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It’s Moving Time

Let me just start out by saying I am not, under any circumstance, quitting family photography or videography. NO! I love it.

But I am putting all my businesses into one. Every photo, video, workshop, and course will now be covered under The Film Still.

I will still be doing all of the exact same things – family shoots, senior shoots, videos for events and seniors.  But I was very wrong when I thought I could keep up with the social media, the blog posts, and the marketing for two businesses. Add to those two businesses the crazy decision to go back to teaching part time and This Moment has fallen by the way-side. I’ve still been shooting, but have had no time to blog those sessions. I’ve still been making films, but haven’t had time to post those either.

So in about a month, This Moment Photography, LLC will be completely dissolved into The Film Still. I would love to have each and every one of you follow me in the new (but still the same) adventure. Find me on the new website, over at my Facebook page (which is sadly lacking in followers and content), or on Instagram – the place where I’m at all the time now!

I’ll update you guys as to when this website will be completely turned off, but until then, please go find me at The Film Still!

-Michelle

Letters to my Kids | August

Each month(ish) I join a group of ladies to write letters to our children. It’s our way of saving memories, documenting all the little things that make our kids who they are. After you read my letter, be sure to hop over to Holli’s blog and read hers!

Dear A,

You have amazed me this summer. From going to your first sleep-away camp to giving a solo ukulele performance. You’ve pushed yourself past your comfort zone. You’ve proven how amazingly strong you can be when you set your mind to something. I’m going to remind you of all of these things when school starts in a few weeks. You’ve already started counting down the days and depending on the moment are either super excited or deathly afraid.
Things are changing around here – you and B going to school, me teaching part time and still trying to grow a business. And I know you like order and structure. Like me, you’re ok with change as long as it comes with a detailed plan and schedule. I promise to try to keep things as seamless as possible, but I know there will be times when we are all running like crazy just to make it through the day. I’ll forget to pack lunches, you’ll forget to do homework. It will happen.
But I hope we both remember the advice I give you while you practice your ukulele…. Ninety-nine percent of the time no one notices your mistake other than you. No one picks you apart like you do. So when you screw up, because you will, just keep going. Don’t stop, don’t let it drag you backwards, just keep going and no one will even notice. Acknowledge it, learn from it, but just keep going.
You made the bold move to dye your hair turquoise this summer. It should have faded completely out by now, buuuut, you hair is the color of seaweed. Not sure what we will do about that in a few weeks, but I am proud of you for making a choice that isn’t mainstream and being proud of it. It took guts.
You are smart and clever, determined and detailed. You are sensitive and thoughtful and are growing into a beautiful person, inside and out.

girl wearing skydiving goggles

Love you,
Mom

Dear B,

Well, you just turned 5. You got up and asked how much taller you had grown. You chose to go indoor skydiving instead of having a party. You did, however make sure everyone knew that just because there wasn’t a party, that didn’t mean you didn’t expect presents. You get funnier by the minute, with your immediate come-backs to hilarious takes on things. You are full of random questions about zombie polar bears and killer alligators. You drink white milk – not chocolate, refuse to eat icing, but still want the cupcakes, and have put the finishing touches on your very own accent. It’s a mix between British and redneck and it fits you surprisingly well.
You have become fearless with physical things like indoor skydiving and huge water slides, but the thought of school still makes you want to cry.
You refuse to say that anything is fun, instead pretending to be too cool for everyone around you. Yesterday I listened to a story about the “most hugest and scariest” slide that you had gone down. You were full of excitement and smiling and using hand gestures all over the place. When I said, “man it sounds like you had so much fun,” you replied “Yes, It was so much fun! Wait, I mean no. No it wasn’t. Just nevermind.” I laughed and you left the room with your arms crossed. Poor kid. You just want to be miserable and take everyone there with you. We just keep ruining it by taking you fun places.
You are inquisitive and imaginative. You don’t give up until you have a satisfactory answer and that answer usually needs to match what you’ve already come up with in your head. You are strong willed, but still a mama’s boy. You are the manliest kid I know, but you can’t help but be mesmerized by cute little animals.

 

blond boy getting ready to go indoor skydiving

Love you,
Mom

camobirthday

 

 

kids skydiving indoors

 

Filming your kids | An everyday approach to videoing kids

Sometimes I want to film my kids just for fun. No agenda, no special occasion. So a few days ago I told them to sit on my bed and let me film them. B’s birthday is coming up soon and I wanted to capture him just as he is right now. I didn’t want scripted questions, I didn’t want to talk about his favorite things. I just wanted him to get comfortable being filmed and for him to just start talking about whatever he wanted to. I knew anything might come out of his mouth! I didn’t set up any fancy equipment. Just the me and the camera. It took him a bit to warm up and he wasn’t in his most talkative mood, but I love the outcome. It’s him. It’s his sister getting bored with his story in the background. It’s him trying to tell a joke and knowing it was terrible the moment he finished it. It’s him.

Don’t wait for a special occasion to film your family. Every day is a moment you don’t want to forget. Call me and let’s talk about creating a film for your family to cherish.

How I Make a Family Film | Capturing Family Memories for You

I bet, a lot of the hesitation you have about having a photographer or videographer come into your house to take photos and create a family video is how much work you think it will be. You think you have to make sure the house is spotless. You think the kids have to be on their best behavior for THREE WHOLE HOURS?!?!? And what will you do for three hours anyways? And how in the world will any of this make a good family film?

So let’s clear this up a bit. I honestly think an in-home session is easier than a studio or on location session. No rushing to be on time. No worrying about the weather. No sweating your rear off outside in the Houston humidity. No making the kids stand still and fake smile for 30 minutes.

I come to you. I wait for your kids to warm up. I let them take photos so they know what I’m doing and don’t get shy. I let them jump on the bed and tell them not to tell you. I have enough time to make them my friends and get them comfortable that they let their little personalities shine. And when the kids are comfortable, the parents are comfortable.

Before the session, I have a questionnaire for you that will give me an idea of what activities you may want to do during your time. Play games, bake cookies, go fishing, read books, snuggle up to watch a movie. What does your family love to do? Yes, it means you may need to get the Chutes and Ladders game set up before I get there, or that you should make your batch of cookies the day before so I can film your littles decorating them.

The questionnaire also gives me insight as to what little quirks or fun phases your kids are in at the moment and that you want captured in your family film. So many little things about kids that we forget before we realize it. These are the things I want to capture for your family.

Three hours of me will fly by. I promise. I’ll be with the kids together and then individually. I’ll be with the whole family together. You do what you would normally do and I sneak around capturing you in action.

This is one of the first family videos I created. I had them answer the questionnaire and then gave them a very rough schedule of what they would do while I was there. She had the baking supplies ready to go and the Candy Land game set up on the table. The rest was free time where I played with the girls and filmed them together. Mom took a chance on letting me come in and film her family and now they have a video showing them who they were as a family at that very moment, in a home that they just sold. Nothing will ever be the same as it was during that time, and now they have a way to preserve those memories.

 

 

Letter to my Kids | June 2016

Each month I join a great group of ladies to write letters to our children. After you read my letter, hop over to Holli’s blog and read hers!

OH Kids,

This month y’all get one letter.  I’m too tired to write two. Yes. I’m lazy. But I own it. I do think I can find the energy to get up make a mimosa, though. I’ve got my priorities straight, yo.

So, school is officially out. You are home with me 5 looooooong days a week, all by ourselves. Weekends are a little easier because we have neighbors and sometimes grandparents to send you to. But man, those 5 days are long days. I’m ready to get you guys signed up for gymnastics camps!

We went downtown to pick up my cameras a few days ago. We stopped at the Pie Shop for lunch and ate entirely too much. I’m not sure how B put all that food in his stomach. His dessert of choice was a milkshake, of course. A and I got pie slices. How could we not? And then just by chance I got lost coming home and saw a macaron shop. And of course, we had to stop there too. Somehow all of our trips, no matter what the main objective is, turn into sugary things trips. I’m not complaining, but I do think I was supposed to be on a diet that day.

You guys love swimming and we are lucky enough to have a neighbor with a pool and two kids that y’all love. B is finally getting it down enough that I don’t worry about him the entire time. He isn’t brave enough to just take off, but he is swimming well enough that he probably could. His preferred spot is the hot tub, sitting back watching the girls. When he asks for a silk robe for his birthday, I’m going to get worried. A has been a great swimmer for years, so I don’t worry about her in the least. And as a bonus, my kids are the whitest white kids you’ll ever meet, so I always look tan when I’m with them!

I’m sure I’m forgetting all kinds of fun things we did this month, but like I said, I’m tired. And rereading what I’ve written makes me cringe because my pronouns and point of view don’t match. But again, too lazy to fix it.

Love you guys!

 Mom

The lovely Pie Place we visited. It was like walking onto the set of a 70’s diner sitcom!

boy sitting at a table at a restaurant girl sitting in booth at a restaurant

The pool is home to a dinosaur, lobster, shark, and donut.

IMAG0271 IMAG0272

Let’s not talk about photo quality this month either. My phone works hard to capture blurry photos. :)

Letter to My Kids – May

Each month I join a group of wonderful mothers to write letters to our children. This month, be sure to hop over to Holli’s blog after reading my letter.

 

Dear A,

School is almost over for us! That means summer camps are just around the corner. I can’t wait for summer camps! Being a homeschooling mom means that I don’t get to miss you guys while you are in school. Summer days at home just mean unstructured time for us and you saying you are bored over and over again, even though I give you great suggestions like cleaning and laundry and multiplication work.
I refuse to continue school year round, so to keep you busy I stick you in summer camps. Costs us enough to put Ramen noodles on the menu twice a week, but still so much cheaper than the nut house we’d be putting me in if I had to spend the entire summer listening to you tell me you were bored.
You’re thinking about horseback riding camp. Even an overnight one. If you’re game, I’ll send you. But I better not have to come get you after two days. We’re going all in.
Maybe pottery. Softball camp again, too. You graciously told me you were keeping it to only three camps this summer. Nice of you and all, but you picked the three most expensive camps out there. I guess I shouldn’t blame you. You get your expensive taste from me. Caviar dreams, kid. Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

Love, Mom

Moving Portrait of A from Michelle Roycroft on Vimeo.

 

Dear B,

At this very moment you are outside with your dad trying to make him make you a fire out of two sticks. You don’t understand why it’s so hard. You’ve seen it on tv. I’m pretty sure you’re talking too much, too. You’ve already informed me that I was wrong when I said wasps hurt like crazy. Because apparently, the only things that hurt like crazy are elephants, buffalo, dinosaurs (if they were still alive), rhinoceros, and camels. I feel like camels are the answer to the “one of these things is not like the other” question,  but I guess they can kick hard. I don’t know. I don’t question your logic anymore.
Also today you told your dad that I always always buy your cheeseburgers with ketchup even though you don’t like ketchup and you tell me that. That happened one time, man. One time and then I got my act together. Let’s not exaggerate so much.
You’ve taken to making weird noises. Like clucking. I have no idea why. But I’ve heard, “There are no chickens in this house” yelled at you too many times to count. You’re driving us crazy. So after you got in enough trouble for clucking, you started ribbiting. Really. I don’t know. Just stop.
I need to find you lots of summer camps.

Love, Mom

Moving Portrait of B from Michelle Roycroft on Vimeo.

Letter to My Kids | March

*Each month I join an amazing group of ladies who write letters to our children. After you read my letter, be sure to hop over to Holli’s to read her letter. Keep hopping to make your way back to me.

letter to my kids

Dear A,

We had an issue last week. You asserted your independence. I said I didn’t care. And then we stared each other down for over an hour. I did do my nails in the middle of all that, though. So there’s the silver lining, for me at least. Eventually you gave in and did what I told you to do.

Now, I’ve always tried to teach you guys that yes, you sometimes just have to do what you are told to do. But at the same time, if you can explain to me why you disagree, if you can give me a valid reason for why you don’t want to do something, then ok. We can talk about it. I’m not saying I’ll let you have your way, but maybe. But if your reason is that you just don’t want to? Nope. That’s not cutting it. And that was your reasoning last week.

I don’t ever want you to be a follower. I want you to think and question and make a decision that is yours alone.  If you make mistakes I want them to be yours. Own them. Own your life. See a theme here in your letters as of late?

You are doing awesome in school – both homeschool and enrichment school. And even in my class in co-op. I think you thought it would be cool to be the teacher’s pet in my class until the first week in, when you realized I have no pets and my classes are hard. You should’ve listened when I said you wouldn’t want to be in my class. :)

Love you kid,

 Mom

letter to my kids on bikes

Dear B,

Well, you are officially thinking about changing your name again. The front runner is Lightening Thunder. But I don’t think you’re giving up Camouflaged any time soon.

Yesterday you told your dad that you wished the two of you could live in an octopus garden so y’all could do whatever you want.

Last week you made yourself a sandwich and ate even the crust, because according to you, your sandwich crust is better than my sandwich crust. Well, the joke’s on you, my friend, because you will now be making your own sandwiches for the rest of your life.

You like to go to cat school with the neighbor friend. She is the trainer. You are the cat. Problem is that either me or the friend’s dad have to play fireman to get you out of the tree that you get stuck in every time. Cat school should include a lesson on getting out of trees.

You have become the most cantankerous 90 year old man I’ve ever met. You get angry at the drop of a hat and let everyone know how absolutely boring your life is. You get out of your mood relatively quick, but then get back into it even quicker. Much more of this and I will be hunting down a nice little nursing home to ship you off to.

Love you (even though you think I’m boring and make bad sandwiches),

Mom