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5 Tips For Creating Skate Media On The Road

Before we begin, you should know that I am an amateur photographer, videographer, writer and editor, at best. Most of what I’ve learned about creating content has come through observing other creators, watching internet tutorials, and continuous trial-and-error. It’s only thanks to my cumulative experiences, that I’ve been able to gather valuable insight on how to successfully create content on the road.

Over the years, my skate adventures have also evolved from day trips, to weekend-long travels to month long journeys accompanied by media. For my most recent skate and create adventure, I found myself in Australia for 3 weeks. This trip allowed me to create a large amount of content for my sponsors from social media assets, online blog posts, and even a short film entitled Wanderlost. If creating and distributing media is something you might also be interested in, below are 5 basic tips and tricks to help you start successfully capturing and sharing your skate adventures.

1. Keep a journal.
So many things happen at once when you’re traveling. You’re constantly in new environments, with new people, and experiencing new things. Whether it’s analog or digital, keeping a journal is something that has helped me tremendously for remembering accurate events after my adventures are over. From noting the name of a skate spot for a future #TBT post, jotting ideas for my next Skate Slate article, or recounting my day-to-day experiences to help storyboard a video, keeping a journal has been crucial for me and is something you should definitely consider doing on the road.

The daily Wanderlost log.

The daily Wanderlost log.

2. Find an excellent partner-in-crime.
Creating skate media on your own is something that’s definitely doable, but also very difficult and time consuming. From setting up tripods, finding the right angles, figuring out self-timers, editing long video clips in post-production and more, going solo is not the most ideal situation for creating media on the road.

If you’re looking to have your skating captured, try to find a local photographer or videographer to collaborate with at your travel destination. Over the past few years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with like-minded creators like Jon Huey in Portland, Christian Rosillo in Barcelona, the Bosma twins in the Netherlands, Maria Arndt in Paris, and most recently, Jenna Russo in Australia. Even when I was just starting out, I’d make my sister film me on her bike when I visited her in California. Alternatively, you can have a photographer/videographer join you on your journey. Jonathan Nuss and I have not only collaborated in our hometown of Toronto, but have also traveled to Ithaca, New York City and Montreal together to skate and create. On the other hand, if you’re looking to capture skating, make sure to connect with local skaters to find subjects and the best spots. Events such as races or slide jams are also a great way to create media while traveling.

Jenna Russo and I made a boss team. (Photo: Zak Mills-Goodwin)

Jenna Russo and I made a boss team. (Photo: Zak Mills-Goodwin)

3. Work with the equipment you’ve got.
For this project, Jenna and I were fortunate enough to each have a DSLR, a GoPro, an iPhone, and various tripods and mounts to document our moments. Each gadget served a different purpose on our trip from capturing beautiful scenery with the DSLRs, going into the ocean with the GoPros, and shooting candid moments with our phones. Even so, you don’t necessarily need the latest and greatest in camera gear to succeed. These days, simply having a smartphone and using it creatively can go a long way in creating great social media content as well as full length edits. Need proof? Just check out Casey Morrow’s VXPod2000 masterpiece he created with his iPod!

When the tripod wasn't tall enough for the shot we wanted, we still made it work.

When the tripod wasn’t tall enough for the shot we wanted, we still made it work.

4. Stay light and nimble.
There were days during the Wanderlost trip when Jenna and I would spend whole days exploring new areas on our longboards. On days like that, lugging around heavier tripods and accessories was simply not the best idea. Our equipment of choice was often limited to a scorpion grip-DSLR combo as well as a GoPro-stick combo. Being light and nimble allowed us to capture lines and moments that might have otherwise been lost. It also gave us the energy to shoot for longer and for more consecutive days. So, if you know you’ll be exploring long distances or for long periods of time, consider shedding unnecessary weight.

Whenever we'd be exploring cities or heavy nature, we'd make sure to bring the scorpion rig. Photo: Cindy Zhou

Whenever we’d be exploring cities or heavy nature, we’d make sure to bring the scorpion rig. Photo: Cindy Zhou

5. Charge, transfer, and stay organized.
Nothing’s worse than getting to an epic spot and realizing that you’re out of battery or memory. Being diligent about charging or having extra batteries goes a long way. Same goes with transferring your footage onto your laptop or external hard drive after every session so that you don’t have to delete any valuable clips. Charging and transferring can be hard to remember on long road trips, but doing so will avoid the agony of not being able to get a shot. Also, keep in mind that the more photo and video you shoot while traveling, the more you’ll have to go through when you get to the end of a day or end of a trip. Staying organized, having folders, and naming your clips is a huge pain, but is a huge time saver when you move into post-production work.

Photo and video organizing sessions were a daily occurrence.

Photo and video organizing sessions were a daily occurrence.

Creating media on the road isn’t always easy, but with a bit of hard work, a splash of creativity, and some tricks up your sleeve, it’s certainly possible. Just get out there, explore, create, and have fun doing it!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Wanderlust, you can find the video on the Loaded Newsletter channel here.

And check back for Ms. Monthly coming up soon. You can find past Ms. Monthly posts here.

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  1. Cindy Whitehead

    Great tips! I like to embrace the philosphy that the best camera to shoot with is the one that's on you. Meaning – don't let having just your iphone on you stop you from shooting something you wish you had your pro camera for – you can always adjust tihngs in editing process – and at least you documented the moment. BTW – loved loved loved Wanderlost – great video!!


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