Skip to Main Content
YouTube creators Sam and Victor

Learning the art of aesthetic vlogs with Sam and Victor

YouTube creators Sam and Victor

The gentle whirrs of an espresso machine. Curtains softly blowing by an open window. The sound of rain hitting nearby clusters of trees. Aesthetic vlogging, a trend that has grown to multiple million videos since 2020, is all about romanticizing the ordinary, and Hong Kong-based couple Sam and Victor have been dabbling in it over the past five years since starting their YouTube channel as a side project to their photography and prop styling gig.

When the pandemic shut down the world, their channel also became a rare glimpse at what life was like in Hong Kong — one of the world’s longest COVID quarantines since countries began reopening for tourism. The couple grew up in Toronto, and their videos became the bridge in sharing a North American perspective of Hong Kong life; in lockdown, they found calm amidst chaos in their morning coffee routines, adventures along the state’s many inner-city hikes, and photo sessions at colorful parks and basketball courts.

“We get a lot of comments from people saying that our vlogs make them feel very peaceful,” Victor Cheng says. “People have told us they set a schedule to watch us. One family in Spain said they set time on Monday nights to watch our vlogs over dinner. We’re so appreciative of that.”

Soundtracked to tender, jazzy music, their videos inspire folks to find or even create beauty in the small, daily details. In one of their recent videos, Sam and Victor took viewers on a journey to buy Lunar New Year decorations to fill their apartment with festive spirit. “Christmas — but make it Asian,” Sam Wong jokes. Viewers have begun to follow suit; comments on their YouTube videos say they’re inspired to decorate their homes with that modern take on a holiday that has, in the past, felt very traditional.

With YouTube, you can really emphasize the journey of a story and not try to grab people’s attention.”

Sam Wong YouTube creator

Of course, not all things are glamorous in their weekly lives — apartment pipe leaks, going to shops only to find they’re closed, people constantly walking into their meticulously-framed shots. “We leave some of those behind-the-scene shots in because they’re moments that give it a more human aspect,” Sam says. After all, reality isn’t Instagram, and leaning into slow, honest retellings of their weeks have been a much-appreciated break from the pressure to create beautiful imagery. “With YouTube, you can really emphasize the journey of a story and not try to grab people’s attention,” she adds. In a world where social media is bombarded with the next viral hit, going slow can feel like the perfect antidote.

More like this

For those who are inspired to find more beauty in their routines, Sam and Victor say it doesn’t take much to get started. “When we originally started, we were shooting on a DSLR, and then that just took too much time. I even bought a point-and-shoot thinking that that would level up my video, but I never picked it up,” Sam says. “At the end of the day, everyone knows it's not about the gear or the programs you're using to edit. It's more about how you approach your subject and the story behind it that brings people to watch your videos.”

“Just don’t be shy,” Victor adds, noting that vlogging requires an understanding that you’ll often be filming yourself in public spaces. “A lot of people just shoot one angle and then they're done with it. But to tell a continuous story or a good story, shoot multiple angles of that same subject, or of you, to help tell a more dynamic story.”

More like this