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Baptism Video | Houston Videographer

I wasn’t raised Catholic and didn’t have any Catholic friends. I’m not sure I even knew anyone who was Catholic until I was in college. I grew up smack dab in the middle of Southern Baptist land. So when I was asked to film the baptism of a gorgeous months old little boy, Ray, I had no idea what to imagine.

baby boy in mother's arms

Would I be able to capture the emotion of the day? The joy, the reverence? Would I even be able to feel it? Would I be able to let go of my technical to-do list in order to just be in the moment and feel what shots I needed to get? This was essential to creating a beautiful baptism video.

I shouldn’t have worried. I felt it. The love, the tradition, the honor. I saw the love the family and friends felt. I could feel the importance of the day, the moment, and the celebration.

baby in baptism video

I hope I captured on this baptism video what the family felt in their hearts and remembers in their minds. That is my goal for every single video I make.

And my dream for every family film I make? It’s to create a scenario like this…

I see an older Ray, with children of his own. Maybe it’s a holiday, maybe just a normal Saturday, but I see him, his mother, his wife, and his children. His kids, sitting on the floor in front of the tv, eyes glued to the screen, wide with amazement that their dad was ever so small. Mouths hanging open, but silent, as they listen to their grandmother’s voice on tv, reading her letter to baby Ray.

Ray’s mother is there in that room, watching that same film. Hearing those words again and feeling the overwhelming sense of love and pride in her baby son. She has tears in her eyes and a smile on her face as Ray walks up beside her and puts his hand on her shoulder. She covers his hand with her own and smiles, her face filled with love.

All because of a video that they never knew they needed.

HuBaptism from Michelle Roycroft on Vimeo.

To read about the day from the family’s point of view, head over to Houston Mom’s Blog. I can’t tell you how honored I am to have had the opportunity to participate in such an important day.

52 Lists Project

The 52 Lists Project

It’s list time again and this is a fun one. It’s all about listing my quirks. I feel like this could take a lifetime to write, but I’m going to stick with just the top five.

  1. I eat pickles the right way. The right way being that I eat the skin off first and then the insides. And I only eat mini dill pickles from Clausen.
  2. I can carry on entire conversations all in rhyme. I do it all the time.     See what I did there?
  3. I can’t remember the lyrics to songs, so I make up my own. And they are usually better. And so, I refuse to sing the correct lyrics.
  4. I think – no, I know – Drumline is the best movie ever made.
  5. I like reading novels and watching movies that some would consider…not really depressing, but complicated. I like characters with flaws. Characters that you can relate to. Not those crazy superheros or the love stories where everyone gets roses and wedding rings and lives happily ever after. Ever read The Awakening by Kate Chopin? You should. It’s depressing as all get out, but outrageously good.

Bonus Quirk: I hate wearing shoes and socks. Socks make my toes feel constrained. Shoes make my toes feel in jail. I hate them. But, if I must wear shoes, I need super high heels. It makes me feel pretty. :)

There you have it. My top 5 quirks. Although they all seem pretty normal to me, so not sure why other people think they are quirks.

radish on a yellow table

Bonus Quirk 2: I took a photography class once and had to take photos of food. This is my best radish photo ever.

52 Lists Project | List 2

A week or so ago I finally ordered a book I’ve been meaning to for years. Literally years. Well, maybe not, because I think it’s been out for less than a year. But still. It’s been a long time. I wanted it, but doubted that I would ever finish it. I may or may not have a follow-thru disability. Anyways, I got the book. It’s The 52 Lists Project. How could I not have ordered the book?! It’s lists! And it’s pretty!

So to help with my disability, I’ve decided that I should post my lists on here each Sunday. But I’m going to need someone to hold me accountable. Someone to leave me nasty comments if I forget a week.

So, on to the list for the week!

the 52 lists book with pencil

List your favorite characters from books, movies, etc..

  1. Chief from the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Please do not confuse this masterpiece of a novel with the movie. They aren’t even close to comparison. Chief is able to watch the world around him, not saying a word. Just soaking it all in. And my favorite line of all time – “It’s the truth, even if it didn’t happen.” That sums up Chief’s belief in the world. He knows that perceptions become truths. That a person’s history, experiences, emotions – those are what form a truth. And that is why no two people can ever have the same truth. It’s comforting to know that it’s impossible to be like anyone else. Impossible to believe or feel the same things. So why bother trying to be anything other than what you are?
  2. Scarlett from Gone With the Wind. A lot of people hate her. And yeah, she does some stupid stuff. But she’s human. She has faults and insecurities, and just sucks sometimes. But I still love her. Because she’s determined. She goes after what she wants. She makes a decision and sticks with it. I see myself in her – good and bad.
  3. Elizabeth from Eat, Pray, Love. Do I really need to say anything about this one? A woman who chooses to go find herself in spite of what the world tells her she needs to do.
  4. Rose Gardner from The Rose Gardner Mysteries. Ok, so this one seems odd because it’s a comedic quick mystery series, but I love them enough to have read them all. Rose overcame a shoddy mom and being an outcast to live a life full of complications, but one that makes her insanely happy. Plus she’s like a civilian spy with really good luck. How could I not love her?

The end of every list has a Take Action sections. This week’s Take Action asks you to find a common personality trait that you admire between your chosen characters and work towards that trait this week. While my characters are incredibly different, they do all believe in themselves. They don’t doubt their actions. They say screw it to the world and do what they know they need to do, no matter what it looks like to others. I need that screw it trait. I need to stop the doubt. We all do.

March Mini Sessions! | Houston Family Photographer

family mini session ad

It’s that time of year again for Mini Sessions!

I only offer mini sessions once or twice a year and this March is the time. Houston has approximately 2.4 weeks of spring, you know. So, we are going to take advantage of that short lived season and take some gorgeous photos.

Here are all the details:

  • two dates to choose from – March 19 and 26
  • time slots between 8:30am – 11:00am
  • two outdoor locations to choose from -(exact location given upon booking)
    • March 19 will take place at Telge Park – great for woodsy, natural photos
    • March 26 will take place at Cypress Top Historical Park – great for using building as backdrops
  • 20 minutes of shooting time
  • up to 5 family members – $25 per person for each additional person
  • 5 digital downloads of your favorite photos from your online gallery
  • 15% off a full family photo of video session booked in 2016
  • $125

Last year’s mini sessions booked up within 1 week. Make the call – QUICK!

Michelle@ThisMomentPhoto.com or 832-593-4411

family mini session ad

Small Business Comparisons Suck

Don't Compare Quote

I don’t know who said that quote originally. The internet credits four different people as saying it first. So you know, we’ll just leave it as Anonymous. But man, Anonymous nailed it with this quote. It’s a quote I need to read every day. Every hour, even. Because this game of the small business comparisons is one I’m losing at.

As moms, it’s easy to get sucked into the comparison trick. Our house isn’t big enough, clean enough, Pottery-Barn-looking enough. Our kids aren’t in enough extra-curriculars, don’t speak enough languages, and don’t have a shelf full of trophies from math club and soccer. But somehow I’ve managed to drop out of this game. Perhaps it’s because I got burnt out trying to do it all. Perhaps I just realized that this house will not be clean when there are two kids in it every.single.moment.of.my.life. Perhaps I just refuse to give up another hour of my life watching my uncoordinated kid attempt to do the perfect cartwheel for only $65 per-freaking-week when he whines about going every time. Perhaps I have accepted the path of the lazy mom. Don’t know. Don’t particularly care. Because it’s a heck of a lot easier living my life being proud that my kid fixed his own lunch so now I’m never fixing another sandwich ever!, than it is to be upset that he’s not fluent in Spanish. He knows how to say chocolate in Spanish. I’ll just teach him cerveza later on and he’ll be set.

But as a business owner, a creative business owner….now that’s a different ball game altogether. I can’t seem to get out of the comparison game to save my life. In my head, I know that this quote stands true. I’m in my beginning. My business is less than a year old. And it’s doing good. Not great – I can’t take my dream vacation to Belize off my profits next month, but it’s good. It’s paying for itself, it’s making some extra, I’m booking consistently. I’ve made it almost a year in business in a field that sees most businesses fail within 18 months. After 3 years, most creative businesses in any field have shut their doors. That’s a sad, sad statement.

And I would venture to say that small business comparisons are what cause so many people to give up. The beautiful photos that come across my Facebook feed, the perfectly styled Instagram snaps, the family films posted by the videographer that I long to be as good as. While, yeah, seeing these give me inspiration and a kick in the pants to get that much better, they have a tendency to put me in a slump.

How does she have time to make enough videos to post one every single day? How did he find the perfect model with the perfect outfit in the perfect home to have a session with? Who has enough cool stuff to say to post on their blog every day? How do I post on Facebook the recommended three times a day to get my interaction up? How do I book more and charge more and make passive income? When do I find the time to do a personal project that I can get published? When do I find the time, the talent, the equipment, the inspiration….. The list goes on and on.

I have no answer for how to get rid of these comparisons. They seem to be stuck to me much more strongly than the motherhood ones were. Maybe it’s because I’ve been at the mom game for so much longer? Maybe it’s because I’ve seen behind the curtain of my perfect-on-the-outside-but-barely-hanging-on-on-the-inside mom friends. I know that what social media presents is only what someone wants you to see. The same goes for businesses…

I have to remember this quote. All of us who own a creative business, or any business, have to remember this quote.  We can’t forget it. Everytime I get discouraged or feel untalented or want to give up. Every single successful person sucked at one time. Every single successful company had moments of doubt and insecurities.

Every single person starts at the beginning. We just have to keep going. And we need to start sharing our stories of insecurities and doubts and failures. And sharing our stories of overcoming and succeeding.

But most of all, we need to stop comparing our beginnings to someone else’s middle.

Letter to my Kids | February

*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 Terri’s blog to read her letter. Keep hopping to make your way back to me.

photo-of-a-girl

Dear A,

The other day we were watching Expedition Unknown and talking about how great it would be to travel the world. I told you I thought it would be great if you took a year off between high school and college to backpack across the world. You looked at me like I was crazy. But then I explained.

You are so much like me. I mean, only the good stuff. The other stuff comes from somewhere else… ;)  You are a perfectionist. You are a control freak. You get so bogged down in the ideas of what you should do and what you need to do, that you often forget to do what you want to do. And even when you do something you want, you can’t be happy with it unless it’s perfect. You take ukulele lessons but often forget that you like it, because you are too busy freaking out that you can’t stay with the beat. Your goal in tumbling is to make it to gold as soon as possible, because that’s the best and you have to be the best. You are forgetting to have fun, kid. You are forgetting to do something because you like it, because you enjoy it, because it makes you happy. You have already forgotten – or maybe I never taught you – that sometimes it’s fun to suck at something and not even care.

I admire your ambition. I admire your desire to get things right and to do your best. I admire that you will never be called lazy.

But kiddo, I know what a lifetime of needing perfection does to a person. I know what it does to a soul when you live your life doing only what you think you’re supposed to do. And all of those things that you think other people care about? They don’t. They don’t care if your drawing is perfect or your back handspring is perfect or if you get 100’s in every subject on every report card. The people who matter – the people who really love you – don’t love you for what you do. They don’t love you because you never make mistakes. They don’t love you because you spent the last 7 hours making the perfect poster for science class.

We love you because you are you.

You are more than what you do. You are more than the sum of your parts. You cannot be defined, because you are more than a label. Do not let anyone ever tell you what you are or what you must be.

So that, dear kiddo, is why I hope you travel the world before college. I want you to go alone. To make your own decisions about what you eat and when you sleep and where you go next. Because I want you to do something just to do it, without thinking one thought about anyone other than yourself.  Not to be perfect at it, because there’s nothing to be perfect at. Not because it’s something that other people want you to do, because what other mother in her right mind thinks it’s a good idea to send a girl off alone in the world?! No one will approve of this message.

Maybe you won’t want to travel the world. Maybe you won’t want to go to college. I’m sure I will express my disappointment in these things, but I hope you stand up to me. I hope you have the guts that it takes to say screw you to the rest of the world. To everyone asking you to do something that doesn’t make your heart happy. To every thought in your brain that tells you that you need to be perfect at everything you do.

I hope you paint ugly pictures and play songs no one recognizes. I hope you sing out of tune and dance like that so very white girl you are. And I hope that everything you suck at makes you so very happy that you keep on doing it with a smile on your face.

I love you, not in spite of the things you aren’t perfect at, but because of them.

Mom

 

Dear B,

You were there last night when A had a breakdown about the ukulele song not being perfect. You were sitting there when I told you she was crying because she messed up. You were the one who said, “well, when you mess up, you just try again.” I was so proud. But then you added, “or you just quit.”

A may be the one who cares too much what other people think, but you, my dear, have already said screw you to the world. You don’t have a worry in the world about anything other than making sure people know you changed your name to Camouflaged. And yes, that’s with a d. It’s past tense. Make sure you get it right.

It drives me insane that you refuse to wear jeans and only like the silky running pants. It drives me nuts that you wear a bungee cord as a belt. But you like it. You love it, actually. If you don’t want to do something, then you don’t. I don’t think we’ll ever have to worry about you being influenced by anyone. Although I do think, perhaps, you might be the bad influence on others….

You are your own person. There aren’t enough words in the world to define you.

I love you because of your ridiculousness, your stubbornness, your insistence that you live your life on your terms.

Mom

portrait-of-a-boy

Don’t forget to go to Terri’s blog to read her letter to her now six year old!

A Windy Afternoon | Houston Family Videographer

There wasn’t much time between coming from there and going to here today to do much of anything at all. But when the wind is blowing in a storm and you suddenly remember long lost kites hiding in the house, you grab them and make the most of it. And I grab the camera to make a quick family film.

It took me too long to put the kite together. Not my fault the instructions didn’t explicitly say to turn over the kite to hook on the string. These are made for kids. They should make the instructions clearer. Yeah?

And not one of the kids (You might notice an extra kid. I did not steal her.) figured out how to stay still and keep the kite in the air. However, the constant running wore them out pretty good.

It was less than thirty minutes. Not even enough time to make an actual memory, you might think. But it is. And when I’m making a family film, I try to capture the little snippets the kids will remember. We don’t need the whole thing on film. We need those snippets. We need just enough to feel what we were feeling when we were there. Our memories will fill in the rest.

A Windy Afternoon – Instavideo from Michelle Roycroft on Vimeo.