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Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Lesson 43 of 44

Marketing Tips for Family Film Business

Courtney Holmes

Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Courtney Holmes

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Lesson Info

43. Marketing Tips for Family Film Business


  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

Marketing Tips for Family Film Business

"I've learned that people will forget what you've said, "people will forget what you did, but people will never "forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou. So, this last bit, "never forget how you made them feel", I feel like this is central to my whole business, right? I mean, that is the goal. It's to make them feels something. Every person who, I'm very strategic about the images that I put on my website. Everything that I show online, I want the viewer to feel something when they see it, to feel something when they watch it. And for me, that emotional pull, that heart string tug, that's what brings people to me. So, then we go into the marketing strategy. Build an email list and stop relying on social media to book clients, okay? If that's what you're doing already. I'm not assuming but I think this has been one of the best things that I've done to build my business has been to stop relying on being seen on Facebook. Stop worrying so much about whether your post is getting seen ...

or not. Your concern should be more about connecting with your people and if you have their email address, you will show up in their email box. And if you do a good job of talking to them and giving them great content in their inbox, then they're more likely to open up the next one, and then open up the next one. And then don't sell them every single email you send out. Don't try to sell them every time. You get a opportunity to reach out to them again and again. And a lot of it is just saying to them, it might just be something that you've been up to lately. You might be sharing a recent film that you've done. The sky's the limit for content that you can send out to these people. You're more likely to reach them through email directly than on social media, alright? So, I would focus more on making it a really obvious place on your website and give a really great reason for why they would sign up to your newsletter in the first place. And this could be an incentive like $100 off your first session with me. Or it might be a guide that you create that has information about something that is local to you, that your clients would love to know a little bit more about. Maybe there's something, a guide that you could write for them, that they would really like to see. Giving them that so that when they join your newsletter, they get access to that guide straight away. There area ways that you can automate this whole process and then it encourages people to join your newsletter and then you can reach out to them as well. One thing that I did early on was the marketing fairs. I don't know if you have these here but there's little community type markets that are run in our town center and you can buy a stall and have your stuff set up on display. And so I had a list or a sign up sheet and they would get a print. There would be one person chosen at random to receive a print with their next session when they booked, or something like that. It was some sort of marketing thing I had decided on. But just any kind of incentive to get them onto your newsletter list so that they are signing up to get any information from you. So then that gives you the opportunity to add more people to your list because you're then talking to them in person and they remember you. You're getting your face out there in the community. You're networking with the people and you're not relying as much on social media. The biggest thing for me has been to just show up, share the work, and repeat. If you're serious about your business, and you have set, dedicated days of when you're gonna work. You have set, dedicated days that you've got dedicated to sessions. If you don't have a session on that date, find a session to do on that date so that you can do the work, so that you can share the work, and then repeat, okay? So, you keep doing that, you keep showing up, and sharing, and working, doing the work, doing the sessions, the word of mouth about you is gonna build, okay? So, this kind of ties in to doing the work for free. So, you're finding a session to do. This is not necessarily trying to offer a bunch of discounts and grab somebody. This is be strategic. Find someone who you can book. You have a free session date, do a session on that date. Okay, whether it's for free or it's paid, do a session on that date. Do the work. Show up. You'll get the experience. You'll get better as a photographer, as a film maker, because you have the work to work on. You're gonna have something to share. The more you're sharing these films, the more people are gonna love them and want to do one for themselves. When people see their friends in a film, they're like, "I need one of those for me." So, it might be that you offer one to someone who you know has a really large network of people. They have a really big friend network. And they might be the kind of person who talks really nicely about others. And they might be great to market for you. You speak to them. You offer them a film. You do a film for them. You share their film, you tag them in it. You send it out to your newsletter list. These people, their friends will see it. They will gravitate towards this and the more you do this kind of thing, the more the word of mouth will spread. And that's gonna help you. So, for me, building my business is not overnight. It's not anything that just all of a sudden it was like everybody wanted to book me for a film. I started out with offering films to existing clients, people that I had already been working with as photography clients. Sometimes it was that they had a photography session booked with me and I said to them, "Hey, would it be okay if maybe we just spent an extra hour "and I'm gonna do some video and photos, "and I can't promise you that I'm gonna do anything "with the video but I'm experimenting "and I would really love to try this with your family. "I'm gonna make sure you still get "all the photos that you need. "And I'm just gonna start adding in video as a secondary." So, the photos are still the priority but for me this was just a way to start practicing with the video with an existing client. So, that's how I started. And then it was I had some clients who were photography clients from maybe last year and I contact them and say to them would they like to do just a film session where film was a priority? 'Cause I was starting to shift away from photos being the priority to videos being the priority. So I'd start offering it to them because they had already booked with me last year. I kinda knew them already and so it was a little bit easier, I felt, for me to go in and do a film session with them. Use films as an incentive to book. So, it might be that you run a promo for an upgrade to a film session. So, you might "Book a photography session "within the next 48 hours "and get a bonus film valued at blah." So, if you're wanting to start incorporating the video but still get paid for it, you can use it as an incentive. Book a photography session, they get a bonus video at the end. And sometimes it might be that that film will be like two minutes instead of three and a half or four. That's okay. Be strategic with your pricing. When you first start offering a film on it's own with a photography session on it's own, and people are still really new to understanding what films are, if your films are $1000 more than your photography session and they're both all inclusive, not many people are gonna book the film, okay? So, be strategic with that. And it might be that your pricing is set higher but your early bird price is closer to what your photography price is at the beginning. It might be that you increase your photography price to be a little bit closer to what your film price is. If you are like, "Films are all I wanna do. "I want my business to be all films." Stop offering photography sessions, okay? That's what I did for a really long time. It was just, if you booked with me you were getting a film. So, if that's what you want your business to primarily be, stop offering the photography sessions. If they want photos with you, they'll book a film and they'll get photos still, okay? So, if that's where you wanna end up, films only. And that was scary but trust that you'll get there. It'll get to that point.

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!!!!