Courtney Holmes of www.courtneyholmes.com.au is a visual story teller who shoots both stills and video clips for her lifestyle portrait clients – visual story telling at its finest. Take one look at her work and I think you'll agree. In this interview, Courtney shares the ins and outs of her business and exactly how you can introduce video to your stills photography to create more profit in your business and a better product for your clients.
Although I haven't seen the term on her website, I think I can safely describe Courtney as a ‘Day In the Life Photographer and Film maker'… Her films capture what feels like real life moments in the every day life of normal families. She makes the ordinary feel so special.
I had it in my head that I was way more serious than what it felt like other people where taking me as, from very early on. – Courtney Holmes
The byline on her website says… Creator of films and photos for families. Teacher of Filming Life – a filmmaking workshop for photographers. She is American born, internationally published and now based in Sydney. This interview is jam-packed, hope you enjoy it!
Here’s some of what we cover in this interview:
- Utilising an Aupair to free up your time and know your kids are being well looked after
- Courtney’s background before shifting careers into photography
- Breaking free from stereotyped hobbyist mum photographing her children and turning pro
- How to change people’s mindset to take you seriously as you shift from a hobbyist to a professional photographer
- How Courtney started her photography business
- How and why Courtney upped her prices from $200 to $1500 overnight
- The confidence boost Courtney received to drastically increase her pricing
- Utilising Facebook and word of mouth to find and book clients
- A snapshot of Courtney’s business today
- How personal work helps you grow as an artist and improves your photography business at the same time
- Courtney’s revenue from her photography business
- How filming video was introduced into Courtney’s business and why you should consider it too
- How Courtney started getting bookings for photography and video
- How to sell a new service to clients for you to trial in your business
- Pricing and packaging for photography and video packages
- how much time does the the video editing really take
- The best workflow Courtney has found for shooting videos and stills
- How Courtney maintains engagement with clients while shooting natural portrait sessions
- How Courtney envisions her shoots to determine if stills or videos will take priority
- Why Courtney prioritises videos before shooting stills at most sessions today
- Stills don’t need to match up with your video footage for the final product
- How many video clips Courtney shoots at each session
- The length a single video clip needs to be for it to be useful in the final package
- Why is colour grading more difficult with video
- Courtney’s process for adding audio clips to her video footage
- Where Courtney sources the music to add to her videos
- How to find the right song for your video
- How Courtney learned to use Premiere Pro
- How Courtney has worked on developing her style
- How Courtney is getting her bookings today
- Strategies to utilise in Facebook groups to engage prospective clients
- How Courtney attracts her overseas inquiries
- How Courtney manages to get repeat clients to call her back after a year or two
- What Courtney is doing to go above and beyond the service she provides her clients
- The more you get booked in advance the more past clients are encouraged to book in advance
- What Courtney teaches in her workshops
What’s on Offer for Premium Members
If you’re a premium member, you should have received an email with links to your version of this episode where you can hear more of the interview where we dive deeper into some of the earlier topics plus some new ones that I pushed for.
If you’re on the fence about becoming a premium member, join with the $1 trial today and get access to the FULL interview with Courtney, get access to an amazing back catalogue of interviews and ALL future interviews delivered automatically to your phone or tablet.
The thing about starting to do video and to shoot enough video in a session to create a film, you need to have more time. Because one or the other is going to be sacrificed. So if you're shooting video and you're not getting photos of those moments, then you're potentially losing some photos that they could have had. – Courtney Holmes
Plus, access to a members only Secret Facebook Group where you can connect with other members and interview guests to help, support and motivate you to take what you hear in each episode and put it into action. You will not find more friendly, more motivated and caring photographers online.
What is your big takeaway?
Following this interview, I’d love to know if you're taking anything away from what Courtney shared. Is there something you heard that excited or motivated you to the point where you thought, yeah, I'm going to do that! If so, let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below, let me know what your takeaways were, what you plan to implement in your business as a result of what you heard in todays episode.
When you first start, and especially when you're self taught, you have so much self doubt. And then you have everyone kind of seeing it as a hobby and not really taking it seriously and even though you are taking it seriously. It's really hard to sort of breakthrough that hobbyist mentality and to really see it as a profession and then to see it as, you know, an art as well. – Courtney Holmes
If you have any questions that I missed, a specific question you’d like to ask Courtney or if you just want to say thanks for coming on the show, feel free to add them in the comments area below.
iTunes Reviews and Shout-outs
Each week I check for any new iTunes reviews and it's always a buzz to receive these… for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it's confirmation that I'm on the right track with the interviews and that they really are helping you improve your photography business. That's awesome!
Secondly, iTunes is the biggest search engine when it comes to podcasts and it's your reviews and ratings that help other photographers find PhotoBizX. More listeners means more interviews and ultimately a better show.
If you have left a review in the past, thank you!
If you haven't and you'd like to, head to https://photobizx.com/itunes and you can leave some honest feedback and a rating which will help both me and the show and I'll be sure to thank you on the show and add a link to your website or blog if you let me know the URL of your website and your name.
Alternatively, if you've left a review for PhotoBizX and are looking for more backlinks to help your SEO, leave a review for the new Photography Xperiment Podcast and email me your key words or keyword phrase and where you'd like me to link to.
The NEW Photography Xperiment Podcast is live and available
Following the success and support shown by listeners after the experimental format of the recent interviews, the new Photo Xperiment Podcast has been launched and is available on this site and in iTunes now.
Interviews are underway and I'll be looking for new guests, not restricted to wedding and portrait photographers. If you have someone you think would be a good fit, let me know in the comment area below or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The idea behind these interviews is to get into the headspace of the photographer and find what makes them tick, what drives them, their thought process, philosophy on shooting and how they achieve what they do with their photography. So yeah, a little technique type content too.
These interviews will not focus on the business of photography – that'll be preserved solely for the weekly and unchanging format of the PhotoBizX podcast.
To hear these interviews in your podcast app, you will need to subscribe to the podcast – these interviews will not be delivered automatically if you're subscribed to PhotoBizX. Open your favourite podcast app and search “Photography Xperiment Podcast” or enter the feed URL, https://photobizx.com/feed/xperiment/ into the search field of your podcast app.
The last episode featured was a swing away from the usual and instead of talking to a photographer, we were lucky enough to have both Paul and Kate of Atkins of Atkins Pro Lab with us.
The Atkins photography lab is celebrating their 80 year anniversary which makes them Australia's oldest professional photo lab, run by a third generation husband and wife team. Although based in Australia, they service photographers from all over the globe because Atkins is the only lab in the world printing on handmade cotton rag sheets, something they developed with their devotion to real fine art printing.
It is really important that photographers look for what works for them in terms of their own branding and their own marketplace and then really pitch something to that. – Paul and Kate
The interview is available here: TPX18: Paul and Kate Atkins – The Real Fine Art Photography Printers
In the interview, Paul and Kate mentioned a special offer for listeners… 20% off your first order with Atkins Pro Lab. Simply mention the podcast to take advantage of that offer.
I have a 12 month Pro Plan for SmartSlides to give away and I'm going to have a little competition to find who will receive it.
To enter and have a chance of winning …
Create a slideshow of between 5 and 10 images ONLY.
Photos are to be Black and White only (purely for fun).
The brief: Show one family member in their natural environment.
Entries open for 10 days and close Wednesday 22nd March 2017.
The slideshow must to be made on SmartSlides and the trial version is totally fine.
Send the link to your slideshow to me: email@example.com
The winner will be chosen on which slide show impacts me the most.
I’m better off marketing towards the higher end and finding those clients early on than trying to convince people constantly throughout the year as I raise my prices and so I just decided to just go for it – Courtney Holmes
Crazy Anna Pumer is putting on another workshop!
Anna Pumer is a regular around here after appearing in two episodes, one for PhotoBizX another for The Photography Xperiment Podcast and putting together a super helpful resource for Premium members on creating the perfect about page for your website – which is available for download in the premium resource area.
Speaking of which, you absolutely have to check out Anna's new about page. WHOA!
Anna is putting on another workshop! I asked why when the lead up to her first one seemed so stressful?
She says, “It was one of my past students telling me I absolutely must do it again. I'm a sucker for flattery, so here we are.”
Check out the page and Anna's work and you'll immediately see, this will be one cracker of a workshop!
It's 22-25 May in Brighton and is all about getting your ideal couples and documentary wedding photography (with a live documentary shoot!)
Links to people, places and things mentioned in this episode:
Thanks again for listening and thanks to Courtney for coming on and sharing her thoughts and ideas on building a profitable photography business shooting video and stills for her lifestyle portrait clients.
Most of the work that I was doing that helped me to improve my skills was personal work, you know, shooting my kids on a daily basis. – Courtney Holmes
If you have any suggestions, comments or questions about this episode, please be sure to leave them below in the comment section of this post, and if you liked the episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post!
That’s it for me this week, hope everything is going well for you in life and business!
Thanks and speak soon