how to create compelling content why not join us at BorderlessLive in September?