Recently I shared a sweet family film of a casual morning spent in Washington, DC decorating the Christmas tree. This week I'm sharing my own family's holiday film and three reasons why a film is an amazing way to document traditions and family life in general.
It's harder than it used to be to document life with two children. I take a lot fewer photos than I used to. (Though, since I took so many of life with my first son, the fewer photos that I take now are a lot better! Maybe that'll be consolation to my youngest…)
Even though it's been out of necessity, taking fewer photos has helped me become more deliberate about when I take my camera out and more thoughtful about what I want to document. Family traditions are an easy choice. On days like Christmas, I love shooting video for a family film. Piecing the clips together and choosing the perfect song to set the tone has become one of my favorite ways tell family stories, both for myself and my clients.
The more our senses are engaged, the more emotional the story becomes. With a film, the music, the sounds of our children, and the movement come together in ways that a single still image cannot.
My kids like seeing pictures of themselves, but they LOVE watching videos of themselves. Half the time, I think my oldest doesn't believe me when I tell him that he's looking at a picture of himself when he was younger. But there's something about video that transcends that disbelief and captures his attention. I can see his mind at work, assessing the action and recognizing that former but familiar version of himself.
This is made even more special when capturing video with grandparents and other family members. Family is part of our identity. And seeing ourselves engaging with our family helps us feel grounded with a sense of knowing who we are and where we come from.
And speaking of family, in the short term, one of my favorite reasons for making films, is to keep us connected to family. These short films provide a glimpse into our lives during a time of perpetual change. Children are on to the next milestone as soon as they've completed the last. Being able to share these experiences with family and friends who live far away allows us to feel connected despite the distance.