Behind the Scenes of Vlog Videos

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve started a new weekly feature on this blog: Friday vlogs!

Truthfully, I never really wanted to do video blogs. Firstly because I hate the way I look and sound on video. Secondly because it’s awkward to sit there and talk to a camera while holding on to the blind hope that someone will actually watch the video and not think you look like a fool. And thirdly because I’m very untechnologically savvy and had no idea how to upload a video to Youtube or anything of that sort before I started doing this. 😉

But Zondervan was very insistent that I start video blogging and after they sent me a free video camera in the mail, well, I couldn’t really make excuses anymore. So I put together a system that would allow me to post videos once a week on a wide variety of topics.

Now, the whole point of the weekly vlogs is to create a relaxed, life-like environment so that you all can feel like you’re actually talking with me and chatting about my life and writing. That is my overall goal in making the videos. You can only learn so much about a person by reading their thoughts online, and seeing someone actually talking about something is so much cooler, in mind. That’s why I never edit my videos or plan out what I’m going to say ahead of time. I like them to be as honest and spur-of-the-moment as possible.

The first thing I do when shooting a vlog video is make out a list of topics I want to vlog about. Usually I use questions people have sent me, updates on my books, or just random things I’ve been wanting to share with you all. This is where you can play a really big part in my videos! It’s very hard for me to come up with topics some days, and I’d love to hear suggestions or questions for future videos! If you ever have something you’d like to hear me discuss, or try to answer, send me an email or comment on this post and I’ll do my best to use it for a future video!

Once I’ve written out a list of things I think sound even semi-interesting, I pick four that I want to cover. Then I go to my closet and pick out four outfits for different videos.

Wait a second–this sounds like cheating. Yeah, it kind of is. But because I’m a seventeen-year-old girl with an actual life, I don’t have time to shoot vlog videos every single week. So I do them in batches. On the first week of each month, I film all my videos for that month. (Exceptions include birthdays, big news from Zondervan, and receiving my first book in the mail) So I may switch my hair up multiple times to look like I filmed the videos on different days, but most are made within half an hour of each other.

But even though I film them all at the same time, I do try to keep my look as true to the way I look in real life as possible. All the clothes I wear in my videos are real outfits I wear in real life. My friends will tell you–I really am a total flamingo when it comes to my wardrobe! I like all my colors as saturated as possible, which actually looks really good on video. I’ve discovered that people are more likely to click on a video with someone in a hot pink jacket than they are a black tee shirt. Don’t know why, but it’s true. I also wear dresses just about every day, so that’s totally me just being me. 😉

Next I set up my camera on a weird hodge-podge of t.v. trays, books, movies, and whatever else I can find around the house. It’s a total mess, but I don’t want to bother spending the money on a tripod! Plus, I take really good care of those books, you guys, and always make sure I put everything back where it belongs afterwards. It is really funny looking, though.

This is what I’m looking at when I do my videos. Now you know why I avoid eye-contact so much. I’m embarrassed to look at my lame camera set-up. 😉

I almost always record my videos in one take. I just start talking, and ramble on for a few minutes, then try to end it as un-awkwardly as possible before turning off the camera. Sometimes it comes out better than others, but I rarely ever re-shoot. Usually I just try to convince myself that people just think the weird facial expressions and awkward pauses are cute. It’s the only way I can retain a shred of dignity when watching my videos. 😉

Next I just upload the four videos for the month onto my computer and store them in my “vlog” folder. I usually watch each one once just to make sure it turned out okay, but never twice! The horrors!

I upload every video Thursday night, and then post it Friday morning! So there you have it! A sneak peek behind the scenes of my vlog videos.

Like I said, I’m always interested in hearing ideas for new videos, so please speak up! It’s so hard to come up with semi-interesting material on one’s own, and even I get burnt out sometimes. 😉



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  1. * Emily says:

    Aw, I loved seeing this, Rachel! You should do more “behind-the-scenes” posts! 🙂

    I’ve actually got one question: how do you overcome the fear to actually write? I should probably explain myself a little more. How do you overcome the fear that what you write won’t turn out as good as when you think of it in your head? (yes, complicated, I know, but it’s plaguing me. ;))

    P.s. I love your hair down! 🙂

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 8 months ago
  2. * Mandi Lynn says:

    You sound just like me when I first started vlogging! I still can’t stand hearing/seeing myself on camera. I post once a week too but film Fridays, edit Sunday (I have a habit of getting off subject) and upload Mondays. I find one of the hardest things is finding something to talk about, but I’ve slowly been gaining a few requests 🙂

    Your vlogs are looking good, keep it up!

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 8 months ago
  3. * Samantha says:

    I love your hair cut…really LOVE!

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 8 months ago
    • * RachelC says:

      Haha, thanks! I was nervous about it when I first got it cut, but it’s starting to grow on me, too. 🙂 You’re too sweet.

      | Reply Posted 5 years, 8 months ago
  4. * Allison Young says:

    Haha, I love that you take them all in one day but switch outfits and hairstyles. You’re a cool person, Rachel. 😀

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 7 months ago

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