Why You Don't Need Thousands of Dollars to Get Started with Video (especially on YouTube)

When I started my YouTube channel back in Oct 2011, I was obsessed with knowing what equipment other YouTubers were using to make their videos.

I would watch a video, fall in love with the production quality, then head over to the description box hoping to find out what camera, lighting and backdrop the person was using.

Most of the time, the awesome camera equipment and lighting were out of my budget, but I thought I needed all of that to build a successful channel.

These days, I know being yourself and sharing valuable content is much more important than all the other things we care about in the beginning.

The good news is, you don't need to spend thousands of dollars to get started! Don't let equipment hold you back from starting your channel today.



Camera I started off with a $100 camera that I already owned to record my videos. If you don't have a camera, you can actually use the one right on your smartphone! Camera phone quality is getting better and better, so there's no reason to not use it.

  • Record video on your phone
  • Edit the footage using the iMovie app on your phone or transfer the file to your computer to edit and upload the video!


Tripod - Wanna hear some funny? When I started my channel I didn't even have a tripod. I recruited Eric and the kids to hold the camera while I directed them where to move to get the shots. It was a mess! I just didn't know any better and assumed this is what everyone else did.

  • You can get a simple tripod for $20 (tiny one like this or full-sized similar to this one) and a tripod mount (for the full-sized tripod) to hold your phone in place (I have this one).
  • If a tripod isn't in the budget right now, you can also lean your phone against a stack of books. 


Natural Light - You don't need fancy light to get stated - Natural light is actually best!

  • Film your videos in front of a window
  • The quality of your lighting is more important than a fancy camera
  • Face the light (don’t have your back to it) like the picture on the right
  • Cloudy days are usually better than sunny days because of shadows 



Those are the basics to get started! Get out there and start sharing your passion with the world.

Never let equipment hold you back!  We all have to start from somewhere. :-)