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Content creation may look easy (if you’re doing it right) but believe me, it takes a village to get that perfect shot. The most successful creators carefully select the tools they need to deliver fresh, engaging content to their audience on a regular basis. Amazing content is worth investing in, but with that being said, you don’t need to spend a fortune to get started. Whether you need eye-catching photos for your Instagram or cinematic shots for your YouTube channel, this guide to tools for content creators has got you covered. Here’s what the pros are using.
Yes, really! You might be surprised to learn that many Instagram influencers and YouTubers capture a lot of their content on their smartphones. Most of us have our phones by our side 24/7, so a quality camera will allow you to capture any spontaneous and unexpected occurrences without having to lug photography equipment around all the time. I recently upgraded to the iPhone 12 Pro Max for this very reason (well, and because I met Andy Cohen on an airplane and he told me I needed an upgrade.)
Tip: Shoot horizontally for YouTube and vertically for the Gram.
There’s no denying that cameras are one of the most important tools for content creators but you don’t have to splash out right away. I recommend starting out using your smartphone and investing in a DSLR camera a little further down the line. A professional DSLR is a must for working with hotel properties and high profile brands. I personally love my Sony A7iii but if you aren’t ready to make that jump in the budget, the Sony Alpha a6000 is a versatile and relatively affordable choice (as DSLR cameras go). I’ll be sure to cover lenses in a future blog since that can make the difference between success and failure in the field.
The problem with using your phone camera or any camera for that matter to shoot video content is that the footage can be bumpy. A phone stabilizer or camera gimbal keeps your device steady and centered so that your videos are smooth and cinematic. They can also double as tripods which is perfect for solo photoshoots and layering images later on. I recently invested in the DJI OM 4 and I’m so happy with the results. It’s a game changer!
Like it or not, drones are the future of photography. Drones allow you to capture amazing images from angles that would otherwise be impossible and really take your visual content to the next level.
My advice would be to buy a low-end drone to learn on. There’s a strong chance that you’ll crash it (correction, you WIL crash your drone) or damage it in some way, so don’t start out expensive. Learn the ropes before investing in an advanced model. And don’t take any risks with the weather – in Bora Bora I saw rain clouds in the distance and chanced it… and my drone was lost at sea. Now, I travel with two drones so I have a backup.
The Holy Stone HS100 is great for beginners as it was designed with drone newbies in mind.
I’ve talked about Lightroom in my Instagram guides before but don’t expect me to change my tune anytime soon. Lightroom is one of the best photo editing tools out there and it takes your images from basic to beautiful. It’s also very affordable at just $9.99 per month and the mobile version is free! Plus, many bloggers and influencers sell presets, which is a great source of passive income – and who doesn’t want that?
Sometimes nothing can beat a bit of good old fashioned Photoshop. In fact, it’s one of the most popular tools for content creators, and with good reason. Many people think that Photoshop is about removing zits and people in the background of your shot, but its creative uses actually extend way beyond that. Experimenting with your images and getting creative is one of the best ways to stand out as a content creator, so Photoshop is your new best friend. Take a look at some cool effects you can do with a little patience and photoshop!
As you can tell, I’m a bit of an Adobe loyalist. Their Premier Pro video editing software is one of the most popular choices for content creators to edit their footage and it’s available for both PC and Mac. Final Cut Pro is another excellent choice for Mac users, too. The right video editing software can take your content from home videos to cinematic masterpieces, so it’s worth the investment.
Image is everything when you’re a content creator. Whether your main focus is your blog, your Instagram, YouTube or another medium entirely, you’re going to need some good graphics. Canva is a free software that can help you to create everything from beautiful Instagram stories to blog banners and eye-catching logos. They do offer a pro package but to be honest, the free version is more than sufficient.
For more on setting yourself up for success as a content creator, check out this guide on how to choose the best blogging platform and this list of the best affiliate marketing networks to join right now.
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Your Luxe Lifestyle was founded by luxury world traveler Isabella Garofanelli bringing you the very best the globe has to offer in travel, lifestyle, and wellness.
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