WEDDING SEASON SALE! 30% Off Training Systems!

Your content will be up shortly. Please allow up to 5 seconds
Tips & Tricks

9 Steps To Creating A Compelling Video

By Anthony Thurston on June 7th 2014

Anyone can setup a camera and shoot video, just like anyone can press a button to take a picture. The key in both the video and photography industries is in your ability to tell a story with your chosen medium, something to set your work apart, to make it unique from what Joe shmoe pressing his button could do.


Unfortunately, just because you are a great photographer, and can tell a story in a frame, doesn’t mean that will translate well into a wedding or client video. Video really is a beast of its own, and while both mediums share some key pieces, a successful video is vastly different from a successful image.

The video below, How to Make a Mountain Bike Film from Filme von Draussen, is a great starting point for anyone looking to improve how they shoot and edit video. It is set around mountain bike movies, but the principals apply just as much to weddings as they do to mountain bikes. Take a look, you can thank me later…

Recap: 9 Steps To Creating A Compelling Video

  • Develop an idea, make a story board
  • Remember you are telling a story.
  • People want to see people.
  • Introduce your characters.
  • Show your character’s faces.
  • Show audience how your characters feel.
  • Use a tripod or other stabilization device.
  • Don’t zoom while recording unless absolutely necessary.
  • Learn the rule 3 x 3.

I really like the bit about showing your audience how your characters feel. In the case of a wedding video, this would be your bride and groom as well as -to a lesser extent- the guests. Show the brides reaction to various events, catch that glimmer in her eye as she tears up.

[REWIND: Fuji X-T1 Unboxing and Initial Thoughts]

One other thing that I want to add that is not mentioned in the video, having good music and being able to edit your video around that music is key. Without good music, and clean audio, any video is destined to fail, no matter how well thought out the story is. Check out this month’s The Music Bed artist feature of the Future of Forestry, highlighting 5 great songs for your wedding videos or cinematic presentations.


What else do you think goes into creating a compelling video? What was missed in this video? Leave a comment below!

via Filme von Draussen on Vimeo.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Chuck Eggen

    Great article and full of good ideas for newcomers to video.

    | |
  2. Michael Chapman

    I am a mountain biker and cyclist, and I’ve been wanting to make videos on this very thing. This was an awesome article/video Anthony – thanks!

    | |
  3. Chuck

    More tips can be found here.

    | |
  4. John

    I do not know why photographers do not use video for promotional purposes? Given that lightroom CC has a nice slideshow module that quickly makes videos out of your still and video images. I’ve contorted and figured out how to quickly use Lightroom and Photoshop CC to mash together and make fun videos. What I like is the fact that I do not need to bake out my still photos to a file as jpegs and then have to load and sequence them in Premier or Photoshop. Most of the heavy lifting is done in Lightroom.

    This video I did Thursday: Photos/video shoot till 6pm, home at 6:30pm, downloaded backed up and in Lightroom by 7pm, 300 pics-down to 100 processed by 6:45pm, search my music files took 15min to find right tempo/beat/duration, 15 minutes to start converting to 1080p/30fps, Load finished section from lightroom into PS and add videos and text- finished at 8pm, 25 minutes about to process (I was eating so ?), about an hour to upload to my facebook and was up getting hits and likes by 10pm. Perfect, no but everyone wants it now and hee is the link. (with more time I could do much better but for a freebe, good enough for facebook).

    Hope this is permissible, just to give others ideas.

    | |