The Small Moments are Powerful - Get to Know the Portraits that Move Baby Video

A few weeks ago when we announced that the Portraits that Move team added documentary style baby videos to our family video products, we were thrilled to see the excitement from families and were energized by your enthusiasm for our work.

Since launching our baby video product we have met wonderful families and been able to experience the beauty and the joy that come with adding a new person to the world.  And that was certainly the case in the baby video we created for Ramona and her family. 


We loved watching the pure joy of Ramona exploring her world around her.  It is incredible to capture her parents talking about Baby Ramona and discussing their hopes and dreams for her.  When we create baby videos, we are so aware of how much babies change and how much it means to document this moment, the core vision of our company in action.

With infants, the small moments are powerful - watching them walk, eat, smile, explore.  As filmmakers, creating baby videos brings us back to our basic gratitude for what we can do and also how amazing life is.

We invite you to take in this moment with us.  Enjoy the video of Ramona as she explores her world.  For me, nothing compares to the moment she is exploring the snow.  What a gift to be reminded of this simple pleasure, of its newness and of the hopeful anticipation that surrounds it - and her.

Telling My Story

In 1971 I was born prematurely with an extremely rare esophageal birth defect. I had several surgeries as a baby and spent much of my early life in and out of the hospital. It was touch-and-go for a very long time. Most of my childhood after about age 3 was healthy and my health stabilized until I was about 21.

Since age 21, I have had 3 major surgeries to repair my esophagus, hundreds of tests and several long hospitalizations. My digestion will never be “normal,” and the struggle I deal with is constant and consistent. It is at times harrowing, often uncomfortable, and extremely confusing.

I have alluded to my health struggle before without ever telling my full story. I have always known that my experience is what allows me to tap into the richness of life and that I bring that to all of the conversations we have with kids, most especially to those with illness. I am deeply aware of how short life is, how fleeting and how meaningful.

So, why now? An opportunity came into my life to tell my story as part of a show ONLY HUMAN on NPR's WNYC.  I meditated on it and decided that sharing my experience could be helpful to others. When I looked deep down, I recognized that it was unfair to ask others to share their experiences if I was not willing to share my own. 

Listen to me tell my story:

I hope it makes you laugh, brings you some insight into who I am and why documentation is so important to me. I hope it moves you, makes you think, and encourages you to share.

Thank you for listening, for reading this blog, for sharing your own stories and most of all for supporting me and our work. All stories are worth telling and I appreciate your support in our mission to do so.  

Behind the Scenes: How I Prepare for a Documentary Portrait Shoot

Once people see our family documentary portrait work and decide that they would like our team to create a video for them, the first step is to set up a call to talk about the process.  

We Learn About You, From You

On that initial call our team gathers  basic information about the family and their interests. How many children are in the family? What Portraits that Move product is the best fit right now (a full Portrait, a Snapshot, a Vacation Experience Package)?  

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Is the family asking us to create their documentary to honor a special occasion or event? Will the video be used as part of a celebration or treasured at home together? Once we know these details, we talk about scheduling a date to shoot the documentary with the family.

About a week before the shoot, I, or someone from the team calls the family to learn a bit more about the children and to plan and customize the shoot for them. We ask about the children’s personalities and preferences. What do they like to do?  What is a typical day like for them? Do siblings typically do things together or independently? Are there things the parents would like highlighted or not?

Planning a Family Documentary Shoot with Your Comfort in Mind

Also, during this second call we discuss a plan for the shoot day. We talk about arrival times, length of the shoot and general order of the day so everyone is comfortable and well prepared. Like any film shoot day, we go in with a plan and we are prepared to make changes as appropriate.

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I love our documentary planning calls. They are a fun way to get to know my clients, to create a comfort level for them about the process and to create a plan to best document their children. It is important to me that our clients feel our love and acceptance at every step of the process, in the initial conversations, while we are shooting and revealed in the final product.

We have great gratitude to be able to do this work - everything we can do to make the filming process easy and positive is incredibly important.

Contact us to schedule a call to discuss the documentary filming process for your family.