Having a second baby. Doable. Having a second baby and moving at the same time. Sucks. Having a second baby, moving and opening businesses. INSANE. AND that’s my current life. BUT that is not what this blog post is about.
Let's go back to the moving part. That's what inspired this write-up! During our move, I was a little emotional when I came across old photos taken of my family when I was about 3 years old. (I mean, I guess it could also have something to do with the influx of hormones that came with having a baby), OR it could just be that pictures bring back feelings and memories in a way unlike anything else can. I also felt during my move that I have hung onto many things that I thought I would look back on and want: cards, awards, stuffed animals. And although some of it is nice, overall it has created this overwhelming feeling of “too much stuff”. So I used my knowledge gained from “The Happiness Project” and other advice from friends who have been purging, to live more simply. And I sat with many of the objects, thought about it’s time in my life, took a picture of it and let it go. It felt good.
What I am extremely grateful for and didn't let go of are the pictures. I was pretty lucky in that I grew up with a very talented and professional photographer as an Aunt. She received a Pulitzer Prize for her documentary photography, and my sister and I were privileged to have her document our lives as kids. But more importantly, she edited, printed and framed the work to give my mom which has eventually been passed down to us. I’m sure there are rolls and rolls of negatives we have never seen, but the important ones are the ones she chose to print and have become a part of my childhood experiences.
This was a reminder of why I do what I do and why I believe so strongly in it. This created the foundation for the artwork that I create for other families today.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPhone photos and the ability to digitally share images instantly, but I know and treasure the value of picking a favorite, printing it and actually enjoying it daily on my walls or in a book that I can share with my friends, family and kids.
I created this studio with the idea of gifting my clients with the curation of art and to rid the feeling or need of all the images that will just create clutter. I don’t want to leave parents hanging after their shoot with hundreds of digital images to become an item on their circulating to-do list right alongside that wedding book they still need to make! My studio has become a resource for families to come and create artwork out of memories.
Knowing we live in a digital world, and it's not 1983, we have struggled a bit artistically and philosophically with incorporating digital work into our studio. While on maternity leave and in the midst of boxes and frames leaning against my walls waiting to be hung, I have been working with my team to introduce some new digital services that can be add-ons to the curated prints.
During a photo session, I always hear myself asking the families if they have taken video of their kid's adorable chipmunk voice or that silly dance. I know that we as parents often forget how cute our kids' voices are with the millionth "mommy", "daddy" or "why?" being screamed at us.
So, this is why I am so extremely excited and giddy about introducing our new product to bring into your lives.
We are introducing, Vignettes:
Home videos aren't a new concept by any means and documenting families in this fashion was a past-time that started the minute a home video camera could hit the hands of a proud parent. Remember when your dad had his 20lb camcorder anchored to his shoulder and left the tape rolling through the entire 8th grade graduation just in case you wanted to go back and watch 3 hours of kids (whose faces you couldn’t see) walking on and off a stage? This is NOT that.
We are incredibly lucky now to have smart phones that allow us to have a "camcorder" in our pockets, capturing moments here or there. But with that ease, short video clips on our phone tend to stay just that.
It takes some serious technology and talent (like Alex) to document, edit and tell your story - allowing the home movie to come back to life in an art form.
Vignettes will bring videos back into the home to cherish as works of art in addition to beautiful prints.
Then you can be thankful that you aren't watching a day of zoo animals, a parade from start to finish or your entire family opening presents from the neck down. These are home movies that are short enough to keep everyone's attention, but long enough to tell an emotional story (and you are actually part of the video beyond filming with a muffled voice that is too close to the microphone).
Take a look at our first Vignette and get out the Kleenex!
Videographer Add-On to Standard or Lifestyle Photo Session:
3 hour video documentation with family home video (sample) : $850
Additional documentation hours $150
A little about Alex:
Alex Donnelly is a Midwest born and bred cinematographer, who has always gravitated towards visuals. He has a firm belief that every experience & every story has something worth telling. His work, therefore, is highly personal and intimate with every project he’s given. Alex focuses on opportunities to show moments of sincerity and truthfulness within the realm of visual storytelling.
Alex is well versed and knowledgeable in the arts of an image, in all formats. Primarily however, he makes his living as a cinematographer having shot a myriad of shorts and commercials in and out of the city of Chicago.