There are countless quotes about the value of trying new things or pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone. Now that my baby is off to PreK and I have time to resume writing, I can finally take a stab at something I’ve been wanting to try for some time. Vlogging!
True confession: The first time I saw the word vlog
, I thought it referred to some sort of log kept by women for things related to … uh … something else that starts with the letter V. Upon learning what it actually is, and soon enough starting a blog of my own, I’ve been super curious to see what there is to this video-blogging thing. One of the sessions at a writers conference I attended in February
was all about using social media to “build an audience” for our books. The fabulous speaker encouraged us to use our cell phones to keep video recordings simple and spontaneous. Huh. That had never occurred to me. So I tried to see what it looked like when I took a selfie video with my phone.
Yeah. I didn’t really love that one. It wasn’t helped by my post workout glisten and frizz. So I quickly moved on to would-be shots of my face using the built-in web cam on my laptop.
Then, I couldn’t even figure out when it was recording. I may not be an expert on technology, but nor am I a complete moron. And most of the times, it’s all pretty self-evident. Not here, man. For some reason I couldn’t figure out how it worked at first. Meanwhile, the camera kept snapping photos of me, without my knowledge, looking bewildered.
And bemused.Then at one point, the video recording function finally worked. Though as you can see, I still wasn’t sure.
That was back in April. I quickly gave up, and eventually, summer and family events took over. Yesterday I decided to try again. And in the spirit of true confessions, it wasn’t until yesterday that I knew the photos and video from April had even been saved on the computer. That was a pretty hi-larious discovery. So yesterday I opened the web cam on my laptop, and:
Damn it! Again it took a picture without me knowing. And yes, I own a William and Kate wedding coffee mug. My family went to London a month after their famous wedding in 2011, and I got very caught up in the excitement while shopping at a souvenir store. I like using it for tea.
But, back to my camera practice. Finally I was rolling.
This was the video that really drove home for me the importance of keeping my mouth closed no matter how confounded I am by what’s going on. That’s a tough one. You should see me at yoga class. Next, I tried to focus on looking at the camera instead of at myself. You can see the precise moment when I saw that it was rolling.
Finally, I tried looking straight at the camera, without laughing. Not as easy as one might think.
You know, I’m going to keep at it. It’s new to me … a work in progress and all that stuff. Next step will be trying with an actual camera we have; see if that’s any different. I’ve got this idea for a video blog series about awkward moments that have happened to me, and I’m working on at least one of those installments for a … ahem … vlog post. (Is that even correct lingo?) And if nothing else comes of this, I can tell you one thing: I’ve cracked myself up so hard in just two tries with camera shots, that that’s already a major win. I mean, what’s the point if it’s not fun? And don’t worry, having my family talking in the background is not part of my long term vlogging plans.
Update: I just looked at some vlogging tutorials on Youtube and realized the full depth and breadth of my cluelessness on this matter. Invest in lighting? I’m a stay-at-home mom with no paycheck to my name! And how the hell do I do a jump cut?
But I shall not be deterred! I am nothing if not a good student. Just wait and see.