Family playing outside during photo and video session

How to Make Family Films for Photographers | Videography for Beginners

Have you ever wondered how to take your family photography to the next level? Or considered adding something truly special to your photography offerings that will set you apart from the crowd? Well, you’re in the right place! I’m Becca, a mom of two, and for over a decade, I’ve been capturing the raw, beautiful chaos of family life through photos. But here’s the exciting part—In the past few years I’ve started creating lifestyle family films for my clients, and it’s been a game-changer.

Now, I want to share what I have learned with you. Imagine being able to create not just photos but moving, heartfelt family videos that bring your clients’ stories to life in a whole new way. It’s an adventure waiting to happen, and I’m here to guide you every step of the way.

If you prefer to watch instead of read:

How Family Filmmaking Will Benefit Your Photography Business

Think about your favorite memories with your family. Maybe it’s the spontaneous laughter during a game night, the warm hugs after a long day, or the simple joy of a lazy weekend morning together. These are the moments we treasure, the moments we want to freeze in time and relive over and over again.

As family photographers, we’ve mastered the art of capturing these moments in still images. We’ve clicked away at countless smiles, hugs, and admiring glances, freezing them in beautiful photographs that decorate our clients’ homes. But what if I told you there’s a way to take these memories a step further? What if you could not only capture those smiles but also the movement of a family dance party, the heartfelt embraces, and the genuine emotions that unfold in real-time?

That’s where family videography comes into play. It’s being able to preserve these moments, not just as pictures but as living, breathing stories. In this digital age, videos have become an integral part of our lives, and as photographers, embracing this medium can be a game-changer for your business.

Family videography isn’t just a trend; it’s a valuable addition to your skill set that can benefit both you and your clients in numerous ways. Here’s why you should consider adding it to your toolbox:

Videos Are Emotion in Motion

Videos have this special ability to capture not only visual moments but also the emotions and full scenes surrounding them. A well-crafted family film can transport viewers back to that exact moment, allowing them to relive the joy, love, and laughter that filled it.

Stand Out in a Crowded Market

The photography world can sometimes feel like a crowded room where it’s hard to make your voice heard. But here’s the thing: by adding family videography to your skill set, you’re not just standing out; you’re becoming the photographer families seek out when they want something truly special. Your uniqueness will be your megaphone in that crowded room.

Diversify Your Income by Offering Family Films

With the right skills, family videography can become an additional source of income for your business. By offering premium packages that include both photos and family films, you not only differentiate yourself but also boost your income potential with the same amount of clients.

Deepen Client Connections

Providing family films creates a deeper connection with your clients, transforming you into the storyteller of their cherished memories. You’re not just a photographer; you become a trusted part of their journey, someone they’ll rely on as their family grows and evolves. When I deliver videos to clients, they often share how it moved them to tears, seeing their family’s love and dynamics captured so vividly. It’s a powerful experience, seeing themselves and their relationships with their children portrayed in such a meaningful way. Being able to give your clients this incredible gift is not just a service; it’s a heartfelt experience that often turns clients into lifelong cheerleaders. Such deep emotional impact is what sets family films apart, making them an invaluable addition to your photography services.

Explore Your Creative Side

Videography opens up a world of creative possibilities. You can experiment with storytelling, music, and motion to craft unique and memorable family films. It’s not only fun, it will make you a better photographer, too!

Future-Proof Your Business With Videography

In the ever-changing online world, videos are gaining popularity on social media. By offering family videography, you’re future-proofing your business. You’ll be well-prepared to meet the increasing demand for videos and stay ahead of industry trends. Just like the shift from film to digital photography and the recent move to mirrorless cameras, family photography is evolving, and soon, I bet everyone will want a family video.

Why Family Videography is a Seamless Addition to Your Photography Business

As a family photographer, you’ve already mastered the art of capturing beautiful moments through your lens. Now, it’s time to explore how seamlessly integrating family films into your photography business can open up a world of creative possibilities.

In this section, we’ll look at the reasons why family videography is not just a valuable addition but a natural extension of your existing photography skills. Discover how your current equipment, creative talents, and the guidance provided will make this transition smooth and rewarding.

Utilize Your Existing Photo Equipment

Good news! You probably don’t need to invest in new gear to start offering videography! Your trusty camera and lenses are your companions on this filmmaking journey. As long as you have a camera that can take video at 1080p and 60fps for most countries or 50fps for Europe and UK residents (just google your camera) and a camera lens with a focal length of 24-50mm, you are ready to go!

Leverage Your Photography Skills

Because you’re a photographer, you already possess the creative eye and composition skills essential for great family films.

Minimal Learning Curve

You don’t have to start from scratch. I’ll guide you through the process, making it easy to transition from photography to videography.

Quick Tips for Getting Started With Videography

Getting started with family videography can be super exciting and a bit scary sometimes. But don’t worry, I’ve got some quick tips to help you get started with the right camera settings and gear, especially if you’re aiming to capture those beautiful, emotion-filled slow-motion moments that you see in my work.

1. Must-Haves for Videography:

  • A Professional Camera: The cornerstone of videography is a reliable, high-quality camera. For family films, especially those shot in slow motion, a camera capable of shooting 1080p at 60fps for most countries or 50fps for Europe and UK residents is what you’ll want. Most professional cameras will be able to do this but you can google your camera to see.
  • Lenses: A lens with a focal length in the range of 24-50mm is ideal. This range is perfect for hand-held shooting, as anything over 50mm can become challenging to stabilize. Prime lenses with wide apertures are excellent for those intimate, shallow depth-of-field scenes, but a zoom lens provides more versatility. I personally love prime lenses.
  • Knowing How to Shoot in Manual: Mastering manual mode is key to producing professional videos. It puts you in full control, letting you fine-tune aperture, shutter speed, and ISO for perfect lighting. Unlike Auto mode, which can unpredictably alter exposure during a shoot and potentially spoil your footage, manual mode keeps settings consistent. If you’re new to manual, I recommend spending time practicing to familiarize yourself with your camera’s features. This way, you can confidently capture beautifully lit and consistent videos every time.

2. Understanding Camera Settings:

  • Resolution and Frame Rate: Set your camera to shoot in 1080p at 60fps(for most countries) or 50fps (for Europe and UK residents). This is the sweet spot for creating stunning slow-motion footage in post-production while maintaining high-quality footage. Shooting at 60 frames per second allows you to slow down your footage smoothly, adding that dreamy, romantic quality to your films.
  • Shutter Speed: A good rule of thumb for shutter speed is to set it at double your frame rate for natural-looking motion blur. So, for 60fps, set your shutter speed to 1/125th of a second.
  • Aperture and ISO: Adjust your aperture to control the depth of field – a wider aperture (lower f-number) for those beautiful, cinematic blurry backgrounds but when it’s really bright outside, you may need to raise that number up quite a bit. Your ISO setting will depend on your lighting conditions, but always aim for the lowest ISO possible to avoid noise in your footage.

3. Video Editing Essentials:

  • Editing Software: For transforming your raw footage into beautiful family films, editing software is key. Adobe Premiere Pro offers extensive options and flexibility for those who want more control over their edits, including advanced color grading and effects. For those on a budget or just starting out, iMovie is a great choice, with basic editing tools in a user-friendly interface.
  • Adding LUTs: When editing in professional software like Adobe Premiere Pro, LUTs (like presets, but for video) are highly recommended. They are essentially color grading presets that can instantly bring your footage from blah to beautiful. If you’re using iMovie, you won’t have the direct ability to apply LUTs, but you can create a similar effect by first applying presets in Lightroom to your stills and then exporting your clips to then bring into iMovie.
  • Licensed Music: The right music can elevate your family film from good to unforgettable. It’s important to use licensed music to avoid any legal issues. For free options, sites like YouTube Audio Library offer a variety of tracks, although they can sometimes sound a bit corny. If you’re looking for something more heartfelt, platforms like FyrFly or Musicbed provide extensive libraries of high-quality, licensed music. These platforms not only offer a wide range of genres and moods to match your film’s tone but also ensure that you’re legally covered to use their tracks in your projects.
family with two parents and two little girls being played with in a field

Want to Learn More?

Feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of diving into family videography on your own? You’re not alone. Many photographers find themselves endlessly scouring the internet, attempting to piece together the knowledge they need, yet still falling short. That’s where Families in Motion: A Photographers Guide to Family Films comes to the rescue.

What to Expect in the Course:

  • Structured Learning: Families in Motion is thoughtfully organized, taking you step-by-step through the process of becoming a confident family videographer.
  • Expert Insights: Benefit from the expertise of a seasoned videographer (me!) who has created over 40 family films, distilling real-world experience into actionable lessons.
  • Community Support: Join a community of fellow learners who share your passion and can provide invaluable support and encouragement.

A Sneak Peek Inside the Families in Motion Course

Module 1: Shooting Video – Module 1 is your guide to getting started with family videography. You’ll start from scratch, learning the basics, settings, stabilizing techniques, shooting modes, and crafting compelling stories. It also covers the technical aspects, including natural lighting mastery to capture mesmerizing footage.

Module 2: Client Success – Module 2 focuses on building client relationships, prepping your clients, delivering videos professionally, pricing strategies, and legal essentials. Discover how to strategically grow your portfolio and market your videography services.

Module 3: Behind The Scenes – Get an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse into a videography + photography session. Watch me work during a real family session as I switch between photo and video and keep two little ones engaged.

Module 4: Editing in Premiere Pro – Module 4 is all about video editing in Premiere Pro (but the concepts here will translate into any editing software you choose). From organizing files and creating rough drafts to adding music, adjusting color, and mastering transitions, this module covers it all. You’ll even stabilize shaky footage and learn how to make video exporting easy.

Module 5: Advanced Techniques – Take your skills to the next level with advanced techniques like double exposure, extending audio, creating custom shortcuts, and optimizing your videos for social media reels. Plus, watch me critique two of my older videos and learn from my mistakes.

Module 6: Editing with iMovie – Discover how to tweak your workflow for iMovie if you’d like to use this free program to edit your videos. Compare your editing experience between iMovie and Premiere Pro, expanding your skill set.

Module 7: Resources/Links – Access my list of resources and links to support your videography journey.

PLUS, you’ll get these amazing bonuses:

  • Lifetime access to 7+ hours of video training.
  • Membership in the Families in Motion Facebook Community, your go-to hub for questions, feedback, and new connections.
  • Downloadable LUT (a video preset) to enhance the visual appeal of your films.
  • A Premiere Pro Export Preset to simplify your exporting process.
  • Cheat Sheets for quick reference during shooting and editing, ensuring a smooth videography experience.
mom bouncing laughing toddler girl while dad swings daughter during family film and photo session

What People Are Saying

This is the best online course I have ever taken. Becca is a gifted teacher and a brilliant photographer-videographer, but my favorite thing about this course is that it feels like spending time with a friend. She shares every step of her own videography process —in detail —and provides specific actionable steps so that I left the course feeling not only like I CAN DO IT, but also I’m EXCITED to do it! If you’ve wanted to try videography but are intimidated by Adobe Premiere or have tried shooting video but it just doesn’t look professional, this course is what you need. I’m going to tell everyone who even mentions wanting to learn videography. I feel lucky I found this course!”

Melissa Miller Photos, Washington

“I have been a student of Becca for years now and I truly can appreciate all her work put into all her courses. They are simplified enough to understand each step and not as intimidating as you would think. About 9 months ago, Becca mentored me on how to create family films. Since then my films have been such a special piece to offer clients and a boost in my sales. She’s down to earth and so easy to understand. I had the opportunity to beta test this course and I even learned some new tips and tricks!!! She shares it all, no secrets in her courses. I know as a photographer it can be hard to invest in so many courses but if you’re really wanting to take your business to another level invest in this one!!”

CC Portraits, Oregon

Join me in Families in Motion: A Photographer’s Guide to Family Films!

Now that you’ve seen the amazing potential that family videography holds for photographers, I hope you’re excited to start learning! Capturing the laughter, movement, and genuine emotions of families in motion is not just a skill; it’s a game-changer for your photography business.

Enrolling in Families in Motion: A Photographer’s Guide to Family Films means you’ll not only get access to over seven hours of video content but also become part of our wonderful community. It’s like having a group of friends who share your passion for photography and videography.

So, if you’re curious and want to explore this new avenue, I’d be thrilled to have you on board. We’ll learn together, create amazing family films, and have a great time doing it. If this sounds like something you’d love to offer your clients, join me in Families in Motion!

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One Comment

  1. That’s an excellent blog post. I am going to add films to my photography business and that’s all what I needed to know to start learning the process. Thank you!

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