Your story in motion

Originally posted in Green Chair Stories.

As we watched it for the first time together, each of us reacted differently. It was my first DSLR family film, and I had shot and edited it over a few weeks of a perfectly crisp, colorful October. My husband sat next to me and watched, smiling and nodding with familiarity in his eyes. My sons belly-laughed at the funny moments. My one-year-old daughter focused intently throughout, pointing at and naming us as we appeared in the film. We each took ownership of this film in our own way. It was ours to watch, to keep, to rewatch years from now. It was a gift, and it was the beginning of a very special journey for me as both a mother and an artist. It was another way I learned to tell stories.

My name is Angie Klaus and today I want to share with you why I’m so grateful and excited to be giving the gift of family films to my own family and to my clients, and why I think you’ll adore them, too.

5 Reasons to fall in love with DSLR family films:

1. Charm.
There is something quaint and cozy about a homemade film. If you’ve ever watched an old home movie you know what I mean about that vintage charm. Home movies from our childhood are gems chock-full of memories, and they take us right back to the moment with all the sights and sounds of our past. Similarly, modern family films are also authentic and original...completely unique to each family. They stand out from cookie-cutter types of family sessions because they are a complex suite of actions, interactions, and dialogue that is a pure and true representation of your family, created from the perspective of an artist.

2. Time capsule.
A family film freezes moments in time just as they are unfolding. The product is a moving page in your family’s story. Family films are the best way I’ve discovered to take a comprehensive snapshot of the ages and stages of your children. They are quite literally an investment in your memories. Parents, I know it is bittersweet watching each milestone pass and witnessing your babies grow up before your eyes. It breaks our hearts to accept that one day we will wake up to a quiet, empty house--our parenting days behind us. But let me tell you this, as a mother of three: investing in a family film documenting your ‘here and now’ makes it all sting just a bit less. And the fun will live on, increasing in value over the years, as your precious memories are passed down to loved ones who will be grateful for this beautiful page of family history.  

3. Movement.
Movement makes a story come alive. The twirl of a dress, energetic bounces on the bed, a determined baby crawling across the floor...continuous motion and movement is documented in video the way it cannot be captured in stills. Every family film holds surprises that play out before your eyes. In your story, you might see how you scoop up your toddler and carry him around on our hip. You might witness the smiles and maybe a glimpse of sass from your teens across the breakfast table. And because family films incorporate subtle yet meaningful details that tell our stories, you might see a breeze blowing across your yard, bending the flowers just so, as you always see them...yet didn’t even realize you’d ever wish to remember.  

4. Sounds.
This one is huge. Just imagine being able to remember your newborn’s whimpering cry. The way your preschooler couldn’t enunciate his Rs but had so very many important things to tell you all day long, until that phase ended and you found yourself missing his accent. Having a family film that features laughter, voices, and sounds of your unique environment will always bring you right back to your days with your loves. In all honesty, you won’t know the real value of this until years from now. But by then it will be priceless if you have invested in a family film to preserve your living, breathing memories.

5. Be in the frame.
This last reason why I believe you will fall in love with family films is because I know how rare it is for mothers to be in the frame with their children. I see you everywhere. Taking photos and video clips on your phone so you can cling tight to the big and small moments of your daily life. Or maybe you haul your big camera around and do your best to document your days that way. But there are two problems with this: a) You likely don’t do much with the photos and video after that, because, hello, parenting. And b) There is something incomplete about everything you’re stashing away. You are documenting a story in which a critical element is missing...you! Hiring a professional to create a family film for you ensures that you will be included in your family’s story. With no additional effort from you after booking, your natural role as a loving parent will be highlighted, simply and honestly. Your children (and their children) will have the gift of seeing with their own eyes how you hugged them, cared for them, played with them, talked to them, and loved them. A family film has the unique ability to be created unobtrusively while sweetly and intimately capturing the best in your family.

So what's next?

Perhaps this sheds a little light on what you might be missing out on if you haven’t yet discovered the joy and excitement of the family film movement. I hope that you will consider commissioning a family film for your next session. If you would like to inquire with the family filmmakers in your community, you can search online for terms like family documentary or storytelling videographer—or filmmaker—along with your general location. You can also feel free to reach out to me at angieklausphoto@gmail.com and I may be able to put you in touch with a fellow filmmaker in your area. I encourage you to do this sooner rather than later. We, as tired parents, will always have excuses that cause us to put off preserving family memories. But I can promise you that there is no time like the present to document all the beautifully imperfect, endearing aspects of your life that your heart is already working to capture. So do yourself a favor and make it happen.