How to get free accommodations with your travel video

I never thought I’d star in a movie.

But there I was, holding hands with my boyfriend, strolling along the Seine in Paris, and pausing in front of the Eiffel Tower while the camera rolled.  I even took a… well, I’ll just say it – I took  a bubble bath on film (don’t worry, it was tastefully done) -- all in exchange for a free seven-day stay in a one-bedroom apartment in the 3rd arrondissement just a stone’s throw away from the Pompidou Center and Vielle de Temple.

Let’s face it, Parisian real estate is expensive. So, when the owner of the apartment said she’d swap a week’s stay for a video of the interior, I jumped at the chance.

Now, I already know a thing or two about photography.  I know about light (and that I need a lot of it).  I know about good composition.  And just like I do when I’m taking still pictures, I know I need to play with my angles and take both wide angle and details shots.

Truth be told, I roped my photography boyfriend into this little adventure, too. He’s been playing with video for about a year now, so he gladly stepped up for the challenge with me – to make a video worthy of the $1,200 we would have had to pay during peak travel season if we weren’t swapping it for our stay.

The end result?  It was a lot of fun.

You can watch the video here...


And it helped us see and experience Paris in a whole new way. Our way.

The owner loved it. I’m hoping we can use it to offer videos to apartment owners in other cities, too... maybe Buenos Aires or Cartagena next time.

And it wasn’t hard. If you have a tripod, your camera has a video function, and you have an imagination, you can do it.

Notice, too, that the strength of the video (besides my amazing acting skills, obviously) is the fact that it’s made up of little snippet videos, stitched into a whole. It’s not a marathon.  It’s little sprints joined together.  Something I know you can do with your camera or Smartphone.

I can’t wait to do it again.

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[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]