Eager to incorporate video into your photo sessions?
Four professionals share how they run successful combo sessions with photography and videography!
1. Carefully choose your settings.
Alison Winterroth says, “Make sure you take time with your settings – don’t rush through choosing them! It is much harder to recover highlights and change white balance after the fact, so study your screen and make sure you are happy with what you see. If you take the time beforehand it will save you a ton of headache when editing!”
2. Pre-visualize your final product.
For Amy Cyphers and Kim Bear of The Wild Child Photography, one of their top tips is to envision the final product prior to shooting. “Take the time to pre-visualize your final video,” they say. “Consider motions or props that will enhance your story. Storyboard out a list of shots that include a mixture of main subject shots and detail shots. Try picking a song before you video and while you are thinking of your shot list play the song to help give you ideas that may go along with the lyrics.“
3. Know who you’re filming.
Another Winterroth suggestion is to “get to know the families you are filming.” Alison says, “Learn what they love to do, their silly traditions, where they go. Those are thing that people will want to remember, not the perfect outfits or cheesy smiles. Make sure you film the families in their element and your films will tell a beautiful story.”
4. Longer doesn’t mean better.
Quality over quantity right? Catherine Lubbat says, “Films do not always have to be super long. I knew in this video, I wanted to capture my daughter in all her essence and I feel like I was able to accomplish that with a 1 minute long video. While filming your family, try some creative techniques! Don’t be afraid to explore different lenses (for instance I used my macro lens to capture her eyelashes and the shots of her licking her lips). I also placed a plastic bag over part of my lens while she was playing the piano to create a sort of “dreamy/foggy” look. Sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t but the most important part is to explore and have fun. Before filming, think about the mood you want your film to portray and film accordingly. I knew for the portrait, I wanted to pull out emotion so I shot it with intention to edit in slow motion (and shots that would fit well with slow motion such as hair movement, blinking, spinning, etc.) with music that would accompany the mood as well. Lastly, planning is key. Have a game plan of cool shots you know you want to capture and a storyline to follow in order to have a more successful film.”
5. Vacations count, too!
Another suggestion from Cyphers and Bear is to make a video of your vacation. “Take little clips of all of the fun places you go. Document your family’s adventure with details of where you went, what you ate, who you saw, and their fun expressions. Don’t forgot to include yourself. If you are driving don’t be afraid to pack a tripod to capture beautiful landscape scenes and to make it easy for you to jump in the scene. Remember that your video is only going to be a couple of minutes so don’t feel like you have to capture everything all the time. Put the camera down and have a great time too!”
6. Music matters.
Lubbat also recommends finding the right tune to enhance the mood of the video. Specifically, “Details count! As a mother, we do not want to forget special details like how we rub our loved one’s back or the way we like to play with their hair. So while filming for other families, it is important that you communicate with your client and see what special things they do with their children and film those small details! Be sure to change your perspective and get different angles while filming. If you stay with the same angle the entire time, you will not get enough creative footage and your film can become stagnant and the audience will lose interest. Lastly, while it is important to capture true, authentic emotion, don’t be afraid to give some direction. A lot of people freeze up when they know a camera is in front of their face so it is okay to give small direction in order to make the client more comfortable and bring out true emotion.”