Family films are the modern photo album | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

My family is my guinea pig when it comes to testing out new camera techniques and equipment. This has always been the case with photography and is equally true for videography. This summer, I got an underwater bag for my DSLR and had a blast documenting my family at the pool and at the beach. We ventured out of Northern Virginia in July for a family vacation and I started planning for this film the moment I knew we were going. I'm so excited to share it this week!

Each time I complete one of these films for my clients or my own family, I'm struck by what a moving experience it is. I love seeing my children flipping through the pages of the countless photo albums we have, but I've fallen way behind on yearly photo books. I've found that these films say more in 3-4 minutes than hundreds of printed photos can over the course of a year (especially if I'm not even printing them!). Movement, sound, and music convey so much emotion and story. I'm convinced that these family films are our modern day photo albums.

What will our children remember most from this time in their lives?

I've made taking video and making films a priority for vacations and trips to visit with family. My husband has films of himself from childhood and I'm a bit jealous. Childhood is a fleeting time in our lives but memories of events from that time make up a significant portion of our sense of self for the rest of our lives. Thinking about this and wondering what moments of our everyday lives our children are going to remember for the rest of theirs has given me incentive to invest more time in making personal family films for my family and for my clients. 

Films capture childhood characteristics, interests, and events in snippets that can be put in the context of the broader story of our family's life. Films provide a resource for our children and a glimpse into their history that would otherwise be lost, or at the very least subject to the subjectiveness of memory only.

Film captures the feeling of a moment.

With film, you get the sights and sounds and the feeling of what it was like to be in that moment when you were two or four and experiencing your family's beach vacation. You're dropped into that moment in time in a way that a still photo just can't evoke. I love seeing my kids flip through their photo albums and I will continue to make them (though I may never get caught up!). But seeing their reactions as they watch themselves in clips taken six months or a year ago is just priceless. Even they marvel at how much they’ve changed.

I also experimented with drone footage this summer and can’t wait to share that in a future film.

Nicole Sanchez Photography works with busy parents in Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland to create stress-free photo sessions that take all the loving, fun, and chaotic moments of family life to make beautiful photos and films that families will love looking at year after year.  Contact me today to start planning a custom photography experience that's perfect for your family.

A Fresh 48 Newborn Film | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

Last week, I shared this beautiful mama's maternity session on Capitol Hill. Today, I am so excited to share her baby's Fresh 48 film! This little boy arrived on a beautiful day in Northern Virginia and it was a joy to document a part of his first day. There is nothing like capturing a newborn. Everything is so fresh, sweet, and new. Even when they're squalling through frigid diaper changes!

Documenting this time on video is a such special way to remember those first moments.  And it goes by so fast, especially when you're in that new parent haze. I find myself looking back on my sons’ newborn images and videos, thinking, “I can't believe he was ever so tiny.”

And, oh, the sounds. Those adorable squeaks and sighs! Video truly captures the essence unlike anything else!

Also, I just have to say, the staff at the Women and Infant Health Center at Virginia Hospital Center were so friendly and accommodating to work with.

Contact me today to learn more about documentary family films.

A Family Film: Before Three Became Four | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

This week I'm sharing a long overdue family film that highlights a fun outing at the Udvar-Hazy Center (or the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum in Northern Virginia) just before we had our youngest son last August. In fact, I took these images and video just hours before I went into labor (this outing quite possibly finally put me in labor as I was a week overdue at that point!), so it's extra special for me. I knew this day was likely to be the last time we'd venture out as a family of three. This might seem overly sentimental if you have one child (or none), but I was surprised by how emotional it was to anticipate the transition of adding another member to our family. I mean, we'd been through it once, and what could be more impactful than going from no baby to baby? But it's funny the things you worry about as a parent. Thankfully, it all turned out fine. ;-)

I've been wanting to incorporate films into my documentary family photography approach and set a goal for myself this year to create and share here at least one a month. I missed sharing in January, but done is better than perfect. :-)  Anyway, we had a great time marveling at the planes, watching an IMAX film, and eating Oreo McFlurries. If you haven't been out to the Udvar-Hazy Center, it's worth a visit. Thanks for having a look! 

And stay tuned, next month I have a guest post planned from a fellow documentary family photographer in Northern Virginia who is going to share how to document a year by filming one second a day. If you're not familiar with this type of 365 project, you're in for a treat!

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