Tips For Filming A Photography Class

Ready to show off your photo skills but filming isn’t your forte? Whether your go-to camera is your iPhone or a DSLR, filming a high-quality photography class is easier than you think using a few simple tools you likely already have on hand.

We've outlined a basic toolkit and style tips for 3 of our most common photo classes: DSLR, Editing, and Mobile. 

DSLR

Basic Toolkit

Whether you’re highlighting the features of your DSLR or tips for portrait photography, there are two simple approaches to sharing your skills: screencast or physical demonstration. Create a presentation guiding students through a series of slides while narrating your creative decisions throughout. Record yourself on your computer with a simple screencast. There are free and easy to use options for both Macs and PCs here.

A DSLR photography class also lends itself really well to a physical demonstration. Take students through your process by physically showing them your camera. Navigating a DSLR can be tricky for beginners, so it’s helpful to show them exactly how you manipulate your camera, what buttons you’re pressing, and how you're positioned. For a physical demo, we recommend something to stabilize your camera. A simple and inexpensive tripod like this one will do the trick. Record clear and crisp audio with a low cost clip-on mic that hooks up directly to your camera.

Style Tips

As you start filming your class, keep in mind your target audience and their skill level to help determine what concepts to prioritize. Knowing how to locate certain features like aperture, ISO, or shutter speed on a camera might be essential for your class topic. Consider adding on screen text in the editing process to display the names of the camera features, share the required settings for the technique, or list steps in a process to reinforce the concepts for students.

Teaching a specific type of photography, like product or portrait? Take students into your working space, whether that’s your studio or on the streets. Andre D. Wagner's class on using a light meter not only shows the ins and outs of the feature, but is filmed on the streets of New York, bringing students right in the middle of the action.

Andre D. Wagner shares how he uses a light meter on the streets of NYC.

Andre D. Wagner shares how he uses a light meter on the streets of NYC.

EDITING

Basic Toolkit

If post-production is your wheelhouse, you’ll be filming in no time with just your computer and a microphone. Record a screencast that walks students through an engaging slide presentation or a software demo. Want to include a “talking-head” style video? Use your computer’s internal webcam or purchase a low-cost external webcam. Find a few webcam favorites here.

Most computers provide good sound quality, but you may want to consider an external USB microphone to ensure clear and crisp audio. Find our top recommended mic here.

Style Tips

Narrate your personal decisions, such as why you crop photos in a certain way or how you adjust color to create a particular tone, to give students deeper insights. Jamal Burger highlights how he chooses the focal point in each of his photos, which then guide the way he edits the light in the image.

Remember that teaching your craft isn’t just about process, but also the passion behind the work. Share your why with students by communicating your unique style or vision. You never know how your story might inspire budding photographers and professionals alike.

Jamal Burger offers his unique perspective on bringing photos to life through editing.

Jamal Burger offers his unique perspective on bringing photos to life through editing.

MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY

Basic Toolkit

For masters of mobile photography, your camera of choice is already in your pocket. Share your tips and tricks for taking high-quality photos on your phone easily with a screencast. Simply hook up your phone to your computer and record your process. For iPhone users, Quicktime is your best bet. Recording on an Android? Rec. app is a low-cost option. No need to break the bank with expensive audio equipment either. Simply find a quiet spot in your home and connect your headphones for crystal clear audio.

Style Tips

While most of your class will feature a screencast of your process, it’s always helpful to put a face to the name. Include a brief “talking-head” style video to introduce yourself and a share a bit about your background, building trust and credibility with your students.

Keep students engaged throughout by varying your visuals. Mariya Popandopulo’s class features numerous photo examples that demonstrate the impact of the effect she’s teaching. Consider where you’ll cut away to example images to illustrate your points and keep students watching.

 Mariya Popandopulo shows examples of how she uses shadows in her photos.

 Mariya Popandopulo shows examples of how she uses shadows in her photos.

Looking for more filming tips? Don’t forget to check out our Teacher Handbook and find even more inspiration in our photography class catalog.