Plan and record video lessons (with bonuses) for a photography course

Plan and record video lessons (with bonuses) for a photography course

by CreativeMindClass • 18 min read

HOMEGUIDESVIDEO LESSONS

Follow this step-by-step guide to learn the process of planning and recording video lessons (and adding some bonus content) for a photography course in CreativeMindClass, a free tool used by top creators.

Record video lessons guide example

How to plan and record video lessons for a photography course in 10 easy steps

Prepare videos, files, and exercises.

It's time for planing and recording your video lessons content. Engaging, interactive, and fun content creates a great learning experience your online students.

The best way to deliver the learning outcomes is to mix in your video lessons multiple multimedia types: videos, screen recordings, presentations, audio, hand-outs, and assignments/exercises.

In this guide, you'll learn the pragmatic approach to planning and recording video lessons, preparing bonus materials like downloadable files, and engaging students in active learning with exercises. Remember, content preparation is the heart of your course, so you might find yourself working on the steps for a while.


1. Add a video to each lesson

Videos are the most engaging way to present your content. A successful online photography course is 4 to 25 hours of video footage. It's not easy to turn on the camera and film yourself that long.

Remember, videos can have different forms, like presentations or screen recordings with audio, so it doesn't mean that you need to be in front of the camera all the time. If you have a hard time deciding on the video type for your course, you can read more about different video types in the next paragraph.

Add a video to each lesson

How to do it in CreativeMindClass

  1. Create a new class for your video lessons.
  2. Click LESSONS tab to open it.
  3. Select VIDEO lesson type.
  4. Drag a video file from your computer.
  5. Add a video to each lesson.
PRO TIP: Depending on the tools that you will use to create your videos, you will end up with multiple video file formats like MP4, MOV, or WMV. Don't worry about that, the videos will be automatically converted to formats that your students can watch on their desktops or mobiles.

2. Choose the video lesson type

Look again at your course outline. What method fits best to deliver the learning outcomes of each lesson?

The videos you bring into your lessons is what helps to create an engaging online course and give students a great learning experience. These videos can be made using the gear and shooting space right at home with the skills you already have at your fingertips.

When you're done recording and editing your videos, you have multiple short, 16:9, high-quality video files to upload. Keep in mind the high quality of the video. The resolution must be 1080p.

There are several types of videos you can create for your lessons:

1. Videos showing your face

What it is: Showing your face is a perfect way to present yourself online as a real human, placed in a non-virtual context. This helps students to get to know you better and builds trust and a personal connection. Viewers can instantly recognize you from your face, your smile, and your presentation style.

How to do it: Record yourself sitting or standing. The footage can be shoot from one or more angles. You might need a tripod for that.

Best for: Try the videos showing your face, for example, in a self-introduction or the course conclusion.

For which lessons would you use this video type? Which lesson objectives could you deliver best when you create a video showing yourself? Choose the lessons and make notes in the lesson description.

PRO TIP: For better sound quality in your videos, use an external microphone. You can start with the one you have in your headphones.

2. Documentary videos

What it is: A documentary video in an online course shows your reality and surroundings.

They work great for your studio shots, where you can be a guide. Also, it's a way of showing behind the scenes of you working as a photographer. This gives you cool footage to mix into various lessons between the learning parts to make them more fun. This helps to give a little break and feed your students with some eye candy in delivering learning objectives.

How to do it: The documentary shots are something that you most likely will collect in several recording sessions. They can be quite fun to film as they open creative opportunities, and you can act like you are a filmmaker.

Best for: It's a nice way to create interesting footage, for example, to talk about your background, show yourself making photographs, or your live workshops.

PRO TIP: Most documentary video footage you can record yourself. But for some shots, you might need some help. You can ask a friend to help you or hire someone so several hours.

3. Talking head videos

What it is: You know, the talking head videos from Youtube tutorials as it's commonly used for presenting. The talking head video is a close-up shot of you explaining stuff to the camera.

How to do it: Combine the talking head video with visuals displayed behind you, like presentation slides, video, or a still image. To do that, you need a green screen behind you during recording and add visuals in the post-production.

Best for: It's perfect for presenting the software you use for editing. You can also show some photos as inspirations and make comments on the parts that you like or show some commonly made mistakes by photographers.

Which lesson objectives could you deliver best when you create a talking head video? Choose the lessons and make notes in the lesson description.

PRO TIP: Lighting is crucial for talking heads videos. Avoid shadows, overexposure, and just plain bad lighting. You can use a ring light or LED lights on tripods.

4. Videos without showing your face

If showing your face on the camera is too much exposure, you can create videos without showing your face. It's important to think about how you'll create a connection with your audience without using your facial expressions. Think about ways to make your personality shine through in your script, your voice, and your video content.

If you're using an avatar or animations, think carefully about how to make the characters appeal to your audience and help you build a personal connection, even without showing your face.

5. Presentation with a voiceover

What it is: Take a slide presentation, add a voiceover, and voila! You created a slideshow video. No need to record yourself talking to a camera. It's that easy!

How to do it: Talk over your online photography course on Google Slides or PowerPoint. To make it more dynamic and video-like, you can use Prezi with zooming in and other fun features. Once you have your slides ready, you explain what's on the slides. Keep in mind the sound quality of your voiceover.

Best for: Such presentation is an easy way of digesting content for people who learn by looking. A presentation with a voiceover is an engaging way to learn. Especially when something needs to be looked at several times or remembered. You present the most important information with bullet points, illustrations, photos, graphs, or your own doodles. It's useful for showing, for example, the camera settings, shooting angles or light directions, etc.

Which lesson objectives could you deliver best when you create a talking head video? Choose the lessons and make notes in the lesson description.

6. Screen recordings

What it is: Screen recording shows what you do on your computer screen.

How to do it: For screen recordings, you can use a Quicktime (on Mac) or hit Windows Key + Alt + R. When you're ready with the recording, you can speed up the boring parts and add your audio narration or a music track. Also, you can top it out, including a talking head type of video to make it more engaging.

Best for: Such shots are great, for example, for the part of your course where you talk about editing photos in Lightroom.

Which lesson objectives could you deliver best when you create screen recording videos? Choose the lessons and make notes in the lesson description.

7. Whiteboard videos

What it is: You can convey your information using whiteboards. They are relatively simple to create. As simple as using a black marker and a white background. So there is no need to worry about your brand colors and style.

How to do it: There are several ways to go about it. It can be a video of you in front of a whiteboard or an animated video of whiteboard photos (so you don't need to show your face). Also, you can create it using a digital drawing pad (like an iPad) or whiteboard animation software like Doodly.

Best for: These videos are great for dynamic parts of your content, marking something, circling, etc. You can use it, for example, for drawing composition lines or marking arrows with light directions.

Which lesson objectives could you deliver best when you create whiteboard videos? Choose the lessons and make notes in the lesson description.

8. AI videos and voiceovers

What it is: AI videos are another great way of creating online course videos without showing your face. They are professional videos with avatars and voices.

Using AI videos and voiceovers can be a quick and effective way of creating your online photography course. Also, it can be your distinguished teaching style but keep in mind that it's difficult to build a personal connection on AI-generated footage.

How to do it:  AI videos and voiceovers are generated from plain text using software like Synthesia.

Best for: It's an alternative for your face shots if you feel very uncomfortable filming yourself.

PRO TIP: If you don't like using an avatar in your online course, you can generate only a voiceover for your screen recordings or slide presentations. It's a nice walk around if you create a course in English and don't feel confident about your accent.

Do you think using AI videos or voiceovers would be beneficial in your content delivery? Which specific lesson objectives could deliver this way? Choose the lessons and make notes in the lesson description.


3. Record videos for your online photography course

Now, when you've chosen the video types to deliver your learning outcomes for each lesson, it's time for "Lights, camera, action!".

As a photographer, you have the advantage that it might be easy for you to pick up a video camera and start shooting. A photographer has a lot of skills that are useful in making videos. You know how to look for lighting, composition, and other key elements involved in getting a great shot, moving or not.

What you do need to be aware of is how a simple movement of the camera, or the things you are shooting, will change the composition. However, your past experience will help you to adjust quickly. Here are some tips on how to set up the recording space, choose the gear, and finally get started with recording your video lessons:

1. Set up your recording space

Setting up your recording space is essential to ensure your learners have a good learning experience with your online photography course. They need to be able to see you and hear you.

Depending on the video type you've chosen to deliver your learning outcomes, you’ll have different setups:

  • For videos of you teaching directly or showing you at work, you'll record yourself.
  • For talking heads, you'll use editing software after you’ve completed recording to create a combination of screencasts and footage of you speaking.
  • For presentation videos and screen recordings videos, you’ll record your computer screen and do a voice-over for audio.
  • For whiteboards, you'll record yourself in front of the whiteboard or record your computer screen and do a voiceover.

You might use the studio your use for taking photos to record your course, but it doesn't necessarily need to be a professional studio.

PRO TIP: For the video recording, keep in mind the same basic rules as when you're shooting photos; the camera is steady on a tripod, there is enough light, you frame the shoot well, and the recorded space looks spotless. For audio, make sure there is no background noise or echo. You can reduce them with blankets or soundproof acoustic panels.

2. Select the tools you need for video creation

Start by listing the gear or software you want to use to create each video. Depending on the type of video, these could be physical gear like a camera, lighting, tripod, microphone, or software for screen recording and post-production editing. Having the latest and greatest gear is fun, but it’s not a necessity.

Camera: you most likely have a recording option in the camera you use for photos. If not, start by using your computer's camera or mobile phone's camera.

Microphone: built-in cameras and microphones on your computer or mobile phone give poor sound quality. Go for a hands-free microphone or table-top microphone.

Lighting: as a photographer, you know all about good lighting. Similar practices work for video recording. Use natural light or the lamps that you have at home. If you're not happy with the result, try a ring light or a three-point lighting kit.

Screen recording: Quicktime Player is for that on a Mac, or a download a free app for Windows Obsproject

Editing: you might be already using some Adobe Cloud products. For video editing, try Adobe Premiere Rush or Premiere Pro.

3. Start recording video lessons

You've been waiting for this exciting moment for a while. Now, it's finally time to press the start button on your camera.

Start with recording a test video to check the quality of your audio and video.

You don't need to necessary record your video lessons chronologically. Start by selecting from your lessons list the one lesson that speaks to you or seems the easiest to do. It can be a self-introduction, or you can jump into your favorite topics of the instructional lessons right away.

Leave out the recording of the lesson overview and conclusion to the very end of the recording sessions, in case you'll add something unplanned to your lesson content.

PRO TIP: You can capture behind-the-scenes of a recording day. It's a great footage to promote your online photography course.

4. Create a learning experience that primarily focuses on videos

Watching a video course is a different learning experience than reading, for example, text on a slide presentation. It requires some features, navigation, and layout specific to video platforms. CreativeMindClass is an online course platform dedicated especially to video courses and focused on creating an exciting learning experience through a video.

Usually, when you upload your video to a platform, it's a good practice to add a custom thumbnail to your video. It makes it look great in the preview, but also it adds some extra work. So we came up with something that looks cool without you doing the work. When you upload your video, we automatically select the highlights and best moments to display as a looped 3-8 seconds video. It's something like you might know from Spotify videos shown while a song plays.

How to do it in CreativeMindClass

  1. In LESSON, select VIDEO lesson type.
  2. Drag a video file from your computer.
  3. Go to Preview and enjoy the automatically generated lesson cover video.

5. Add a downloadable file

Downloadable files are a great addition to your lesson. They are not only an effective way to deliver your key learning outcomes, but also they're a great way to engage your students in learning. What's sweet is that they might be seen by your students as nice little gifts that increase your course value.

When you upload an additional file to your lessons, your students can download it, print it out, fill it in, or edit it.

Such downloadable file doesn't have to be literally printed out. It can also be downloaded and filled in digitally, for example, on an iPad, or your students can work inside a PSD file on their desktops. Once they do that, they give the file back to you and get feedback.

Downloadable files make your content fun and engaging and leave your mark on students' pulpits and desks. You can read more about downloadable files in the next paragraph.

Add a downloadable file

How to do it in CreativeMindClass

  1. Navigate to LESSON → Content tab
  2. Click DOWNLOADABLE FILE to upload your file.

6. Choose the downloadable files for your lessons

1. Printouts

What it is:  They are images or PDFs. Do you want your students to remember something or follow some specific steps? You can deliver it with a downloadable PDF file. You can add a printout to any lesson with everything you can imagine whiteboards, slideshows, notes, infographics, etc. You can create additional content or reuse the content from your lessons.

How to do it: You can create printouts using text editors or Canva. Your students can take notes or... you can give notes to them. Select four or five key points that you cover in a specific lesson.

Best for: It's a perfect way of delivering, for example, lesson key points, camera setting details, and a kick starter set. They work great for planners, checklists, briefs, mood boards, or storyboards.

PRO TIP:  If you use presentation slides in your lessons, a nice little trick is to give them to the students so they can make notes on them.

Do you think providing printouts would be beneficial to your content delivery? Which specific lesson objectives could you deliver this way? Choose the lessons and make notes in the lesson description.

2. Worksheets and documents to fill in

What it is: They are PDFs, Pages/Word documents. Worksheets are documents that your students can fill in. They can be plain text documents or beautiful sheets made in your brand style.

How to do it: You can create it in Pages/Word or use colorful templates from Canva. You can receive the filled-in worksheet back from your students. To do that, you need to combine it with an exercise that enables students to upload their files to a lesson and get your feedback. We'll discuss it in detail below.

Best for: If you include in your online photography course a brainstorming exercise, you might want your students to write their ideas down. You can add a mind map, a table, or a storyboard to fill in. They are also great for writing down answers to questions and other assignments, tasks, and homework.

Do you think giving a worksheet would be beneficial to your content delivery? Which specific lesson objectives could you deliver this way? Choose the lessons and make notes in the lesson description.

3. Editable native files

What it is: They are native files that programs (like Photoshop, or Lightroom) create, and a student can edit. You might know them as .PSDs, .RAW, .TIFFs, .AIs, .docs, etc.

How to do it: Create a document and export it in a native format and upload it to a lesson. You can combine it with exercise, this way, the student can give the file back to you for feedback. We'll discuss it in detail below.

Best for: They are best for editing parts of your online photography course or when you want to include some presets in the document. Then your students to work on native files in Lightroom or Photoshop.

Do you think providing an editable native file would be beneficial to your content delivery? Which specific lesson objectives could you deliver this way? Choose the lessons and make notes in the lesson description.

PRO TIP: Make sure your students also have access to the program you're using otherwise, they can't work on the document.

4. An additional video

What it is: You can upload an accompanying video to any lesson, and your students can download it. It's great for presenting detailed information. You can also provide some advanced learning materials for the students who are willing to do some extra tasks.

How to do it: You can record an additional video during or it after recording the main content for your online photography course.

Best for: You can use it for instructional videos that need to be watched several times, for example, how to adjust camera settings.

Do you think adding an extra video would be beneficial to your content delivery? Which specific lessons objectives could you deliver this way? Choose the lessons and make notes in the lesson description.

5. Include software links in downloadable files

What it is: You can add a link inside your downloadable file so only your students can access it.

How to do it: Paste any link in a text document and upload it to a lesson.

Best for: It's a great solution to give your students some additional learning materials. Or when you want them to access a website where they can create, for example, a mood board or a mindmap (like Milanote). This way, you can create a link to an online program that doesn't generate an editable file.

PRO TIP: If the software you use to edit photos generates editable native files (like Lightroom or Photoshop), it's best to provide it as a downloadable file.

Do you think giving a link would be beneficial to your content delivery? Which specific lesson objectives could you deliver this way? Choose the lessons and make notes in the lesson description.

The additional downloadable materials you bring to your lessons is what helps to deliver your learning outcomes effectively. These downloadable files can be created using software like Pages/Word, Google Slides, Prezi, Photoshop, or Canva. Some are free and may come with your computer, others will need to be purchased.

Keep in mind that some learning materials (presentation slides, planners) you created for videos you can reuse as downloadable files. You can export them as PDFs and upload them. Some of them are ready others will need some tweaking.

You can create assignments with additional files like worksheets or native files. Combining it with an exercise enables students to upload their files to a lesson and get your feedback.

When you're done creating your downloadable files, you have high-quality image files or editable native files to upload.

7. Upload high-resolution or native files to your lessons

When uploading files online, watch out for compressing image sizes. It makes them lose their quality. In CreativeMindClass, your students will download exactly the same file you uploaded without losing the crispiness, and we support native file formats (.TIFFs, .PSDs etc.) so photography students can learn by doing.

In CreativeMindClass, each lesson in your course can have an additional file. This way, your students can watch the lesson and download the file exactly when they need it. If you want to get back the file filled in by your student, all you need to do is to add an exercise, it unlocks this option. We'll discuss the exercises in the next section.  

Supported downloadable file formats: We support most popular file formats. You can upload: .PDFs, .JPGs, .PNGs, .MP4, .doc and editable native files like .RAWs, .TIFFs, or a .PSDs ,Page/Word, and the list grows.

File size: Remember to keep the file size small (< 1 MB) while keeping the crispiness of images and PDFs so students can enjoy quality visuals while downloading them fast. Workable files like Pages/Word or native files are heavier in size, and the heavier they get, the more time it takes to download them, but they are such an engaging way to learn that it's worth it.

Upload high-resolution or native files to your lessons

How to do it in CreativeMindClass

  1. Click DOWNLOADABLE FILE to upload your high-resolution or native file.

8. Add an exercise to a lesson

Exercises are an effective way of delivering learning outcomes. It engages students in learning by doing. Such active learning typically consists of an actionable task and instructor feedback.

Think about the learning experience you'll create to help students achieve their goals. Look at your Lessons list. Which lessons could have an engaging and fun activity as a learning method? Which lessons could have homework assignments? What brainstorming exercises could you include? What is the final project in your course?

Add an exercise to a lesson

How to do it in CreativeMindClass

  1. Navigate to LESSON → Content tab
  2. Click EXERCISE to create an exercise for your students.

9. Ask students to share their photographies and get your feedback

An online photography course asks for a final project, like making a photoshoot. When you add such exercise, your students can take photos using the skills they learn during the course and upload them to CreativeMindClass, where you can give feedback.

PRO TIP: The students' final outcomes of your online photography course can be uploaded as exercises. They'll to be posted to the Activity Feed together with your feedback. That creates great testimonials and social proof for your course website.
Students can share their photographies and get your feedback

How to do it in CreativeMindClass

  1. Navigate to LESSON → Content tab
  2. Click EXERCISE to create an exercise.
  3. Type TITLE. For example "Share your final portrait photos".
  4. Type DESCRIPTION. For example "Develop and share your portrait photos. When you're ready upload them below the lesson to get my feedback".
  5. When your student uploads the exercise, navigate to Students' works to give your feedback.

10. Build an online community around your course

Learning activities and your feedback are the first steps toward building an engaged community around your online course. You can stop at that, or you can take your students learning experience to the next level. This helps to grow your business and boost your brand reach.

Activity Feed is a place to build an online community. It drives traffic to your online course website, helps you retain customers, and increases your revenue.

If you add some motivational posts to your online course website, you'll get yourself a great base for building a highly engaged community around your business and brand.

How could you keep your students interested? What do you usually post on social media? What tips could you share about gear, composition, or software? A good idea to keep your students engaged and motivated to complete the course are daily posts with inspirations for the final project.

Build an online community around your course

How to do it in CreativeMindClass

  1. Click My Posts in main menu to open it.
  2. Click ADD POST button to create a new post.

And you're done!

Congratulations! Now that your content is ready, you have the heart of your online photography course ready. If you are starting a new online photography course right now, use the free template below to plan and record a new video lesson, or check out our full guide on how to create an online photography course.

Create your photography course videos. Today.

Get started for FREE with CreativeMindClass's easy-to-use template.

Record video lessons guide example

Sign up for free with no time limit

SHARE

You might also like

Teach with video, exercises, and feedback on a standalone platform
Join today to create inspiring online classes and sell globally
No credit card required
Please enter at least 3 characters 0 Results for your search