If you spent any time on the wildly popular (but now-defunct) video-sharing app Vine, then you probably followed Nash Grier. That’s where he got his start as a 14-year-old content creator. By 2015, he was the second most-followed user on the platform, and TIME Magazine had named him one of the 30 most influential people on the internet.
Today, he’s in his early 20’s, a new father who has seen a lifetime of success. He’s got over 26 million followers across social media, and his videos have more than 200M views on YouTube. Recently, we had the opportunity to interview Nash about his process, what he uses to shoot video, and what advice he has for future content creators. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation.
“If you go back even just one generation, it’s become so much easier to document life in general. With the tools that we’ve been given and with the technology that we have now, it’s almost imperative that we take that next step and push creative storytelling forward.” – Nash Grier
What’s your favorite thing about making videos?
I’ve been making videos since I was 14 years old and just kind of never stopped. I never wanted to stop. The whole process excites me from start to finish. Post-production is just as exciting as thinking of a new idea and executing that idea.
So, I’m a big fan of all the steps. But if I had to choose one, my favorite part of the process is editing because then I’m sitting there with all this power. And, you know, you can take clips that aren’t good and turn them into something that might be worth watching.
And, so many passions are seeping into my videos every day, whether it’s something I’m learning, or something I’m trying to help teach my audience, or just parenting and raising my kid.
There are so many moments in life that are worth documenting that manifesting these videos and seeing them come to life is really cool.
Millions of people have watched your vlogs, but how would you describe your style to someone unfamiliar with your work?
Most of my content feels very much like home videos. My vlogs are very raw, if you will. A lot of the moments are very special to me. Like, I cherish those moments — it’s literally me documenting my life and my son’s life as he’s growing up.
Vlogging, at its core, is really just a person with a camera blogging, basically videoing their everyday occurrences. So, they could be, you know, an entire week shoved into a video like I do, or they could be a month long.
I try to make my vlogs cinematic and have an authentic feel to them so that you not only feel like you’re watching someone’s vlog that they put together, but it also takes you on a little journey and, hopefully, lets you realize something about yourself, too.
It’s clear that you have a lot of passion for what you do. Why is making these videos so important to you?
If you go back even just one generation, it’s become so much easier to document life in general. With the tools that we’ve been given and with the technology that we have now, it’s almost imperative that we take that next step and push creative storytelling forward.
We live in a time when we can document life in a way that hasn’t been allowed before. We can literally communicate across the world and share amazing insightful pieces of storytelling, whether that’s through a photo, video, or something else.
We’re privileged. We’re lucky to live in a time where everything can be documented.
For me, having a platform to showcase and shine a light on problems that need more eyeballs, or just raise awareness for things, and talk about what you’re passionate about, what you care about, whether that’s soil health, climate, personal health, or anything really. Everything is so interconnected now that we can’t live our lives without considering all these factors.
So for example, on my YouTube channel, that’s kind of been the whole message, and my intention. That the power of one is so much more powerful than we think; that domino effect is so much more powerful than we think. So just using my voice and trying to be heard.
And nature is probably the biggest underlying theme of all of my vlogs and all my content online in general. To me, that’s what we should be looking toward. Nature is what we should be idolizing. What we should be cherishing.
Whether it’s small water cycles, or storms, or soil health, or plant growth — whatever it is, I’m exploring those topics on my channel in front of people, and, you know, doing them for the first time myself is getting a lot of people to learn and grow and explore those topics for themselves, too.
You have a young son and another child on the way. How did becoming a parent change your process?
It changed everything for me! Not just my whole outlook on life, but it changed my outlook on how I create and make videos, also.
Of course, having a kid has changed my outlook on life. But it also changed the way that I create. You’re reliving things that you used to think were, you know, boring, or that used to make your eyes gloss over, but now when you see them, they’re so full of life. And so interesting. And you know, those little things are what make life so great. So, yeah, it’s made me appreciate those little things, and appreciate the pace of life more, since he’s been here, for sure.
I’m constantly growing and changing as well. And when you have a kid, you shift your focus to the other person that’s constantly growing and changing. It definitely changes you, for sure.
Most of my vlogs are set in nature, outside. We do most of our filming outside. I mean, my son is hiking, like, 50% of the day! And just having a camera gave me my respect for nature — having that ability to go observe it in a different way; to slow down the frame rate and watch a hummingbird fly; or to take a time-lapse and watch six hours in, you know, 60 seconds, and be able to see how the clouds move and how the storm patterns form.
But now, exploring nature with my son — everything is new to him, obviously, he’s 18 months old. But, as a creator, that changes your whole plan and how you see the world because you’re now not only looking through your eyes, but you’re seeing from an 18-month-old’s perspective as well.
And that’s definitely changed my content, I think for the better. I take those little moments where, you know, he sees a beetle, or where we’re looking at the clouds, and they become these bigger moments that are way more intimate than I thought. Do you know what I mean? And I definitely enjoy coming across those moments and magnifying them with my camera, if I can.
What gear do you use to capture those little moments? And what do you look for in a camera?
I’ve been shooting with the Lumix GH5 for a long time, basically, since it came out, and I feel like I’ve gotten so comfortable with that camera and I know how to speak its language. So I grow attached to my equipment, and you know, once you feel comfortable with it, I feel like that’s what you need to use. For me, that’s what a good piece of equipment is — something you feel comfortable using.
So the qualities I look for in a camera are reliability and something durable because there are a lot of spills and drops in this house. And then just something I feel comfortable with. I want to be able to speak the language with that camera. And oftentimes that takes years. For me, it’s worth it using the same tool and seeing how you can progress with that tool. And yeah, I don’t think I’ve grown out of the GH5 yet. But I do think there will be a day when I’m ready for a new rig.
How important are memory products to you?
So with the style of content I make and with how valuable each little clip is, to me it’s so important to be able to trust your gear and to have trust in your memory cards. There have been too many times where I’ve literally just lost footage from trips to Africa or footage from returning home, whatever it is, and yeah, it’s a bummer. It’s super disheartening. It’s the worst feeling ever losing footage.
It’s just so important to have that feeling of security when you’re storing footage and, and moving it from place to place. ProGrade has completely changed my workflow. It’s made everything faster, it’s also made everything feel just safer and more reliable. I’ve had so many problems in the past transferring files from place to place and losing files due to corrupt cards. So it’s just been a huge weight off my shoulders to be able to actually transfer files, not only quickly, but safely and yeah, that’s just been huge for creators like myself.
You’ve been doing this for a long time. What does the future hold for Nash Grier?
I think I’ll always continue to make videos literally until I’m in a retirement home and can barely walk. I don’t really know what the plan is in terms of storytelling. But, as long as I’m telling stories, whether they’re about my life or someone else’s life, I’m going to be happy.
I’m so excited for the future of content creation in general, but especially vlogging. I feel like there are so many people that are just now picking up a camera for the first time and learning what they can do with it. They’re just now discovering how much power a camera can truly give someone.
What’s one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to create content?
If I can encourage anyone to do one thing, it would be to pick up a camera and just spend some time behind the camera, because it makes you see the world a little bit differently. And there’s just so much to see.
I think it’s truly enlightening to be a part of a community and to have a community at your fingertips. So pick up a camera. It will absolutely change your perspective on life. It’ll change how you think about and how you see the world. And I think, as a vlogger, the best thing you can do for a viewer is offer them a little bit of perspective or open their minds up a little bit.
And if you can both learn something along the way, that’s a successful video to me.
So if I can encourage you to do one thing it would be to pick up a camera and just start shooting, get behind the lens, and just lend yourself to a new perspective. Start to see the world in a different way. That awareness is such a precious thing to have in this day and age and, yeah, extremely valuable.