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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.



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.

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.


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?

Capturing Christmas Traditions on Video

It seems like by the time November hits, I get bombarded with “How to Make Family Traditions” and “Create Something Special” newsletters and Pinterest pins and Facebook posts. And by the time December hits, I’m done with it all. Traditions are wonderful and magical and they are what we remember from our childhood. I like traditions. I really do.

But sometimes we moms keep adding to the traditions, trying to keep up with everyone else and trying to make sure our kids aren’t missing out on anything. And then those traditions become a burden. Hence, my continuous plotting of how to make Elf on the Shelf disappear without causing psychological damage to the kids and how to make myself magically allergic to gingerbread so I can refuse to participate in building the houses that inevitably fall apart and taste like cardboard. And can we not talk about my beautiful Christmas village that has somehow turned into a trailer park filled with gaudy lights and miniature pink flamingos?

Really now, Lowe’s. Let’s get it together and stop offering anything other than tiny snow filled cottage houses and libraries adorned with wreaths. Kids can’t pass up flashing lights and music. You know this.

Traditions need to be fun. They need to be only slightly hectic and crazy. But when we are done with them, we need to ALL have a smile on our face. Especially us moms.  So I’ll admit that when I was asked to film a family of three young boys at the town Christmas tree lighting, I was wondering how it was going to go down. It was one of their family traditions, but I was skeptical.

But I was wrong to doubt it. It was so much fun. Those boys had a blast counting down to the light up of the tree and watching the snow being blown into the crowd. The ice sculpting was cool and the puppet show had them mesmerized. This is what traditions are supposed to be about. The fun, the excitement.

Take a minute and watch their video. And then think about your family’s traditions – holiday or otherwise. Take the time beforehand to grab a camera or set up the tripod. Capture those fun moments. The looks on your kids’ faces. Because by the time next holiday season starts filling your inbox with 1007 ideas to make this the best holiday ever, you’re going to need to remember those shining smiles and looks of wonder.

Otherwise you might be leaving a ransom note for dear old Elfie…

The L Family | How We Celebrate Local Traditions

How We Celebrate Local Traditions from Michelle Roycroft on Vimeo.

Be sure to check out Jenn’s post on Houston Mom’s Blog for her take on the night. She has a great perspective and you can see some of the photos from the night as well.

Birthday Party Videography | Houston


birthday video

I love parties. Maybe a little too much. And that’s why I love when someone calls about a Birthday Party Videography package. I get to watch all the fun and action and don’t have to do all the work! I just run around with a camera. :)

I had so much fun with these two boys. Their mom Brittney is a Houston Mom’s Blog contributor and we were introduced through the How We Celebrate series I am participating in. The boys’ birthdays are two years and one day apart, so they celebrate together. I love that it’s a joint thing, but that there are two cakes and two songs. It keeps it special for each kiddo.

My two kids are so far apart in birthday months that I’ll never have to wonder about giving them a joint party. I’ve often wondered how hard it is to have to combine two kids’ interests and wants for one single party. I think Brittney did a wonderful job!

You can read Brittney’s post about the party on Houston Mom’s Blog here. She has some wonderful words about capturing the little details through photos and video.

But the best words of all came in an email she sent to me right after she watched the video,

“I am OBSESSED! And I ugly cried. Thank you 1,000 times over!!!”


Here is a look at their video of the day.

How We Celebrate from Michelle Roycroft on Vimeo.

Do you have a party coming up that you’d like to capture on video? Contact me today to talk about a videography package!

Crab Hunting | Family Films

So many memories are crammed into a family vacation that it’s easy to forget the little ones. There is one night that is always designated as the crab hunting night when we go to the beach with my family. This year, I brought along my camera and decided to take a video. I don’t think I could be any happier how it turned out.

Is there something, anything, that your family always does together? It doesn’t need to be a big, planned out event. Anything you do together is special. Get it in a family film today.