I always promised myself I wouldn’t get too busy to make films for my own family. It’s been tough, and sometimes the family footage sits for months as I edit wedding films, but I wanted to share some videos from this spring and summer. There are few things I love more than a river trip, and we have been able to go on two this summer. In the backcountry, bringing nice cameras is a little tricky because there is a lot of wind, sand, and hot sun. For these adventures, I stick with a trusty, less expensive Canon 70d and a GoPro. The film in the middle is one I made to celebrate my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary and was filmed down in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. I absolutely love making films for my family and my kids love turning on the family youtube channel and letting it roll. And then usually I cry a little because time is going by too fast.
60th wedding Anniversary Oral History Family Film
Jerry and Marie Stocks recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. About 6 weeks before their anniversary, their 5 children gathered with them in their home so we could film an oral history. Their 5 adult children asked them all sorts of questions- everything from "describe your first kiss", to "what's your greatest fear?". There was a lot of laughter and several times, their kids said, "I didn't know that!". They interviewed their parents for a good 90 minutes, and then we headed outside to film in their lovely garden.
I feel like I learned so much from these wonderful people! Jerry and Marie gave great marriage advice. They talked about how you shouldn't expect a fairy tale marriage- about how sometimes they drove each other crazy, but at the end of the day, they never did anything to one another they couldn't take back, and they always loved each other.
I cannot express how important I believe it is to have oral histories filmed. Cindy, the daughter who hired me, has told me repeatedly that this is a treasure for her and her family, forever. Time goes by so quickly, and often we lose people before we are ready. But a film like this will allow you to hear their voices, learn from them, and allow future generations to see them.
I gave the family the full 90 minute interview, along with this film, and a short preview for social media. Please contact me if this is something you are intersted in for a loved one! firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick graduated high school in May, and his sister had this genius idea. For his senior gift, she wanted a film made of his last morning of high school at graduation rehearsal. Graduation rehearsal had this very fun, laid back vibe. All the seniors were absolutely stoked and relaxed- much more so than at actual graduation night (until it's over). Plus I didn't have to worry about getting in parents' way during the legit graduation. I loved my time with these seniors, and it got me thinking that life has soooo many important events. It's not just birth and weddings that should be documented and preserved- but there are epic milestones in between (and after!) that deserve to be celebrated. Congratulations Nick!
AZ NEWBORN VIDEOGRAPHY
This session brought me so much joy. They were lovers and cuddlers and just the sweetest people I could ever hope to spend my morning with. Little Jesse was 10 days old when I came over to film. I loved seeing how the family had adapted to being a family of 4 and watching them in their new routine. I was impressed with how productive they had already been. This family lives in a rural area outside of Moab. They built everything they have. Everything! Since Jesse was born, Dad had built a playground for big sister, and Mom had been out digging a new fire pit. This morning filled me with peace and helped me remember what really matters.
Preview film below, full film above.
This film is a great reminder that even if you don't have your newborn video filmed in the hospital, this time is just as precious from home. I don't think there is a bad place or time to film a family in love with their new baby.
There were 9 seniors on the Red Devil Baseball team this year. Most of these boys have been playing together since t-ball, which also means the families have been sitting together in the bleachers for over 10 years. This is a close group. The families had the wonderful idea to have me create a film for the senior boys. Everyone gets senior photos, but not many high school seniors get a video. I am excited about this project and love that these kids can look back on this important time in their life for years to come.
The film above is the preview, and below is the full film.
I don't think I will ever forget filming this little baby. My morning with this family was so sweet and so emotional. This baby was long hoped for and some health scares throughout the pregnancy made things stressful. But in the end, after a bumpy C-section, baby Nora and her mother safely made it through the journey. Kenna really wanted me there to film when her two other children met the baby for the first time, as well as when the children's aunt with Down syndrome met the baby. And Kenna was wise, because it was incredible. There were so many tears. Kenna's 12 year old just completely melted all of our hearts. And their sweet aunt just had this immediate love and connection for the baby. I won't forget it. There were also such sweet moments with her grandparents. At one point I captured Tanner's dad holding Nora and saying "I'm grandpa. We're going to have lots of fun!"
There is just so much love in hospital rooms with brand new babies. Honestly, every single time I've walked into a hospital room with a fresh new baby, I cry. It is just such a miracle- every single time.
One of the most anticipated nights of a teenager's life is unquestionably: PROM. Annabelle's mom called me up and asked me to create a film of her daughter's prom. I loved this idea. Especially, because I love Moab's prom. They do it the old fashioned way. Months and months before prom, the kids start learning a choreographed waltz. Practically the entire community comes out to the gym to watch the anticipated promenade. Every couple gets their own entrance where their names and their parents names are announced. And then they promenade. And then they dance with their moms or dads. And then all the grownups leave, the lights go low, and the true dance begins. When I first moved to Moab years ago, I thought it was so strange. Now I think it's wonderful!! Just what prom should be. I loved the opportunity to document these fun teenagers at such a joyful life event. And teenagers love being in front of the camera, which makes my job incredibly fun.
For the second time in two months, I was asked to film at Grand County High School. This time for the Devilettes. And what a privilege! The Devilettes are the drill team for GCHS. The community loves them and has always loved them. There is even a drink named after them at the local soda shop, Lop's Pop Stop (Sprite, raspberry & blood orange).
The Devilettes have been practicing furiously for competition. They asked me to come for what would be their final dress rehearsal before Region. It was a Friday night. The boys' C, JV, and varsity basketball teams would be playing, and the Devilettes had a different routine to perform at each halftime. These 3 routines were the routines that they would perform at region, which was to be the next morning.
The girls immediately impressed me. They were obviously devoted and talented. They were so athletic and so excited for me to be there. I love working with teenagers! They are not camera shy. I filmed them practicing for each routine in the band room and putting the final touches on their hair and costumes. They rehearsed over and over. Especially the hard parts.
The girls would pop in during the basketball games to watch and cheer on their friends and boyfriends playing basketball. And then they'd group up outside the court and pray and cheer, and get completely stoked. Less than one minute after the half time buzzer sounded, the girls marched to half court, and absolutely killed it. By the varsity game, the crowd was huge, as it was an important ball game, and the energy was so much fun. Even though I'd just met these girls, I was so happy for their incredible success and couldn't help but pump my fist in the air when they hit their final steps.
The Devilettes went on to do place 4th at region, allowing them to move on to State. I love filming these high school teams. Soon 4 of the girls will graduate, and being a Devilette will be a thing of the past. I am excited each of these ladies will have this video to look back on and show to the people they care about.
Angela is one of the coolest women on the planet. Three days before she gave birth, we were at the park and she was doing pushups.
We go way back. Our husbands were roommates in college. My husband set the two of them up on their first date. We ended up in Moab a few years after them. We have kids the exact same ages (until now!!). We both have a craving for adventure/physically exhausting fun. A few of my favorites include riding the White Rim in day, summiting the Grand Teton in a day, and backpacking the Grand Canyon (in 2 days). We are pros at cramming in as much fun as possible into short increments of time. We know the exact amount of time it takes to mountain bike or trail run a large majoirty of the trails around here, making it possible to squeeze in adventure during preschool or before work.
Angela is also a fantastic photographer. Check her out at Angela Hays Photography.
Anyway- lets get to the point. Two weeks ago, Angela had a baby in the middle of the night. Eight hours later, I drove to the hospital to film this beautiful bundle of joy and to capture three sisters meeting little Ms. Bridgette for the first time.
I cried at least 3 times in that hospital room, and then multiple times again as I edited.
There is nothing like the love and joy a newborn brings to a family.
For the second season in a row, I was able to create a film for the Grand County High School Lady Devils basketball team. I absolutely love this opportunity. I remember my high school sport days very well, and even though I was terrible, I learned so many life lessons. I learned how to push myself harder than I thought was possible. I learned discipline. I gained confidence. I'm proud of every one of these girls for putting themselves out there and going for it.
This year on their uniforms, they are sporting a black circle for Taylor, #25, I think about Taylor everyday.
These girls (and coaches) have heart. Go Lady Red.
I love this family. After I had my first baby, I went back to work for another season with the National Park Service. A friend recommended Tonya to watch my one-year-old, and that is how we met. I remember having this fear that he would take his first few steps at her house, but I quickly learned that even if he did and I missed it, Tonya would be just as excited as I would be. She has so much love in her heart. Don't worry, he walked for his first time at home.
This family also has an amazing ability to make dreams a reality. For as long as I've known them they've had a vision for a CrossFit gym in Moab. After a few years and lots of problem solving and hard work, here they are as owners of successful CrossFit Moab. Drop in gym goers from around the globe have commented that this gym truly feels like a community.
Tonya wanted to give Clint a family film, celebrating him, for Christmas. Christmas morning, Clint had this film under the Christmas tree. We also created another film with him in it, in full uniform. It is so touching, and he beautifully snuggles his family and verbally expresses his love for them, but we are keeping it off the web for privacy reasons (we can't have all of our treasures on the internet now can we!!). Happy New Year everyone!!!
Lately I feel like time is flying by. Sometimes the days can feel so long. But then suddenly a month has gone by. And then a whole year. This is one reason I love and believe in family films. Video is such a great way to capture a time and a phase of life. Next year the Hoffman family will look different. Their baby won't be much of a baby and their oldest a teenager. I love the opportunity to create pieces of family history to be cherished with the passing of time.
I was lucky enough to travel to San Clemente, CA for a week back in July. If I could split my life between Moab and San Clemente, I would. Surfing Donuts, SUP surfing at Old Man's, Pedro's Tacos, beach all day everyday with the kids. I barely saw my boys all week they were so busy digging and boogie boarding.
While I was there, I was able to film two lovely families. I tried something different and created an interview style family film. Audio adds so much emotion to a wedding film, so I've been dying to try it with a lifestyle film. I absolutely love the result! I love watching the parents' eyes sparkle as they talked about their children. I loved the thoughtful things they said about each child. Their words were not scripted nor rehearsed nor too rosy.
I can't imagine having a film of my parents talking about me as a little one. About how cute I was without my two front teeth, or what a stubborn toddler I was (both true ;).
One of the mothers said her film showed her kids as they truly are. That is what I want!!! I want something that will become more and more of a treasure as time passes, both to the parents and the kids. I want to create films showing families in their true, authentic ways, doing what they do. Something more than families posed and smiling. I wouldn't mind filming a few more 6 year old knock knock jokes, or brothers putting sand in their sister's hair either.
One night I couldn't sleep, because I had this idea of creating oral history films. I truly believe that having video of our loved ones after they are gone is absolutely priceless. And then to have video of that person talking about their childhood, hardships, and joys, would be all the more valuable. And on top of that, imagine this footage including family young and old.
So I filmed an oral history of an incredible local Moab women. I am so proud of this film. It is one of my finest creations. However, the family would like it to remain private for a while, and I absolutely understand. So until I can show it to you, know that it is full of wisdom, love, adorable great grandchildren, admiring grandchildren, tears, and laughter.
During Spring Break, my bestie had a really good idea. Since both of our husbands had to work, we decided we shouldn't just stay home all week. Instead, we took the kids on their first overnight backpacking trip. We hiked in a mile, played in the creek, ate ramen (my 4 year old normally hates it but that night, LOVED it), watched wild turkeys scale the cliffs, built sand castles as the first stars appeared, and slept terribly. Actually my boys slept GREAT, but Eva just rolled around on top of me all night.
The outing, although quick, was completely worth it. I made this little video for them, because I think their memory lasts a good 30 seconds.
And, I know my oldest son's pack looks enormous. I promise it only had his sleeping bag, puffy coat, and pjs. And this oldest son of mine deserves credit for some of the filming. That shot of Eva's walking stick was all him, as are all of his selfie shots.
And big thanks to Caspar Babypants for letting me use his genius song.