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Cull & Edit Photos First

Lesson 35 from: Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Courtney Holmes

Cull & Edit Photos First

Lesson 35 from: Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Courtney Holmes

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Lesson Info

35. Cull & Edit Photos First


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


The Spark That Inspired Me


What Are Family Films?


Gear for Family Films


Camera Settings for Video


Frame Rates & Slow Motion


Picture Profiles & Color Grading


Settings for Audio Capture


Lesson Info

Cull & Edit Photos First

So I have already pulled in their gallery of photos that I took while we, the photos I took during the session. There's only 112 photos that I took during the session. That's really unders for me. Like I normally would shoot a lot more photos. This session was also shorter than a normal session that I would do. Kinda goes back to the kids asking me when I was gonna leave. (laughs) But, I, just, things happened quicker and I think the priority being the videos, this is why I say, promise 20 or 10 or five when you're first starting. And then, if you over-deliver, you over-deliver. And if you don't, then you don't. Right? So, but when, I think that when there's, when it's harder to capture the moments that are described in the questionnaire, then you are probably gonna be less likely to get photos of those, because your priority is video, and so you're just wanting to make sure that those few times that you know they're gonna happen, you get the video of it, right? I've already culled the...

se, but I'm gonna go through and just show you a little bit of what I shot. So you can get an idea. And then you'll be able to kinda reference this with the other things. Oh this is the, um, hold on. So, we were, we started in the bedroom, and then, I was kinda try to get a little bit of his hair, but I was missing focus. And then, there was something else that happened which drew me back to videos. So I just moved on. And I think that this is one of the things that's the hardest about making photos at the same time as video is it's like, so long as the moment is continuing, you can still, you have the time to make a great photo. It's very very hard to make a great photo and do video at the same time. It's so challenging. Really really hard. But, it's doable. It's just, I think, especially in an environment like this and a session like this, where things are just happening really quickly and there's rarely like that, the length of a moment is so short. It's really hard. And you have to decide that you know, like, baby's not gonna stay with dad for very long. So, I can make a, I can try and make a really good photo of it or I can good video footage of it. And so I just leaned more towards the video footage. I was hoping there would be a nice moment between the baby here that I could capture a photo of. But, all she was doing was cleaning the baby's face. So it was sweet. It was still a sweet photo. And then, you know, the light was really harsh and I liked that the boys were all together, but this feels awkward to me. So I'm not keeping that. And then we're downstairs, so I'm like, that's all the photos that I got in the bedroom. Then we go downstairs and I'm trying to really, I'm focusing the most on the video. I liked this moment here where he was smiling, but I missed what's going on with his hands. So this, to me, is not a great photo. Although, I like the smile, but, it's okay. I'll probably keep it cos I think they might like it. This was highly over-exposed for where it was. What I was trying to achieve there. But they had gone outside and I was trying to get that. He's filling a drink and this is okay, but there's just not much going on here. So I'm not keeping that. I really wanted to get, capture this. He was climbing in between the refrigerator and the wall. But I'm stuck because that's as far back as I can go, and I'm cutting his head off. But, I still kinda like just the way he's got his feet, and I probably would've been better down lower, but, this is where I was, so. Then, I really, there was this sweet moment where she's doing this. Actually I wanna keep that. Oh that's already flagged. With her hand and the baby, and it was challenging to shoot this in a flattering way. But, I end up liking this one. Ah, that's, I thought I cleared all the edits out. And it's a little crooked so I have to fix that. I liked this where they are with the dinosaurs. And this is something that we were doing that wasn't picked up in the behind-the-scenes. But, this would've been better if I had been lower and gotten his actual expression of his face. But, you can still see a little bit. But I don't like the fork that's coming out of his head. There's so many things I don't like about it. But yeah. Sometimes I think, you know when you're the both, you just do the best that you can. This is one I picked as well. Again, going back to the hands, the chubby hands and his, this one photo I was trying to get. The other thing I'm kinda hyper-aware of is the fact, oops, is the fact that, momma's a photographer and she's gotta lotta great photos of her kids already. And so, you know, I don't really mean to get as many for her. So, this one of the times that, when I walk into this room make this photo and I'm like, that's over-exposed. And then we go and they're doing this cute thing here. This is a moment where she's in the, the nursery. One photo of that. And then, with, while they're spinning on the swing, tire, and then, outside. This was, I was, I should've waited longer. This is kind of a non-photo. I'm not even sure why I took it. This was a, I was trying to get more of action between them, but this was right when they started throwing things at each other. So this was the beginning of working this from a photography point of view, but then they started, you see these things that are here. This is what they were throwing at each other. So they started picking those up and I was like, mm, I probably won't shoot through this. (clears throat) This is really hard. Like aesthetically. There's so much going on in this. So, in the nursery. Some of these, too, were that, I was shooting over my head, you don't see this in behind-the-scenes. But we, I was shooting over my head, and that's hit and miss sometimes. So, here we are in the backyard, and I've really just run out here because, from indoors, because I am trying to get to the outside, and my settings are not super great because I still had the variable ND filter on. And I hadn't fixed it. But I was trying to get a little bit of dad and the feet in that open space there. And then, this was really sweet but very hard to shoot. Where the little boy was under the trampoline with dad. And it was kind of one of those things, I was trying to shoot also up and through the netting. But it was one of those things that was like, do I, what do I focus on here? Am I focusing on the child jumping, or am I focusing on the little moment that's happening between the boy and the dad? And if I focused on the moment that was happening between the boy and the dad, I probably woulda had to wait a lot longer and probably woulda missed a lotta the jumping. And, the jumping was kind of the whole reason he was under there. And so I tried to get a little bit of both. But, sometimes, when you do that, you don't, you really have to decide. It's better if you choose one and stick with it, than try to go between, because you don't do very good a job of either. Right? So, now he's in the garden. This is a photo that I like. That I'll pick between where it's just showing this like, similarities between the dad and the little, and the middle child. Later they go and sit on dad's lap. This is a moment when they're like, "When are you leaving?" (laughter) "When are you going?" So, later they go and read together. And, so I try to get a little bit of their interaction in their room. Then this is where mom is getting baby out of bed. Dad comes in there as well. From a story-telling point of view, I know I can't include any footage of dad doing any of that. Just because I'm still kinda rolling with the story that she's up there with the baby, and it just doesn't work. There's not enough transition to show any of that. But she sits, and also, because he's in there so briefly, and there's no great moments that happened between him and anybody, so I'm not gonna include it. And so, sorry, you're seeing all my already-edits. I'm trying to reset them as I go. But, so there's this sweet moment where she's reading with the baby, and, next to the window. None of that was guided by me. But then he's starting to lose it, so, she's getting him dressed, and then we go outside. And, then we're moving on. One of the things that she said was his freckles she really liked, so I wanted to get a photo of that. So, then we get to the park, and I'm trying to get some of this foreground through to there, but I'm waiting because I want the other child to join us, because at the moment it looks like a family of four. There he is. It's not great. I should have moved over. But then they started talking to him about the eagle, and then I switched back to video. So it's hard because, it's like, you wanna wait and spend the time getting a great photo. But, when video's a priority, you have to make the call whether you wait for it, or you just move to video. (clears throat) Then they're, I only shot this cos the camera guy wanted me to, he wanted to take more, he wanted to get a little bit of footage of me from a specific angle shooting them, so that's why these are in there. But, I still like that photo. But, yeah, so that's not really so much of an ending, but they were getting ready to leave again. And that's when I was like you guys have been great. Thank you so much, you know. I've got enough. And they were like, "are you sure?" Like, "Was it okay? "We were alright?" And I'm like, yes. You were great. You were wonderful. I think it's really surprising, you can take a, what seems like a difficult situation, and always make something beautiful out of it. You can still make something really, really beautiful out of it. And I think that's where the magic of this is, right? Especially with video, so, that's where we're gonna get into later. Is the actual video-editing process. So just really quickly, before we go, this is the set that I would end up with. From the session. This is what I would deliver. My process for editing is so simple. I do use presets. I don't have, like I said, time, for me, I just wanna get it done as quickly as possible, not hand-editing all my photos. This is a preset that I've purchased that I just feel like works the best for all of my work. Kinda no matter what I do. It's like everything I use this preset on, and it's either LXENO-1 or LXENO-1H. Which is Tribe Archipelago presets. And, I will have to do some tweaking. It does tend to de-saturate greens, a lotta times I'll bring those back because I don't like a super de-saturated green. Sometimes I'll also have to remove some orange, but it's rare. If you shoot it well, then it just works for the way that I shoot. I find that presets don't work for everybody. You probably know that. And so you really need to tweak for what works for you. And, even better, if you hand-edit, and have your own. Being, you know, your own unique style. But for me, this just feels like me. Every time I put it on, it feels right, it feels like me. And, you know, I don't feel, it just feels good. So, always works, and I'm just, I feel like, lucky. I'm so thankful. Thank you, Tribe. (laughter) You've saved me so much time. (laughs) So, yeah. So, that's it. I could easily batch edit and sync all of this. Maybe do a couple of cropping fixes, that's it. That's the extent. On the one where dad's under the trampoline, for that one, because it would be, probably, a little bit dark. Like it's a little bit darker here. Oh maybe this one. So he's a little bit dark. Probably, what I would do, is do a radial filter here. Over him. Do a little bit of this. Invert it. Bring that up just a touch, shadows up just a touch, clarity down. Just, whoop, didn't mean to do that. Just to make him pop a little bit more. Like, that's the extent of the editing that I'll do. So that photo's done.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

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

Ratings and Reviews

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!!!!

Student Work