Saturday, May 9, 2020

Video Journaling: Find Your Video Voice

Got video? Not long ago, video cameras were mainly owned by pro videographers and home enthusiasts. Now with a camera stashed in nearly every phone, digital camera and laptop, you are more likely to struggle to find a working pen than a nearby video camera. Not only that, if you lack a camera you can purchase one for under $100. But where does video fit into the optimized life?

Video use is expanding exponentially, and not just on YouTube. Video resumes are becoming common, video chat is evolving, and big opportunities remain to use video for activities ranging from marketing and promotion to social change and activism. However, even more dramatic shifts appear likely.

New technologies are being developed that allow small segments of videos to be easily linked to other small segments. Sound familiar? The ability to do the same with text led to what we call the Internet today. Yet despite all this potential, there is often an intimidation factor with video that doesn’t exist with the written (or typed) word. This article will show you several helpful ways to get over those feelings, and find your own authentic, video voice.
There are two mistakes people often make in the way they think about video. The first is they assume that all video must become public – i.e. a video blog for the world to view. 

However, they may not realize that unlike video blogging, video journaling is a private activity akin to its written diary counterpart. Journaling on video gives the freedom to experiment.

The second mistake is that people see video as a complex activity that requires specialized knowledge. Video can be complex depending on your goals, but video blogging or journaling can also be extremely simple and straightforward. Your camcorder is simply a tool. Though it is a powerful tool, the way it is used is in your control. Alright, ready to tap into the power of video?

Flip on your camera and make a brief video journal entry about your day, or something else that you have wanted to express:

1. Give yourself permission to experiment. One strategy that helps encourage this is to decide that everything you shoot, you will delete immediately after reviewing it. Of course you can always change your mind! However, giving yourself this permission removes any pressure to perform.

2. Set it and forget it. Turn your camera on and make sure that it’s recording properly. Beyond that, forget the technical stuff for now. It’s easy to become distracted by our gadgets and all the options they provide, but that’s not necessary. You can always geek out later if you like.

3. Don’t forget to breathe. Breath connects mind to body. It’s nearly impossible to relax if you aren’t breathing fully and deeply. This applies to daily life as well. Make a commitment to consciously deepen your breath for one full day and notice the difference in your state of being.

4. Pay attention to “whom” you imagine speaking when you create your journal entry. Are they a friendly and nurturing source, or a critical and judging presence? Recording a video journal can reveal a lot about yourself and the way you relate to the world.

5. Experiment with looking directly in the lens versus watching your image while you record. Some people feel more comfortable with one or the other. Remember though, that in a live video situation the only way to make “eye contact” with the other person is to look directly in the lens – not at your own image.

6. Have fun! The mainstream media tends to be appearance driven and this conception can color the experience. Let this go and allow yourself to be imperfect on camera. Be patient and allow your natural self-expression to emerge.

7. When you are ready, look back at your video with an open attitude and ask yourself: “Would I like to share this with others?” This might mean friends and family or video blogging to the world. If you decide you would rather keep your video private, that’s okay too. Keeping a private video journal can become a life-changing practice of its own.

The above is just the beginning. The many ways that video can be explored are only limited by your imagination. By experimenting with an open mind and most importantly, an open heart, you can use this potent means of communication and self-expression to its highest potential.

Michael ‘Sean’ Kaminsky 
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