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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 – 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.

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.

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

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.

 

Family Films | Capturing Traditions on Film

Capturing traditions on film and in a video is my thing. Well, one of my things. My other thing is capturing everyday life on video.

But traditions hold a special place in our hearts. They remind us of a person or a place from way back when. Traditions are an anchor to something or someone in another time. Capturing those traditions on film means that you can stop relying on your memory. Stop stretching to recall what happened and just enjoy watching it unfold. You can share what is a part of you and your family. Your babies can see what you did when they get older. Your mother can watch from across the country and know you are still carrying on the traditions from home.

hands-in-cookie-dough

This family….oh this family. Two beautiful cousins with their adorable children sharing a tradition of making sugar cookies with a recipe handed down from a mom and full of memories and happiness. Cookie making day is about more than cookies for them. It’s about connecting their children to someone they will never know in any way other than memories and stories handed down to them. The kids won’t realize it now while they are so young, but later in life, when they are making cookies with this same recipe with their families, they will see that they are part of something bigger than themselves. Something bigger than cookies and time and space….they are a part of a tradition of love.

Complete with cookies that make the house smell like heaven and taste like happiness. I do have a thing for cookies, you know. :)

To read the ladies’ takes on the day and the tradition, head over to Houston Mom’s Blog to read all about it. They tell their story much better than I ever could.

Mom’s Sugar Cookies from Michelle Roycroft on Vimeo.

 

Take a look at another video I created for a family after capturing traditions on film.

What traditions do you have? What about your family? What could we capture together to give memories a place to reside for all to see?