A note from Zeefeene: This article was kindly written by The Rickest Rick, from the toool.uk discord server. You can read the first part here. If you’re interested in writing an article for toool.uk, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
My Picking Journey – From Injury to YouTube (Part 2)
Welcome to, or welcome back for part 2 of my journey from picking hobbyist with severe backpain obstacles, to enthusiast, to locksport video blogger. If you haven’t read part 1, it’s not necessary to understand this chapter. However, I recommend reading part 1 to understand why some things have taken time to happen along my journey.
In part 1, I left off with advice about making adjustments for comfort, whilst remembering to take rests where required. Along my journey, about 3 months in, I discovered the belt ranking system and was compelled to use it for focusing on what locks I wanted to pick next.
But, for advancing in belts, this required video evidence. I may come across as a very confident person, but when it comes to videos it’s completely different. Knowing people will watch them, trying to make sure I don’t make daft mistakes? This is difficult for me. I can talk to people all day, and have no issue, but when I’m talking to a camera my brain just blanks. It’s easy to talk about what I’m doing at that time, or describing pins, because it’s focused. But “outros”? Well, that becomes a bit of a problem.
This idea ended up getting shelved for a while, between my back issues (which I hadn’t figured out at this point), stopping picking sessions, confidence in myself recording, and just generally not wanting to put time and effort into recording/editing/uploading, I didn’t think about the idea for a while. After a couple more months I discovered the Toool.uk discord server. Shortly after I started joining in weekly group calls with my camera on to show what I was picking if anyone wanted to discuss the lock with me.
I also began getting more involved with the community in various forms, from an online forum (which was the first community I joined) to Facebook groups and discord servers. I found myself becoming more involved with trying to help people if I knew how to help them. Or if I knew a video that would help, I would direct them towards that so they could overcome that particular obstacle. Becoming involved with communities opened up another avenue to me; Challenge locks.
As I started picking more and more challenge locks, whilst coming across more difficult stock locks that would progress my belt ranking, I began to think about videos again. I became more confident in myself. I had found ways to allow myself to pick more, building on my skills. However (because of my other responsibilities and priorities) I still wasn’t happy about the time-consuming aspect of editing, waiting on uploads, or the real-life factors that may blow a take and need to be restarted.
I was getting further and further involved with the communities, making friends who I was in contact with via PM’s just to see how each other were doing, or doing silent videos to help with an explanation I was giving to someone who needed help. Finally, I realised that I was doing everything except for talking on the video, and I wanted to keep helping people even more, whilst creating talking points to extend my hobby even further.
Before discussing my idea in a public forum, I toyed with the varying concepts and aspects from name ideas to upload frequency. I eventually persuaded myself to take the plunge and create my Pickin’ Rick account when I was asked for tips about picking my favourite type of lock; American Lock AL1100’s.
My setup is fairly simple, yet does exactly what I need it too. I continued to use my table setup with the 2 boxes. For the recording, I ordered myself a tripod stand with a built-in ring light, whilst using the iPhone 11 I already owned.
Initially I directly uploaded to YouTube from my iPhone, until I created a video that required more complex video editing than the standard iPhone provides. After researching various video editing software and seeking advice from a well-established YouTube locksporter, I settled on Adobe Premiere 15.0 Pro. Here is a picture of how my setup usually looks. I used the same phone to take the picture as I use for video, so it is obviously missing from the bracket fixed to the ring light.
I found I myself enjoying recording the videos more and more. From picking my stock locks to picking challenge locks. And I was really enjoying the discussions I was having with other community members. There was only 1 more thing I had not done… streaming. This would be the real test for me. Being a chef by trade, you can imagine my vocabulary can be… Colourful, to say the least. However, having children I have learned to turn off certain words. So, after many talks with a fellow community member (PickedItMate) I was finally persuaded to log onto Twitch and set up my Pickin’ Rick account.
I currently have 65 subscribers on YouTube, and 10 Followers on Twitch. I never once thought about trying to hit big time numbers. If I only reach 70 subscribers, I will be happy. My videos have helped people, but more importantly, I’ve had more interactions with new people. I started locksport for a new hobby. And when I discovered the community, with so many awesome people who are always willing to trade locks, ideas or knowledge, I knew I wanted to do my bit to help fellow pickers along their journey.
So, that’s my story so far.
I had to make some considerations to make picking easier. I had to grow as a person to fully realise the enjoyment to be gained from our hobby – not just the picking – communication and the friendships that became available to me. And the journey has been worth it in so many ways.
If you are considering doing videos, streaming, or even just wondering about joining groups, I implore you to make the leap. I have not looked back on my decisions to join communities, record videos or stream. My enjoyment of locksport continues to grow exponentially.
You will feel stressed with difficult locks, I know I do. But there are people out there willing to help…. It may even be me you happen across.
Most importantly, enjoy your hobby. Enjoy it however is best for you. You may need to change or adapt some of your methods, but all that matters is that the changes work for you. We all do this hobby because we enjoy it immensely. When the hobby unlocks doors to friendships, that is the biggest positive of all.
I hope my posts were enjoyable and helpful. I hope to see you all in the future where we can trade tips and ideas.
Thanks for reading and – in doing so – joining me on my journey.
Have a great weekend. And or course… happy pickin’!