Hello, my ‘SophieCountsClouds’ friends,
Any YouTuber interviewed by mainstream media is always asked why they started YouTube and most of them say something along the lines of ‘I watched charlieissocoollike, I was bored and I didn’t have any friends at school and somehow it worked out and now I’ve got four billion trillion subscribers!’ (I might be exaggerating a little bit).
I don’t know if this story really needs telling because I’m not exactly a successful YouTuber – I have 313 subscribers and I wouldn’t call myself a YouTuber, but I do have a story and I want to tell it I guess.
I started watching YouTube in 2009, maybe earlier? I can’t really remember but I know it was because I heard someone talking about how funny charlieissocoollike was in the maths corridor and I’d nodded along like I knew who he was but then went home to look him up. Ever since, I’ve been finding more and more people I love watching and now I’m obsessed.
I started making YouTube videos on December 1st 2013 by taking part in Vlogmas – an advent calendar on YouTube counting down to Christmas Day. I decided to do Vlogmas because my sister was doing it and if she could do it I could do it. I made some awful vlogs on my iPad and I barely knew how to talk to camera but I suppose my editing was okay – I’ve always been quite good at knowing what to cut and how to make the editing show the best of the footage.
Thirteen months on, I have over 100 videos, over 300 subscribers and I post vlogs, covers, montages and even the occasional haul or ‘how to’. I carried on because I fell in love, I suppose – I love making YouTube videos, I love the editing and compressing 12-20 minutes of footage to under four, making concise and hopefully witty content addressing some topical issues amongst silly things and talking about bands a lot.
I love learning more about the craft – over the past year I’ve gone from using my iPad and a digital camera I borrowed from my sister to a Canon 100D that I got for my birthday. I have a microphone for improved audio quality and I have gone from using Windows Movie Maker (the free equivalent to iMovie) to PowerDirector, the software I got for Christmas that allows me to do so much more with my videos.
I’m slowly learning how to use PowerDirector and in the next few weeks I’m going to teach myself how to edit using a green screen. I love developing what I already know and teaching myself new things.
In September, although it’s not 100% certain yet, I may be going to university to study multimedia journalism. The main reason I chose multimedia is so I could learn more about making and editing visual and audio content and I’m so excited to learn how to do this to a professional standard. YouTube has become a hobby I love that I hope to be able to incorporate into a career and I never thought it would have that impact.
But ‘SophieCountsClouds’ isn’t my first attempt at a YouTube channel – when I was in Year 8 or 9, maybe even Year 10 I had a channel called soxxyroxxy99 (since deleted, don’t you worry) that I used to post covers on. The username was one of those embarrassing user handles that everyone regrets when they grow up, okay? The channel wasn’t so bad if I’m honest – I never edited anything but I never uploaded anything unless I watched it through a few times and made sure I was happy with it.
That was until people from my school found it and ripped me to shreds – one kid put it on facebook, soon everyone knew and adequately found it hilarious. I think I posted two or three more videos before I gave up and deleted the channel.
When I started ‘SophieCountsClouds’, I was apprehensive – I only told my closest friends I was making videos and only posted about them on my twitter, not really thinking that anyone from school followed me there. Slowly, people started making a few references to my videos, as if to take the mick out of me that they knew my ‘big secret’ but I just brushed it off and answered whatever they’d said – I’d been entertaining enough for them to watch my videos, hadn’t I?
The added years between my first channel and my current one meant that people realised they weren’t going to get to me. I enjoyed it too much and it soon became apparent that there were influential people – ‘the populars’ as they’re commonly referred to – that liked my videos. I had people coming up to me saying they liked my videos a lot and they would never have the confidence to do what I was doing.
It’s not confidence as such – talking to a camera in an empty room doesn’t take confidence – it’s a kind of ignorance to what people say after the video has been posted. I can’t quite explain it – I’m not the same person in my YouTube videos and in real life. On YouTube I can pretend to be this confident, well-spoken, together person but I’d never let anyone see anything else – the negative aspects of myself are kept off camera or cut out in the edit.
Posting my videos on YouTube has made me more confident – I’m slowly becoming more like the person on camera and I couldn’t be happier for it.
YouTube isn’t for everyone and I totally understand that, but I can’t recommend more that you try because you might find that fall in love with it.
Thank you for reading,
That’s where you’ll find me:
My GoFundMe Page for my trip to Ecuador: http://gofundme.com/iwz21w