Video Marketing & Artists: Quality Matters

by guest blogger Catherine Stratton

It’s often made clear to me that the average person has no idea about the amount of time it takes to make a quality storytelling marketing film, not to mention the skills or professional equipment required.


Videographer Catherine Stratton works at an art studio. Read her article on video marketing at


Today, with the quality of iPhones getting better all the time, everyone thinks they are a filmmaker. This means that when I sit down with a potential client, I often have to educate them. I go over what it takes to make a film that they will love and help them get the attention they deserve. I must stress why it’s a great investment and why it costs more than doing it yourself, or what I call the “Pay Less, Get Less” approach. It’s a challenge that is an ongoing theme in my industry.

Marketing guru Seth Godin confirmed my opinion in a recent blog post. He said,

Today’s internet is built on video. Much more difficult to create well, far more impactful when it works . . . Because video costs more, is more difficult to edit and takes a different sort of talent to create, we often avoid it. Or worse, we cut corners and fail to do ourselves justice by posting something mediocre . . . 

However, as I described in the post I wrote for Artsy Shark called Video Marketing & Artists: A Match Made in Heaven, there are all different types of videos that serve different purposes online. And, though not “true marketing videos,” a few of these can be done yourself, with a few tips on how to do it best. One is using a webcam.

Using a webcam to talk directly to your audience is a good way to keep people updated as to what you are doing. However, I see so many videos shot with a webcam that just look awful. Remember, whatever you do reflects on you. In people’s minds, low quality video (self-made or not) translates into a low quality product.

There are a few things you can do to look good when you make a webcam video, including:

  • knowing how to light your face
  • understanding where to position yourself in relation to the camera
  • using the correct type of background
  • how to use makeup to look your best

Since it’s always best to see a demonstration, here is a link to a short how-to video in which the famous celebrity and fashion photographer Matthew Rolston gives simple tips for looking your best on webcam.

Is filmmaking a democratic medium? Can everyone do it? Well, that depends. You must take the approach that you will operate at a higher level and be committed to a professional-looking result.



I’m happy to report that I just finished this marketing film for artist Sarah Bush, whom I connected with through Artsy Shark. Take note of the feeling and flow of the video as made by a professional. Can a video that shows your studio practice in an emotionally compelling way communicate what you do effectively and build the value of your work too?


Catherine Stratton is an award-winning filmmaker and owner of Stratton Films, a Hoboken, N.J. based production company specializing in online marketing videos for artists and creative entrepreneurs in order to help them build their businesses and get the attention they deserve. Her videos have been commissioned by the online marketplace, Etsy and her Independent work has screened at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Catherine lives a happy life with two awesome kids, a slightly neurotic dog and a great view of New York City.


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  1. Thank you Carolyn Edlund for asking me to post on your wonderful blog again. If anyone who read the blog tried to go to my website and weren’t able to access it this morning, my apologies. My site was down but is now up and waiting for you to visit! Thanks!

    • Thanks for your great advice, Catherine. Video can make huge impact in presenting an artist’s work. I loved the video you made for Sarah Bush!

  2. Wow what a great video you have made Catherine; about the artist Sarah Bush. An amazing artist. – I particularly love the way the conversation in this video is succinct and at the same time it flows so beautifully. The imagery is so interesting because of the variety of view points and angles, with close up and distance. This is a really a very moving video and I have enjoyed watching it. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us Catherine and thank you Carolyn for all the hard work you do to bring us such interesting artists and creators with so much diversity. Now I am going to go off and visit Stratton Films. Feeling Grateful:)

    • Thank you for your kind words Cindy. I must turn on alerts so I know when someone comments! Thank you again and I hope you got some more helpful tips from my Online Video Marketing Guide. 🙂

  3. This article and the video of Sarah and her work were a beautiful and educational addition to my day. Thank you for that.

  4. I found it very moving watching this video. it felt like I was entering into Sarah’s heart and a very personal place in her life. it also demonstrated the mind set and thinking of the artist that pulled me into her world and made me want to know more about her. The intellectual process and the very personal feelings and emotions behind an artist’s calculations of their work. Very well done, educating and interesting. I am working with a young video director on doing exactly this in January and found this very inspirational. Thank you Catherine and Sarah! best wishes, Len

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