Minimalism as a way of life has become as pervasive today, as R&B and hip-hop was in the 90s and early 2000s.
Thoughtful influencers from Marie Kondo to Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius have promoted this philosophy to reimagine the material world to reflect the unity of all things – that less can mean more.
So, before you dive headfirst into the void of holiday shopping, it's essential to distinguish what you want from what you need. To help you cut through the noise, we curated a gear guide spotlighting a line up of delightfully-lean, multi-use tools – so you can be present for the moments that matter.
While on-the-go, you want to travel light, but not cut corners on the quality of your creative output.
The most important factors I considered to get you started on your mobile creator kit are:
(1) Mobility: Can you/your subject move freely? Is it friendly for travel or getting those tight shots?
(2) Usability: Does the design or user experience feel intuitive enough to learn as you go?
(3) Versatility: Are the tools highly-specialized or multi-functional?
Element #1: Camera
The heart of the whole operation. It's mind-blowing what can be captured on a phone these days, but it has changed the way we connect and create for good.
Element #2: Case
Protect your magic. Investing in a good case can also open up new portals of discovery and experimentation, such as expansive lens/filter systems or can be composed of more resilient/sustainable materials.
The makers at Moment are driving innovation as a creative marketplace and redefining what's possible with mobile storytelling – check out their collection of custom lens, filters, mounting systems, and more.
Element #3: Audio
A high quality microphone is the unsung hero. A clear and strong signal for your audio can not only set your content apart from the noise, but provide you peace of mind when you get back to the studio for post-production.
- VideoMic Me-L - Directional cardioid mic, simple to install/use.
- SC6-L Mobile Interview Kit - Dual SmartLav+ mics & mobile interface/adapter for Apple devices
- Wireless GO - Move freely with a wire-free system. Requires RØDE SC7 to plug it into a smartphone, as these have TRRS inputs (the cable in the box is TRS-TRS).
- VideoMic NTG - Perfect for anyone getting into more serious smartphone filmmaking. The output on the mic automatically switches between TRS and TRRS, so no need for an adaptor cable. New firmware updates & a new cable recently have made it fully compatible with iPhone.
Element #4: In-Ears
Monitoring your audio while on the job or during the shoot can save the day before you get back to your workstation. Do it like the pros do and listen along or back to your captured audio with quality in-ears.
Great fit when you're on-the-go with active noise-cancellation and excellent personalization features to get professional grade audio in a compact, wireless earphone.
Element #5: Gimbal
Seamless movement is what keeps the story flowing and more dynamic. There's amazing grips (BeastGrip) and modular rigs out there, but having an adaptable gimbal is an absolute game-changer.
Great for beginners with magnetic quick-release design and foldable arm. DJI offers a wide range from hobbyist to professional gimbals of all shapes and sizes for handheld and in-air/drone devices.
Element #6: Lighting
Finding your light will ensure you are looking your absolute best. A portable, agile lighting solution is like having your best friend follow you around to make your face pop on the screen.
Element #7: Travelwear
Now that's a wrap!
In the spirit of celebrating the end of this wild year, I kept it short and sweet. And as some last nuggets of well wishes, I'm excited to see what we all create after a deep reflection on what the future holds.
As consumers, our choices have the power to advocate not only the content we want to dream/create, but the lifestyles we want to lead. With so many options overwhelming our senses, it can be easy to fall prey to choice paralysis when seeking the right tools. So, keep asking questions and feel out what works for you.