Celebrating a Couple's Love and a Family's Story

Recently, we made a Portrait Video to celebrate the tenth wedding anniversary of a longtime Portraits that Move family.

Creating an Anniversary Portrait video for Michelle Roos and her family was as amazing an experience for us as it was for them. It was a joy to see the love that they share and to reflect back to them the story Michelle and her husband Danny have created over the last 10 years.

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When Michelle came to us to ask us to create this anniversary film, we were thrilled to continue to celebrate the story of a family that means so much to us. The first video we created for the family was the Generations Video we made to honor the 100th birthday of Michelle’s grandfather.

It means so much to us to be able to document and honor the milestones of Michelle’s family and so many others.

And we are not the only ones who were moved by the experience of creating and watching the film. According to Michelle, Gavi, the couple’s just turned 9 year old, had “the best reaction ever.”

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Michelle tells this story about watching the film with Gavi and the rest of the family. “The whole time he was watching he kept coming over and hugging and kissing us. He just loved it and was filled with warm feelings about our family. Danny thought it was very sweet and when it was done he said, ‘I guess I have to make you a card.’”

For our part, we are so happy to have made this film for them. We wish Michelle, Danny and their family continued health and happiness. And we thank them from the bottom of our hearts for including us in the milestone moments of their lives.





A Month for Moms

At Portraits that Move, we celebrate moms and the moments they make with their kids every day. So when Mother’s Day rolls around we get really excited.

In honor of the first day of May, we are kicking off our celebration of Mother’s Day today with a roundup of some of our Mother’s Day posts. Today, we’re sharing everything from creative Mother’s Day project ideas for kids (spoiler alert: they require no parental assistance!) to how to cope when Mother’s Day just feels too hard.

Let the Kids Take the Lead

Find new ways to celebrate Mother’s Day with family and friends! Talk to your kids about the women in your circle – your family, friends and neighbors, – and ask them how they want to connect with and celebrate the women who help to shape their lives.

As is so often the case when we take the extra time to have conversations like this with our children, the answers may surprise you.  The list could include grandmothers, neighbors, godparents or teachers. It is always a moment of discovery when you let your children lead conversations about what means the most to them. 

By engaging with your children in this way, you learn who is important to them and what they are observing about their family and community.  You also come to learn how your children are practicing empathy and gratitude as they grow and change.


Mother’s Day Message

We love looking back at this video of a Portraits that Move family - watch to the end to hear how “my mom is special to me.”

If you’re thinking about scheduling a video shoot or gifting a Portraits that Move film for Mother’s Day, let us know!

When Mother’s Day is Hard

As much as we love celebrating our fellow moms, we understand all too well that Mother's Day can be a painful holiday for many.  Many of us have experienced a complicated journey to motherhood, or have found that our motherhood experiences are in sharp contrast with our expectations.  We know that Mother’s Day, more often than not, can be a reminder of our losses more than a celebration of our lives.

For these reasons and so many more, as Mother’s Day approaches, we are working hard to pause, to create space for feeling, working through, and sharing all of our emotions surrounding this holiday that ends up being much more than a Hallmark moment, whether or not we had planned for that.

How Do You Celebrate?

Head over to Facebook and tell us how you are planning to celebrate Mother’s Day this year. Whether it is a quite day of reflection or a loud, messy celebration, know that we are holding space for you and for your loved ones on this day and always.

5 Things We Love about Portraits that Move

It’s our 5th Anniversary and we’re celebrating all week. Follow along and share your memories on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter this week as we celebrate 5 Small Moments that Mean the World to us. We’ll be highlighting one moment every day, from Tuesday through Saturday. We hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane as much as we do.

Today, we kick off our week of celebration with 5 Things we love about Portraits that Move!

1. Celebrating Your Everyday Moments

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For these past five years, we have lived by the mantra "every moment matters" and we are so happy to reflect that back to families through our Portrait Videos, Mitzvah Videos and annual holiday cards.

2. Listening to Kids’ Stories

What a thrill it is for us to work with families year after year and document families as they grow, and giving children a place to share their observations as their perspectives and interests change.

3. Being Part of Your Milestone Moments

It means so much to us when you include us in your milestone family moments like Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Creating our Mitzvah Movies and Mitzvah Montages gives us the opportunity to allow young people to share their stories and talk about what matters to them at a beautiful moment of growth and transformation.

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The fact that we are able to be such an important part of your celebrations means the world to us, and we celebrate right along with every Mitzvah family that chooses Portraits that Move.

4. Creating Something that Stands the Test of Time

The days are short but the years are long, and we all need something to hold onto that reflects the character - the beauty, the joy, and the simplicity - of life's moments.

This is what we get to do, what we get to create for you, every day, year after year. No wonder we feel like celebrating!

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5. Using Our Talents and Passion to Spread Healing and Happiness

First and foremost, we are storytellers, and we are so pleased to tell your stories on film. All of the awards do not compare to the notes we receive from parents, and the smiles we capture on film.

Thank you for five wonderful years. We are so very excited for many, many more!

Our Anniversary Gift to You

Join in on the anniversary fun with a special 15% off a Signature Portrait, Mitzvah Montage, or Mitzvah Movie when you contact us and book by Saturday, 3/2, at 10:00 p.m. EST.

2019 Word of the Year - Celebrate!

Do you choose a word of the year every new year? We are big fans of this practice. It helps us focus on a guiding principle that leads to our goals and reminds us to stay grounded in what matters as we start the new year.

Looking at all the opportunities and adventures that lie ahead in 2019, we know that this year at Portraits that Move, what we want to do most, is celebrate!

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Celebrate Moments

Every moment matters, and every moment is worth celebrating. We don't know how many years we get in this life, or what may come our way. What we do know is that every year, and every day, is made up of moments small and large that connect us to each other, that are filled with joy, that remind us of gratitude.

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This year will be filled with moments that make us smile and moments that lead to discoveries, for our children and for ourselves. We’ll have unexpected moments with our children that we look back on and realize were some of the most treasured experiences of our lives, even if those moments are small and simple.

All of this is worth celebrating. It's why we create our films for families, so that the can see and celebrate who they are right now. And so they have something to look back on to celebrate how they became who they are.

Celebrate Milestones

There is nothing like a milestone to ignite celebration, and the joy that parents feel watching their children grow, change, and thrive in the world. That's one of the reasons we love creating Mitzvah videos for families.

Our Mitzvah videos allow families to add a truly special element to a milestone day filled with joy, enthusiasm, and not a small amount of nostalgia (how often we hear from Mitzvah moms and dads that they can't believe how fast the time goes!).

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The thing about celebrating is that it is so much more than the exuberance of a party, just like your child's Bar/Bat Mitzvah is about so much more than all of the perfect party details and exciting extras you have planned for your child and their friends. To truly celebrate our families, ourselves, our lives, is to look at life in all of its dimensions, the small moments and the milestone moments, and to realize how grateful we are for the life we have, for the joy and the challenges that fill our days.

Because time really does go too fast, and if we don't stop to celebrate who we are, where we have been, and where we are going, we will have missed out on the chance to celebrate how sweet and beautiful all of this is.

Celebrate Every Day

Clients, friends, family, that's our wish for you this new year. Find a way to celebrate each other, to celebrate with each other, every day.

We guarantee you will have better days because of it. And we can't wait to celebrate them with you!

Maybe the fact that we can't slow down time is not a bad thing

Often as my son heads back to school, I am reminded of the "what I learned on my summer vacation" assignment.  Since I am always looking for new ways to tell stories and learn lessons from my experiences and the experiences of those around me, I explored the question for myself.

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The answer might be a bit surprising, and I am excited to share it with you and to hear your thoughts.

What I learned on my summer vacation is this: maybe the fact that we can't slow down time is not a bad thing.

The speed at which time moves, which seems to feel even faster for parents, as we all can attest, reminds us that these moments are worth preserving, remembering and returning to for glimpses at what was and clues into what is to come.

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On our annual trip to Cape Cod, it struck me how much my son has grown over the year since we last visited our favorite place.  His observations, insights and interests have changed so much.  It made me nostalgic for the moments we have shared - the times when he needed to hold my hand on our hikes, the times before he was able to swim on his own.  At the same time, I felt proud to share this life with him, proud of who he is and who he is becoming. 

I can picture him now bringing his own family here, telling me stories and making me laugh, as he has always done so brilliantly.

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This is why, for me, documenting moments so that we are able to return to those stories, those jokes, those moving images of our lives up to this point is such a unique and beautiful gift.  All of those moments have led us to the here and now and they pave the way for the future.

As I celebrate change and look ahead to growth and opportunities for my family, I am all the more grateful to have small, treasured moments in time that I am able to view and to share.  I see now so clearly that our story is woven with what was, what is, and what will be, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to leave even one chapter of that story undocumented and uncelebrated.

Let Kids Take the Lead: New Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day with Family and Friends

Make this Mother’s Day special by brainstorming with your kids about how to celebrate the day in new and more inclusive ways.  Talk to your kids about the women in your circle – your family, friends and neighbors, – and ask them how they want to connect with and celebrate the women who help to shape their lives.

As is so often the case when we take the extra time to have conversations like this with our children, the answers may surprise you.  The list could include grandmothers, neighbors, godparents or teachers. It is always a moment of discovery when you let your children lead conversations about what means the most to them. 

By engaging with your children in this way, you learn who is important to them and what they are observing about their family and community.  You also come to learn how your children are practicing empathy and gratitude as they grow and change.

5 Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day through Storytelling and Sharing

Schedule Facetime or Skype calls with special women in your child's life

Seeing and hearing each other is a wonderful way for your children – and for you – to connect with the important people in your lives.  We are fortunate to have technology at our fingertips that allows us to do that.

 

Ask your children who they would like to connect with and schedule a time for a call the same way you would schedule an in-person meeting.  Make it an event, make it special, and most of all, let your children take the lead.  Far away friends and family will be delighted to connect one-on-one with your kids.  Your kids will feel proud to share and to celebrate these special women on Mother’s Day.

Share their Artwork

For younger children, look through art work and classroom projects and select some favorites to send to the family members on your list.  Encourage your children to share the story of why they love this piece of art, what inspired them to create it, and why they chose it for the recipient.

Sharing artwork and allowing children to talk about it helps to build their confidence, and reminds them that they have the power to bring happiness to the people they love on holidays like Mother’s Day and throughout the year.

Create Unique, Special Messages

For older children, ask them to create a unique, special message for each person on the list.  This could include writing, drawing, making jewelry or other small gifts.  This encourages your children to share their stories and their observations to help connect them with their loved one.  It gives them the chance to use their creativity and talents to let someone know that they care about them, and why.

Share a Mother's Day Video Message

Our clients love sharing Portrait Videos and Video Cards with their loved ones for Mother’s Day and other holidays.  Especially for families that do not get to see each other as much as they would like (which is all of us, really!) our videos help to give the gift of more time with the ones you love.

Plan a New Kind of Mother's Day Get Together

This year, let your children take the lead in planning a Mother’s Day get together for your whole tribe.  Include all the women your child loves.  For us moms, this new approach does mean sharing our day, but what a gift it is to know that we are able to also share the joy and love of our children – and the joy and love we have for those who care about our children and contribute to their happiness.

Mother's Day Special 

Book a Portrait between now and the end of May 2017 and save 20% when you mention the code MOM2017

What Do You Really Need this Holiday Season?

The lists are long.  A list for entertaining, a list for baking, a list for gift giving, our children's wishlists that seem to get added to every day....

In this crush of planning and shopping and rushing towards the moments we want to remember, we know that at some point we will end up feeling lost and overwhelmed, as if all that we are supposed to be enjoying is passing us by. 

So how do we slow it down?  How do we find a way to give what really matters, what our loved ones really want?

We focus on the moment.

Think about why we are rushing and planning and making lists for the perfect gift, the perfect meal, the perfect celebration.  It is because we want to treasure our families.  We know this time is fleeting and we want to embrace it, celebrate it and slow it down enough to enjoy it, to look back on it with a warm heart, and with a calm heart.

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This is what we do at Portraits that Move, we help you to slow down and savor the moment.  We help you to give the gift of more time with your family, the gift of celebrating who you are and who you are becoming together, every day.  

For the ones you love on your list, for your own family, choose the gift that we all want, the gift we all need, a moment in time that celebrates your children, your family, your life, right now, before this moment, before this holiday season, slips away.

Portraits that Move Gift Card

Our new Portraits that Move Gift Card is the perfect way for those of you who love what we do to give the gift of Portraits that Move in an affordable way, helping to make it easier for all the people on your gift giving list to own a Portrait Video or any of our other offerings by offsetting the cost, or by gifting the full price of the product.

Portraits that Move Signature Portrait

Give the gift of our Signature Portrait, what one mom calls "the perfect holiday gift."

Portraits that Move Holiday Video Card

Perfect for sending New Year greetings and holiday messages and guaranteed to be enjoyed by all the family and friends you want to share your love with, near and far.

On the Celebration of Getting Older

I had a birthday this week! I love my birthday because I love celebration, friends, family, and of course, cake. I have so much to celebrate this year, my son is flourishing, my work is going well and I have a new, incredible love in my life.

I also have had some health struggles this year, which have, for now, gone away. After a rough summer with them, I am left feeling appreciative for feeling better and excited for another new year. I have a deep and profound gratitude for more time on the planet with those I love. I look at getting older as a privilege and as something that is exciting. 

I already wrote about the wonderful surprise party I had a couple weeks ago. The celebrating did not stop there!  I had an amazing vegan dinner with my family last week and on the actual day- a romantic dinner with my cherished boyfriend.

Fortunately for me, my guy values documenting life just as much as I do. He often has a camera in his hand and savors the good moments of life. And luckily our dinner was no exception.

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Having a birthday of course brings up things we constantly talk about at Portraits that Move; how short life is and how fast it goes by. We have a need to experience the moment and also to capture it. We love what we do and get excited about the opportunity to do it this time of year.

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Halloween is coming up and just beyond it, the holiday season. We are doing our holiday work now, so that our clients will be ready for the season with their Portraits that Move Video Holiday Cards. They will have the image, the sounds, the movement, the documentation of their beautiful families.

I have gratitude to you for allowing this work to be part of my life. I celebrate that and now is the season that I get to help you celebrate your family.

We are hosting two Holiday Video Card Shoot Dates: Saturday, October 15 (2 hour slots from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm) and Sunday, November 6 (2 hour slots from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm).

Complete the form below to get more information and to reserve your timeslot.

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I would like to book a Holiday Video Shoot on the following day:
Please contact me with more information about the Holiday Video Shoot Sessions

 

 

We're Turning Two

We’re celebrating!

This week marks TWO years since we launched Portraits That Move. It has been incredibly joyous, as we have so loved getting to know all of our families, spending time with their children and creating treasures for them to enjoy for years to come. We made this little video to celebrate our anniversary:

I have enjoyed thinking about innovative ways to meet families and dreaming up new ways to serve them. I view this work as an offering, a way to share our joie di vivre, and our philosophy about being present in each and every moment.

In the year ahead we will be releasing some new types of videos, referral discounts, video packages, and new opportunities for us to document your beautiful moments. Stay tuned for a;; these great things!

I am looking forward to meeting new families and I hope our existing clients continue to come back for more, so we can share with them, the beautiful ways in which their children have grown.

Most of all, from the bottom of my heart, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for believing in this work, for becoming our clients, for reading this blog, for sharing our videos and spreading the word - and thank you for trusting us. You have allowed my dream to come true and I am grateful beyond measure.

And now, thanks for celebrating with us! You know I love any excuse to party, and this is a pretty amazing one.

With much love and gratitude

~ Susannah

On Birthdays, Thankfulness and Documenting

This month I had a birthday. It was a quiet but joyful one. I spent the day doing things I love, walking in my neighborhood, eating yummy food, and speaking to loved ones near and far. It was not what I expected or planned, but it filled me up. I felt loved, I felt connected and I felt grateful.

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I think every year we are here and get the privilege of having another birthday is miraculous. Every morning that we get to wake up and have another day is worth celebrating.  And this value is at the core of Portraits That Move.

We love holidays and birthdays, of course. They are important to recognize and gather around. But it is the small moments, the everyday meals and walks, experiences and time together that bring us deep joy.

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On my birthday this year, I felt both ways. I loved that it was my day and I loved hearing from those whom I love. And I loved that it was a Sunday, like any other, and that I am alive.

That, in and of itself, is worth documenting and celebrating.  

On Freedom

Freedom is a word that has come up a lot in the last week.  As we gear up to celebrate our country’s birthday, we have gratitude for the freedoms we have in this nation. They feel meaningful, important and unifying.

In the last week, thoughts about freedom have felt even more significant in celebrating the United States Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. Over the years I periodically have participated in gay pride celebrations, but this year I decided that it was important to bring my son to the Gay Pride parade in New York City.

I knew it would be fun, a big party, flamboyant and joyous. What I did not expect was the flood of emotions I would feel to be there. Every cheer felt soulful, every moment of applause extra vibrant. I wept and cheered and wept some more. And my son was in it with me. He laughed and we danced and he cheered and was fully present in the celebration.

 

When I think about the fact that gay marriage will be legal for his generation and generations after that, without question - I feel overwhelmed with joy. It is incredible to think of a future where everyone can have whatever type of family they choose. This is the definition of freedom to me. We have so much to celebrate today and every day.


What does freedom mean to you? How do you celebrate it? How do you document that celebration?