I made a lot of Youtube videos. Two Hundred and ninety-three to be exact. Then I made less and less and currently haven't made one for three months. There are many reasons why but the big decision I had to make was how do I want to spend my time and what do I want to get good at.
I'm grateful for my channel and the fact that it makes money. I made a few videos that did well and continue to do well. I use this funding for my photography now and is something I'm really proud of. Without those videos I would not be shooting film like I am.
When I started out Shawnee Union, I was living in Kansas and had access to many thrift and antique stores. Since rent was low and the cameras weren't very expensive I was able to accumulate a lot of cameras quickly. I bought every film SLR and rangefinder I could find and started to make short videos with them. I was using a cheap digital camera and an Ipad with iMovie to edit. It's still the most affordable way to edit videos.
I owe most of my channel to David Hancock, I watched his videos of camera overviews and wanted to make the same thing just much shorter. His videos would be 15-30 minutes long and mine would be 5 minutes long. It's ironic that David and I met up in real life eventually and are friends today. There wasn't many film Youtubers back then.
The premise for the videos is always the same, here is a camera, here is how to use it, show some pictures and say if you liked it. I did this for about 3-4 years and bought many cameras. I was totally enjoying this process too, seeing my subscriber count grow and slowly starting to make money.
Once I was able to make money I wanted to make videos that did well. I used Google to find cameras people didn't review or review things that were popular. So I continued to make videos of these cameras but knew deep down I was getting bored of doing it.
The more cameras I handled and purchased the more I realized most cameras are perfectly fine and usable. Most of us are unable to outperform our cameras so finding a good one and starting to shoot should be the goal. Always researching and looking at new gear get's in the way of photography.
It wasn't until I moved to Austin and was down the street from a camera store that developed film did I finally start shooting film. For years I had all these film cameras and only had 4-5 rolls developed. I started buying a lot of film and a few books and went out to shoot everything I could.
I knew that I had to make decision between making videos or taking pictures. My time was more limited in my new job and I didn't want to pursue both half heartedly. I also knew I was making videos not because I was interested in them but because people would watch them and they could possibly make me money down the line. There wasn't much more I felt I could say and was interested in saying about cameras. My recent photography and this blog are reactions to those feelings.
I try not to close the door or any hobby or passion. You never know what may happen in the future or where you could end up. It is fine to be honest with yourself and take breaks when needed too. I am more of a photographer now who occasionally does video rather than a YouTuber who rarely shoots. Maybe there is a happier medium with both in the future but right now I'm having a great time just shooting and being a bit more true to what I want to do. If you'd like to see me write more about Youtube and getting started let me know too.