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Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

with Courtney Holmes

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  •   Trailer

  •   03 What Are Family Films?

  •   11 The Purpose of Camera Movements


Class duration: 10h 30m

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About The Class

Create Family Films and Preserve Your Memories

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.

Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

  2. 02

    The Spark That Inspired Me

  3. 03

    What Are Family Films?

  4. 04

    Gear for Family Films

  5. 05

    Camera Settings for Video

  6. 06

    Frame Rates & Slow Motion

  7. 07

    Picture Profiles & Color Grading

  8. 08

    Settings for Audio Capture

  9. 09

    Exposure for Video

  10. 10

    Stabilization, Focus Techniques & Shifting Mindset

  11. 11

    The Purpose of Camera Movements

  12. 12

    Camera Movements Demo

  13. 13

    Visual Storytelling: How to Film a Scene

  14. 14

    How to Film a Scene Demo

  15. 15

    B-Roll & Use in Storytelling

  16. 16

    Jump Cuts & How to Avoid Them

  17. 17

    How to Look for & Film Different Types of Light

  18. 18

    The Importance of Audio

  19. 19

    What About Photos? How to Switch Back and Forth

  20. 20

    Client Prep

  21. 21

    Troubleshooting Artificial Light Issues

  22. 22

    Managing Client Expectations

  23. 23

    Uncovering Your Client's Story

  24. 24

    Developing a Story on the Fly

  25. 25

    Think Ahead as a Storyteller

  26. 26

    Student Film Critique

  27. 27

    Ideas for Your First Film

  28. 28

    Create a Shot List for Your Film

  29. 29

    Demo: Interaction With Family at Start of Session

  30. 30

    Demo: Capture Authentic Moments

  31. 31

    Demo: Work the Scene

  32. 32

    Demo: Decide What to Shoot

  33. 33

    Demo: Move From One Location to Another

  34. 34

    Organize Footage & Photos From a Session

  35. 35

    Cull & Edit Photos First

  36. 36

    Sourcing Licensed Music

  37. 37

    Begin to Edit in Premiere Pro

  38. 38

    Editing to The Music

  39. 39

    Scrub Footage & Insert Into Film

  40. 40

    Breaking Down The Final Film

  41. 41

    Editing: Color Grading

  42. 42

    How Much Should You be Charging?

  43. 43

    Marketing Tips for Family Film Business

  44. 44

    Delivery Methods For Family Films


Meet Your Expert

Courtney Holmes

Courtney Holmes is an American born Australian photographer who utilizes a documentary approach to create beautiful, emotional films and photos for families.  ... read more

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Bonus Material

Access your course materials here!

Get access to exclusive bonus content when you purchase this class.

  • pdf Shot List Worksheet Template
  • pdf Shot List Worksheet Example
  • pdf Ideas for Your First Film
  • pdf Discount Code

100% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Adam Nicholls

    December 2018

    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

  • Creativelive Student

    January 2019

    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!

  • AShley


    July 2018

    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!!!!

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