To be a top social media influencer in 2019, you need more than just great content. You need to have great gear.
That is hardly a ground-breaking concept. But, what defines great gear for 2019 IS something new compared to when I started blogging via Sunny in London 5 years ago. Your essential gear now must be high quality and… wait for it… wait for it…
2019 Social Media Influencer: Who You Are
In 2014 the bigger your DSLR, the better you appeared to be. Busting out that Canon 5D and a several thousand dollar lens meant you knew your stuff.
But times have changed. The quality available now in mirrorless cameras, mobile phones and digital action cameras now, compared to then, is outstanding. So much so, that I actually feel silly sometimes at an event or location if I have the biggest camera. In all honesty, I kind of feel- old!
One could easily argue that is just from the neck pains due to carrying around my clunky Canon 80D around my neck all day.
Now, let’s be honest. Professional photographers will probably disagree with a lot of what I am going to write. But, let’s keep in mind who the audience is. You are likely a micro-influencer with a growing blog, Instagram or YouTube channel. You need to post content often and fast because the competition is steep. The only things you really want to be heavy is your follower list, likes and engagement.
You probably aren’t doing this full-time because despite all the posts you see about people who ‘quit their jobs to travel the world’, you wouldn’t make enough right now to support yourself comfortably through just the source of income you have now as a social media influencer.
Further, you might not have developed your niche in product reviews, so you are buying all of your own gear. That means this gear list will keep the overall cost minimized too.
2019 Social Media Influencer: Essential Gear
Your essential gear needs to be light. Compact is the way to go. Of course you will still need a bag to keep it all together, so we will start here.
Next, I suggest you get a GoPro. The crisp video it captures on a sunny day is glorious. Plus, my GoPro Hero6 films in 4K. That’s something the Canon 80D can’t do. The stabilization on this tiny camera is like butter. Again, I choose it over the Canon any day for fast, beautiful video. I also travel with the 3 Way Mount with Tripod. It fits easily in a side pocket of the backpack or inside. This mount helps get shots that might be a bit out of reach, as well as the occasional selfie video if Mr Sunny isn’t around to help. Finally, a light device (but takes up space in a suitcase because I keep it in the original box to prevent damage) is the GoPro dome. It’s cheap and allows for those perfectly focused shots half in and out of water.
These three things make filming super easy. Oh- and did I mention that the wifi capability on the GoPro rocks when it comes to uploading stuff fast to Instastories! If I want to share a 15 second video with followers fast, getting a heavy DSLR involved is just a drag. With the GoPro app, I can edit fast on my phone and post.
2019 Social Media Influencer: Phone Gadgets
Next on the list is a mobile stabilizer. This gimbal is the way to go. Again, with the app designed for it, I can pull focus and do other little tricks while I film smooth video with my phone. It also comes with a little tripod so you can create panning shots that will make you the #InstaEnvy of the Gram!
2019 Social Media Influencer: Ditch the Tripod
If you must use a DSLR when you film, there is one gadget I recommend that will save space and weight while you work. I adore my Joby GorillaPod. It’s the only ‘tripod’ I brought with me to Malta, Vienna, Prague and Nice. I can’t even imagine dragging around a full size tripod anymore. However, when I used it to shoot YouTube videos, I also made sure to have a remote so I could easily stop and start takes of my tips in videos.
2019 Social Media Influencer: Fake Tanning?
Last but not least, I need to recommend the most important item for filming, especially from the viewpoint of the Sunny in London blog 😉 That is real light, as in fake sunshine!
Yep. Aside from crisp sound, no one wants to sit through a video with bad lighting. So, skip the big soft boxes and just screw this mini-sunshine maker on your DSLR and go.
2019 Social Media Influencer: Final Thoughts
Of course, you will want to have plenty of micro SD cards with plenty of storage ready for your GoPro, but those are common sense. Aren’t they?
What other compact devices would you add to the list, Sunny friends? Have you had any luck with clip on lenses for your phone? I keep them in my camera backpack but always feel like they are a pain to attach and use quickly.
To shop the entire Sunny in London gear list and a foodie lover gift guide, visit my Amazon shop.