Vlogging duo and married couple Becki and Chris (@beckiandchris) have been creating YouTube videos over the past five years about photography, helicopter travel, home renovations and more. Their work is highly visual and has attracted over 290K subscribers to their YouTube Channel. We came across their Alpha Universe Profile and connected with them to learn more about their work, why they switched to shooting with Sony Alpha, their current go-to Sony gear and their advice for others wanting to vlog. Read more below and create your own Alpha Universe Profile HERE for a chance to be featured on Alpha Universe.
Helicopters, home decor and more...we connect with creative vlogging duo Becki and Chris (@beckiandchris) to learn more about their YouTube Channel and why they shoot with Sony Alpha.
Chris is currently a radiologist and commercial helicopter pilot while Becki is a full-time photographer and creator. The duo both got into photography and video long ago, and after moving to Vancouver in 2016 they started their combined vlog and got really heavy into video work, posting weekly on YouTube.
“We create videos that are all over the place,” explains Becki. “A lot of people have a niche when they do YouTube, but we are niche-less, that's what we like to say. We can fit our videos into three different pillars. We make videos about visuals, we call it, so photography and video tutorials, graphic design stuff, unboxings. Then we make videos about the home, so home decor, home renovations, DIY projects. Then the third pillar, the videos would fit into the travel category. That's mostly helicopter type videos, but pre-pandemic, we used to do some airline travel road trips. We just document those kinds of things. It's mostly vlog style videos mixed with some tutorials. Then every now and then we'll toss in a series or short films just for a laugh.”
“Yeah, we just always decided when we started our YouTube channel that we're going to make videos based on whatever we're into, says Chris. “That way you never really have a problem with authenticity. As long as you're making videos about things that you're passionate about, then you can't go wrong. After we realized that, we just started to think about whatever we wanted and we packed them into one of the three pillars after that. It's really just whatever video we want to make, we'll just make.”
Creatively Collaborating As A Married Couple
Working on something as a team will always have its challenges, and running a popular YouTube Channel with your partner sure causes its fair-share of stress, but Becki and Chris have worked out their perfect collaborative strategy to play to both of their strengths. “I've always thought it's pretty cool because Chris and I have a really similar style and similar skillsets that overlap, but he's got strengths that I don't have,” says Becki. “And I have some that he doesn't have. It's a nice collaborative effort when we're working on videos or even in business when it comes to pitching ideas or putting together sponsored videos. It's nice to have both sides, more of a business side and then more of a creative side. I always like to say I'm the creative director and Chris is the business guy. He brings a different perspective to it. It's nice to have a little collaborative effort where we can brainstorm on ideas.”
Why They Switched To Sony
When they first started their vlog, they actually had built up almost two decades worth of Canon glass and other equipment. “When we moved to Vancouver to start shooting the vlog,” explains Becki, “our Canon cameras were quite outdated. There was no auto-focus - we had the 5D Mark 2. We ended up picking up a DJI Osmo because we thought it was going to be the be-all, end-all vlogging camera, because it was a little micro 4/3 camera on a gimbal. We thought it was going to be so awesome and in theory the camera was really cool, but in practice it was really bad. The auto-focus wasn't good and the usability wasn't great.”
She continues, “We were missing moments for the vlog so we actually switched to GoPro for a number of months, but we were never getting the quality of video that we wanted to have. One of my friend’s was actually shooting with the Sony Alpha 7S II, so I was a little bit familiar with that camera. After we did some research, it seemed like that was the one. We picked up the Alpha 7S II in the winter of 2016 and absolutely fell in love with it.”
It wasn’t a decision that came easy for them. For months they deliberated over what to do, trying to see if they could stick with Canon because of the amount they had invested in lenses. “We were so invested in it,” says Chris. “It's expensive to replace all your glass. We were literally looking for every excuse to stick with Canon, but we found that the Canon product was just really behind. They weren’t offering what the Alpha 7S II was at the time. They were late to the 4K game, their slo-mo and higher frame rates were crippled as well. It just wasn’t the product we needed.”
Their Current Go-To Sony Gear For Vlogging
They shot with the Sony Alpha 7S II for a number of years, and then picked up the Alpha 6400 as a second body when it came out. “Then just started shooting with it constantly because its auto focus was so good,” says Becki. “We decided we were going to go all-in with Sony because we were so happy with the quality of the products so we picked up the Alpha 7R. Then the following year we replaced the Alpha 7S II with the Alpha 7S III. Now we have a full arsenal. We’re full Sony, with a nice little arsenal of cameras and lenses.”
As for lenses they use when vlogging, they typically either reach for the 16-35mm f/4, 50mm f/1.4 or 24mm f/1.4 G Master. “The 16-35mm f/4 is such a robust lens. It’s compact, it’s light, it’s affordable. It has a nice field of view for vlogging. It just ticks all the boxes and was the first lens when we jumped on the Sony ship. And then the combination of the Alpha 7S III with the 24mm f/1.4 G Master can handle any situation low-light wise,” says Chris. “It’s amazing.”
“The 24mm f/1.4 G Master is great because it’s wide enough to fit two people in the frame,” adds Becki. “It has a unique look, but it's not too wide where you're getting a lot of distortion and it's not too tight where it's looking too crunched together.”
Their Advice For Others Wanting To Start A Vlog
For others wanting to create their own YouTube Channel and start vlogging, they have some advice. “I would probably say that the biggest impediment is them not starting,” says Chris. “A lot of people say, ‘I want to do this, but I don't know where to start.’ The answer to that is just start. You have to start, you have to mess up, you have to make crap videos before you can look back on them and then realize what needs to be improved. I think a lot of people just have a failure to start really. That's the big issue.”
“I would say too for somebody who watches YouTube, who wants to be a YouTuber, who wants to start making content and is overwhelmed by it, is to pick your top favorite YouTuber or two,” explains Becki. “Go back to the very beginning of their channel and watch their first video. I think sometimes we compare ourselves to where people are now, but you look at a lot of the top YouTubers who've been doing it for five plus years. They've been making videos for that long and building their skills. If you actually go back and look at their first couple of videos, maybe they're looking a little bit more like what you might create first off the bat. It's a little moment of reality that can encourage you to start.”
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