Frequently Asked Questions
Since 2014, I started to consider myself a consistent online content creator through my YouTube channel, Instagram, Twitter and even this blog. During this time, I’ve been asked a tonne of questions about me and my work, the equipment I use, as well as my opinion on various trends/affairs. I often get asked the same questions over and over again, so I thought it was about time I set up this FAQ page to help you and me!
If you don’t see your question here, feel free to leave a comment on one of my videos or posts, or send me a tweet!
How can you travel so much?
There’s no cheat code I’m afraid. Travel is my work. Making videos, posting content for people to consume and be entertained/inspired by, and maintaining my “brand” online is my work. It’s what allows me to earn advertising revenue, sell products, and ultimately work with other brands who are interested in reaching the community and trust I’ve built. It doesn’t happen overnight.
I still had office jobs when I started making videos in my evenings, weekends and lunch breaks. I saved up a lot personally a few years ago and went travelling, all the while making videos for my own memories but also to show my capabilities and invest in building a community. By sacrificing expenses elsewhere (home improvements, monthly subscriptions, eating out, reducing unnecessary purchases etc.) and focusing a lot of energy into budgeting for travel first, I am able to make multiple trips throughout the year and thus multiple creative projects. Essentially I make the work I want to be hired for. Proving myself through experience and evidence. 7 years later and I’m still proving myself, but have been able to support it as a business. I now essentially “commission” myself to visit a location and document it; sometimes in partnership with a brand.
These travels aren’t holidays. There’s business strategy, planning and a whole lot of work that goes into them. If you find a cheat code for time, I’m all ears!
What camera should I buy? or What is the best camera?
This is asked so frequently and unfortunately there is never just one answer to it.
The truth is, it often shouldn’t matter what camera you use. Buying the same camera as me won’t make you take photos like mine. Likewise buying the most expensive camera won’t make you take better photos. One thing I will add though, it’s usually always best to try and buy the best you can afford and the more up-to-date/newer the model, the more you will generally get out of the camera. That being said, if you’re looking for an interchangeable lens camera, remember that it’s the lenses that are often the most important factor to an image and not the camera/sensor itself. Almost all camera brands are an excellent choice these days, so it really comes down to your personal feel and connection to a camera when you try it out in person. If it feels good and makes you want to go out and shoot, there’s a good chance it’s the right camera for you.
What camera do you use?
I have a range of cameras and am always upgrading/testing out new equipment to make my process easier, more efficient and higher in quality. For the most part, I use a Canon EOS R5 and C70 for my video projects and a Fujifilm X-T4/X100F for photography. In the past, I have used a Panasonic GH5, Fujifilm X-H1, Canon 7D Mark II, Sony A7R II, 70D and 50D for all aspects.
What do you use to edit videos?
I edit and grade all my videos with Adobe Premiere Pro.
How do you make your titles?
My animated title graphics were made in Adobe After Effects, for use in Premiere Pro as MOGRTs, with complete customisation and theme capabilities. The titles are also available to purchase as BASE TITLES.
Where’s my Lightroom Presets discount code?
You should receive an email automatically when you sign up at joeallam.co.uk/subscribe — it usually only takes a moment to come through, though a few people have received it up to an hour later!
If you still haven’t received it, make sure to check your junk mail or “Promotions” folder (if you use Gmail).
How do I get better/inspired in photography?
Going out and shooting more photos has always been my goto solution for maintaining inspiration and improving. Momentum is a strong force and you should ride it as often as you can!
Always have a camera with you and if you’re really passionate about photography, you’ll be taking photos of anything and everything. The more you take, the more you’ll find what you want to shoot and you’ll end up inspiring yourself!
What do you use to edit photos?
All my photos are edited with Lightroom, using the RAW processing tools and multiple curves adjustments. I have even created Lightroom Presets which you can purchase, that I personally use for the base in all my photography.
What should I do in Tokyo?
Tokyo is an absolutely massive place and can be intensely overwhelming, but that’s all part of the fun of it! To get you started for your first couple of days, I’d definitely recommend exploring Shinjuku and Shibuya mainly (then walk to and around Harajuku/Yoyogi). Both of those areas are so huge that you could literally exit any direction from the station and spend a whole day getting lost in the best possible way — I hope you’ve got comfortable shoes!
Another thing I always recommend to people is a visit to the observation deck at the Mori Tower in Roppongi to get a great aerial view of the city and a real perspective on how massive it all is.
How do I go freelance?
Being in a rut with work and feeling a bit claustrophobic on your creative side is a tough place to be, but for me I’ve always just used that as a power to make me want to create even more. The longer you spend doing something you hate, the more you’ll be driven to do the stuff you really want to do!
My history, in short, is pretty much all about having side projects alongside every job/education I’ve had. There are many late nights and busy weekends, plus multiple crossovers of having double jobs, but the long-term goal can eventually pay off. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size fits all approach to things regarding freelance, but I did have a lot of success reaching out to agencies and recruitment companies who often manage temporary roles. Over time they get to know your work style and work starts to find its way to you naturally. I’m also a heavy user of LinkedIn/Twitter and advanced search to find the right people at specific companies/roles I’m interested in.
The very best advice I can give you is to get your work in the best possible place for it to be seen by the right people. Publish your work on various platforms, engage with other creators and slowly but surely, things will pick up traction. I started writing my blog around 2008 or so. But it wasn’t until 2014 when I started my YouTube channel that anyone really read it. At least when they did start to read it, there was a whole bunch of content ready and waiting for them!
Good luck with the hustle, it’s a long battle, but the rewards will multiply the longer you’re at it!
Who/what inspires you?
I am greatly inspired by all sorts of outlets. From travel and exploration of a new area, to seeing the success of those closest to me, to globally-recognised brands or individuals who stand out in their industries. I find busy cities to be incredibly inspiring and energising for me and my work, along with those who can make things through limitations of their resources.
Still got questions?
I will be updating this page over time as other FAQs come in. If your question still hasn’t been answered, feel free to comment on one my videos/posts or send me a Tweet — I’ll happily get back to you to help you out!