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Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Lesson 17 of 44

How to Look for & Film Different Types of Light

Courtney Holmes

Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Courtney Holmes

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Lesson Info

17. How to Look for & Film Different Types of Light


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:09:38
2 The Spark That Inspired Me Duration:13:50
3 What Are Family Films? Duration:06:15
4 Gear for Family Films Duration:11:50
5 Camera Settings for Video Duration:02:56
6 Frame Rates & Slow Motion Duration:20:48
8 Settings for Audio Capture Duration:14:13
9 Exposure for Video Duration:13:21
12 Camera Movements Demo Duration:12:02
14 How to Film a Scene Demo Duration:09:22
15 B-Roll & Use in Storytelling Duration:17:57
16 Jump Cuts & How to Avoid Them Duration:04:30
18 The Importance of Audio Duration:10:45
20 Client Prep Duration:10:49
22 Managing Client Expectations Duration:10:39
23 Uncovering Your Client's Story Duration:17:51
24 Developing a Story on the Fly Duration:07:12
25 Think Ahead as a Storyteller Duration:11:45
26 Student Film Critique Duration:38:56
27 Ideas for Your First Film Duration:06:31
31 Demo: Work the Scene Duration:28:12
32 Demo: Decide What to Shoot Duration:26:06
35 Cull & Edit Photos First Duration:17:09
36 Sourcing Licensed Music Duration:14:57
37 Begin to Edit in Premiere Pro Duration:07:08
38 Editing to The Music Duration:19:54
40 Breaking Down The Final Film Duration:37:38
41 Editing: Color Grading Duration:15:51

Lesson Info

How to Look for & Film Different Types of Light

This goes back to my whole experience with depression, P&D after my daughter was born, being really sick during pregnancy. And after a while I noticed I was shooting my photos really dark, like I really leaned towards the moody, dark edits. And light, I loved exploring this relationship between light and shadow in my photos, and I was sitting down and trying to really understand why that is, like why am I so drawn to doing that? And I worked out that the reason is because for me light represents hope. So I'm so drawn to that in my work, my images, because that's what made me feel hopeful. That's how photography was my therapy. That's what pulled me through, and I do this for families, too, because I feel like incorporating light into their films, it's just adding in that hope for them as well. And it's just part of who I am. So any time that I can bring in light and photograph light, and film light, I especially love filming light because it just, like I said, breathes life into it...

, I will. That's why it plays a really heavy part in my work. So examples of the way that I'll film light. I'm looking for dappled light. I love when there's sunlight coming through trees, and the trees are moving, windy. Windy days, they're good. So the trees, the leaves are moving and you've got this dappled light that's got movement in it. I love, love, love that. That's just on the deck. The sun flare through a window, I love to incorporate if I can. Backlight. Anything where I can get light through something, through, like this is just moving grass. Is that grass, weeds, something? Reflected light. There's a million different possibilities of light. These are just some examples of what I do. And light is what inspires me to shoot. Window light. Just that really soft, beautiful, this is what they see when they wake up in the morning light. So I think that if you are inspired by light as well, learning to observe it, recognize it, and shoot it is going to add a lot to your films. Incorporating it into your films, it's gonna add a lot to it.

Class Description

Portrait photographers capture moments in time for families, parents, and children. But in order to tell the whole story, you need to switch your camera to video mode, and become the storyteller behind the camera. Join Courtney Holmes, family photographer, filmmaker, and founder of FilmingLife Academy as she empowers you to add video to your photography business.

In this class, Courtney takes you on location to a home in Seattle to see how she organizes a family shoot from start to finish. You will learn in a unique way how Courtney works to capture authentic family moments on video and how to stay flexible in a new home environment that you’ve never filmed in before. 

Courtney will teach you:

  • How to change your mindset from photographer to videographer
  • How to add videography to your brand
  • Pricing and marketing tips
  • What to ask in order to capture the best story for your clients
  • The technical skills you’ll need for video
  • Post-processing using Adobe® Premiere Pro®
  • How to choose music, import, organize, create, and polish the final product

Courtney has learned how to make filmmaking into a viable business, and is going to give you the tools to move forward and tell the stories that families will treasure for a lifetime.


Adam Nicholls

Worth a watch! Courtney provides a clear and organised class, she is also very passionate about what she does which is always nice to see. She has a great back story which is fantastic. This course is good for beginners who have some knowledge in photography and want to learn more about video. I would recommend that people do not refer this class to the bible of filmmaking as I feel you can expand further on what Courtney teaches. Some useful tips for beginners but some methods I personally feel can be taught differently. I feel a gimbal is a useful bit of kit if used correctly. You can still use a gimbal when in manual mode providing you follow the basics rules! Obviously if Courtney prefers not to use a gimbal then that's also fine but I wouldn't discourage students from exploring useful filmmaking tools. Slow motion can be achieved with 50/60fps however I feel other frame rates should have been discussed like 120fps. I liked that Courtney engaged with the students as it gets them involved and will help them remember what they have learned during the class. Thank you for taking the time to share some of your knowledge

a Creativelive Student

Courtney's work is absolutely amazing and inspiring. I feel lucky that she has chosen to share her process and that this class is available! After watching all the videos and trying my hand at this video thing, I am feeling really encouraged and inspired to do more- both personally and professionally. I appreciate the way that she breaks things down in the video and that she shares her thought process. A really great course!


Courtney’s course completes me! I have storytelling “holes” in my film previously, but this course helped fill those holes to create a flow and a film with emotion. Not only is the course wonderful (and well worth every penny) but Courtney is wonderful as well! I had such an amazing experience at Creative Live!!!!