Family films are a growing niche among professional photographers. If you’ve wondered about adding them to your offerings, here are a few tips to get you started before you offer family films.
Purchase a mic.
Audio drives story, so a mic is a must. If you’re ready to dive into video, purchase an on-camera stereo mic right away. A stereo mic will capture both the voices and ambient sounds that add richness and depth to your films.
Join me at Filming Life Academy!
If you want to speed-ramp your learning, Filming Life Academy (FLA) is the place to begin. The courses will take you from zero to hero quickly, and the community will encourage and inspire you. I would love for you to join me there!
Build a film portfolio.
Plan on completing at least five full-length (4–6 min.) films prior to offering them to clients. Remember that a portfolio isn’t a portfolio until it’s reviewed by someone more experienced. Film feedback is offered through FLA. Otherwise, reach out to me and we’ll set up a 1:1 mentoring session.
Practice dual shooting.
Every film client wants photos too. You will need to multitask like a boss and deliver a beautiful photo gallery alongside your client’s film. This takes practice. When you want to tear your hair out…message me and I’ll tell you it will get easier, because it will. I’ll also share what’s helped me.
Experiment with different genres.
Avoid niching down too early. Try out short-form/long-form films as well as documentary, lifestyle, fresh 48, newborn, birth, branding, legacy, passion project, and/or vacation films to determine what packages you want to offer your clients.
If you’re running a photography business already, you won’t be able to maintain the shooting pace you currently enjoy once you start booking films. I used to book over a hundred photography sessions a year…last year, I shot 40 (as each had a film associated).
Consider your profitability.
Films demand a huge amount of time. I invest about 20 hours of shooting and editing into a 6–7-minute film. That’s a part-time job for ONE film! Be sure to charge what your time is worth while considering what your area’s market will bear.
Update your website to include films.
Splash your best work up on your website and make sure a film is visible on the first page…ideally your header. Don’t forget to update your SEO with keywords that will capture clients specifically looking for a family film!
Build excitement among existing clients.
As they say, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” ! Plan a big release date for the clients who already love you. Offer a film giveaway. Use compelling newsletter mailings to market family films. Create discontent for photos alone.