A Family Film FAQ
How long will you be with us?
I usually film for between 3-5 hours. We will determine the best times for me to be with your family based on what you list as your favorite memories of your day. Is it snuggling and early morning coffee, then I will arrive in the morning. If it is afternoon fun in the backyard, then I will arrive to capture that time. I do prefer to film during daylight hours so please keep this in mind when thinking about what you want captured. This is something we can brainstorm together!
Will you talk to us or just observe?
Both actually. I want everyone to feel comfortable in front of me so I will spend time chatting and playing with the kids off and on throughout the day. You will also find me stepping back and observing at times so I don't interfere or influence how a particular moment is unfolding. It usually doesn't take long for everyone to let their guard down and just be. The idea of having someone photograph you all day is much scarier than the reality of it.
My kids are shy. My kids are rambuctious. How would this work?
Any type of personality, big or small, is a perfect fit. When littles are shy I will keep my distance until they warm up a bit. I will likely get them peaking at me while burying their face in your shirt. If your little one is rambuctious I will film all their antics. Basically, your child's personality will come through in the gallery and film. And this is the exact reason you signed up for this right?!
Our family is boring and like to relax on the weekends. What kind of images would we get?
First, no family is boring. Relaxing is great for a day in the life. I will capture the late morning snuggles, morning bed-head, and breakfast making. I will film the afternoon movie watching, game playing, book reading. Your images would be just as awesome as the family who has a day packed full of busy activities. Really.
Should we plan some activities?
If you want, then sure. I would just suggest they be activities your family would really do together. If it is your first time doing this activity, I would not suggest. It is supposed to show your family in a true way so keep that in mind. If you are in need some ideas of activites here are a few. Baking, board/card games, hide-and-seek, make a meal together, morning routine (snuggling, nursing), go for an outing (ice cream, favorite park), play in the yard, grocery shopping, bathtime, storytime, sledding, summer water play, the list could go on forever. Brainstorm some of your favorite activities before your shoot to get some ideas. Or not. Either way your session will be great!
Does my house have to be immaculately clean?
I have three kids so the idea of an immaculately clean house is only in my dreams. That said, your house should be as clean as you feel comfortable with. A pile of laundry only makes the enviroment more authentic to me. Nothing will be too clean or too messy for me. I come to your home judgement free.
What if I get upset with my kids?
I would expect to it happen. It would be impossible for me to expect to spend a day with a family and have the parents not get upset with their littles at some point. Or more likely multiple points during the day! Let's remember, I have three children of my own! This is a session about your real life. And your kids probably aren't perfect on an ordinary day, so I wouldn't expect them to be perfect just because I am there. This should not be a reason for you to not take this film journey and no amount of misbehavior will ruin your end result.
Why should I even do a documentary session?
My oldest loved Thomas the Train and could build train tracks all day, everyday if we let him. I remember when he was about 5 he played with them less and less. Everytime I saw him dig through the train track bin I would photograph his little hands at work, knowing it could be the last time he played with them as he grew into new things. Your children and family are changing every second of every day. They could grow out of their favorite thing tomorrow, the dimples on their knuckles could be gone next week. I didn't want my only photos of these moments to be in my mind. Because those images fade, no matter how hard you try to prevent it. I want them to be tangible, to be able to show my kids when they are older, to pass them on for my kids to show to their children when the time comes. That is my why.
Will I have any privacy?
Of course! Unless you're a toddler I won't film you changing or using the bathroom. The little ones I will shoot throughout their day including fumbling or getting help with their clothes, tiny toes dangling from the potty, and bathtime fun. Nothing sensitive will be photographed, don't worry.
Will you ride in the car with us?
If there is room, yes! There are great moments that happen in the car that shouldn't be missed if we can help it! Depending on how many carseats and space in the car, we will figure out the best spot for me to sit. If the front seat is an option I will take that so I have a better view of all the littles in the back. If there is no room, I will follow you with my car and meet you at our destination.
What if the day has an unexpected turn of events, like the doctors office?
What is more real life than ending up at the doctor's office when you didn't plan it? There is nothing during a day in the life shoot I won't shoot unless you specifically tell me not to. But I encourage my clients to not hold back a part of their day. The entire point of a family film is to document your day as it unfolds and if that lands you at the doctors, then so be it.
What if we get sick?
Then we will reschedule, no biggie. In turn, if I am sick I won't expose your family to my sickness and would reschedule as well. To add, a minor cold or non-contagious sickness (ear infection or similar) doesn't bother me if it doesn't bother you. I would feel comfortable still photographing your family if someone had a runny nose.
I am totally in, but my spouse would never go for it!
My family did a family film session and it was amazing. But it took a little convincing to get my husband on board. He was nervous being in front of the camera all day. Once the first hour had passed he was completely at ease. He even admitted it wasn't nearly as bad as he thought would be. Then he saw our completed film and admitted he wanted to do it each year. Here is the thing, it is NOT like a regular photo session. You guys can wear what you want, go where you want, do what you want. There is no direction from me, there is no fake smiles, or bribing the kids to sit nicely. It is a completely different type of session, one that they might even be excited about the second time!
Will we meet before the session?
Sure, we certainly can! Some families like to meet before the day of the session, either in person or a facetime chat. Other families are comfortable meeting me the day of the session. I am comfortable either way. I meet many of my clients at the beginning of a shoot so this is not uncommon for me. But I realize meeting for an hour photo shoot is a little different than spending hours together in your home, so I am happy to chat over coffee. Smokey Row is one of my favorites spots to stop!
I am curious, but nervous.
I totally get it. I was super nervous when we had our first film session done AND it was a friend documenting us! I worried it would be weird, I worried that my house wouldn't be clean enough or that I would feel like I was on a reality TV show. But the reality of it is I won't be filming the entire time. I can see the moment, I capture it, and I wait for the next. I won't be in your face with a camera, at least not all the time. Much of the time I am filming the space as a whole, so I will be in the next room or back in a corner quietly. Sometimes I will be shooting one of the littles individually and I won't be in the same room as you at all. Although it WILL be awkward for a minute at the beginning that is normal and wears off. So if you're curious, don't let your insecurities or nerves hold you back from an amazing, memborable film of your family!