Celebrating 5 Moments that Changed Us

Today, we’re recapping our 5 Moments in 5 Days anniversary celebration. It was hard for us to pick only five moments, because all of the moments we have created, documented and celebrated over the last five years have filled us with joy.

Each of the examples that we chose focuses on our mission of documenting the every day moments that matter to families. They demonstrate how we make and honor history, milestones, legacy and new beginnings every day,. This is exactly what families do, no matter their shape, size, or circumstances. We hope that you enjoy reliving these moments as much as we do, and we are grateful that you continue to share and celebrate your moments with us.

When the Little Moments Add up to the Story of Childhood for Two Siblings

We love working with families like this one year after year. This family hired us to create their first video the year Portraits that Move launched, and we have been documenting their lives ever since. What a wonderful way to preserve the moments that make up a family’s history, as those moments unfold.

Here's a look at the first film we created for them

And here is the most recent film..


Much gratitude to this family who keeps us smiling year after year!

Bringing Together Years of Small Moments for one Big Mitzvah Montage

All of these moments make up the stories of our lives. Mitzvahs provide the perfect opportunity to celebrate that life as it is growing and changing.

In this Mitzvah Montage, we take time to look back on these moments, to celebrate them, and to share them with friends and family who come together to support and honor a child during a milestone moment.

Capturing 3 Generations in One Film

What an amazing opportunity it was to create a film that brought the lives of three generations of one family together in celebration and joy.


As filmmakers, when you work with multiple generations of the same family, you are able to see the large and small ways that each individual’s experiences, observations, and personalities come together to create a complete, rich story of a family.

From the great grandparent down to the newest family member, we are able to see how history, tradition and love come together to create a story that is entirely unique to them, and that, at the same time, resonates with us all.

Meeting Baby, Meeting the World

From the eldest generations to the newest, we delight in bringing moments to life on film. Our Baby Videos are precious, especially when we are able to captured firsts - like baby’s first time touching snow - on video. So much more than a set of infant or baby photos, these moving portraits give us the sights and sounds of a baby. And they allow parents to talk about what it is like in those first few months in an honest, open, and joyful way.


It is often said because it is so true, time moves more quickly than we can imagine. And as much as we are convinced we will remember every detail of our baby’s first months and years, we don’t. They are gone in a flash, and it is so gratifying to have something to look back on to remember exactly how it looked, how it felt, what it sounded like when there was a new baby in your home.

Celebrating Healing

One of the most profoundly gratifying and joyful experiences we have is creating videos for our Portraits that Heal project. In these videos, we honor and celebrate the lives of children who live with chronic, life threatening illnesses.


In addition to demonstrating the resiliency, tenacity, and hope that these children and their families embody every day, our Portraits that Heal videos also remind us, and those who watch them, about the beauty, simplicity and joy of living every day. We are inspired and amazed by these children and we are deeply honored to be able to preserve their lives and their words on film..

Share Your Joy with Us

Contact Portraits that Move to book a video celebrating your family’s daily life, and the history you are making.

Giving Tuesday is a Day to Share Love and Gratitude

Today and every day, we are aware of the importance of giving in order to create moments of joy for others. This year, we compiled a list of non-profits that are giving beautiful gifts to individuals and communities through hard work and dedication.

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Non-profits like these benefit from your generosity, and so do those they serve. Take a moment today to look at some of the work they are doing. We invite you to be inspired by the joy and healing they put out into the world.

Make a Wish Foundation

The Make a Wish Foundation is dear to the heart of our founder and executive producer, Susannah Ludwig, and the company that she created. Susannah’s early life was marked by multiple life saving surgeries.

This helped her to realize that every day is a gift and there is joy even in the smallest moments. The Make a Wish Foundation believes that “one moment changes everything.” The foundation helps to make wishes come true for children with critical illnesses, making treasured moments for children and their families.

Kids in Need Foundation

As a Board Member of Kids the Kids in Need Foundation, Susannah gets to see first hand the good work that this organization does in communities around the United States.

Kids in Need provides backpacks and school supplies for students living in poverty so that they are able to go to school confident and ready to learn. As Susannah shares, “it makes a huge difference for kids… you can see how having their own school supplies, something that may seem so small, improves their self esteem.”

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Through Portraits that Heal, we have helped Alex’s Lemonade Stand share its mission to cure childhood cancer by sharing the stories of children the organization has helped.

Alex’s Lemonade stand, founded by parents who lost their daughter to cancer, supports funding for fighting childhood cancer by raising money for scientific research and by helping families who are living with cancer.

See more of Kaela’s Hero Story, created by Portraits that Heal.

Feeding Matters

Feeding Matters is committed to helping kids who have trouble eating. In addition to connecting to Susannah’s childhood surgeries and related challenges, the mission of helping children be nourished so they can thrive is an inspiring and important mission.

The organization “furthers advances in pediatric feeding disorder by accelerating identification, igniting research, and promoting collaborative care for children and families.” The work they do is not always recognized on a large national stage but it makes a tremendous impact on the children and families whose lives they change.



Manna

Manna, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is more than a food bank. The organization promotes therapeutic nutrition, working hard to connect those in need with healthy food. As the organization explains, Manna “uses nutrition to improve health for people with serious illnesses who need nourishment to heal.” The Manna team does this by providing medically tailored meals and nutrition education… to improve their health and quality of life.”

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Portraits that Move remembers Manna in a special way this Giving Tuesday. Founder Susannah Ludwig’s aunt, who passed away just before Thanksgiving, was a deeply involved volunteer with Manna. We encourage those who are moved to support the organization to do so in her memory.

Brooklyn Public Library

Libraries always need funding! The contributions they make to our local communities is incredible, though often unsung. From literacy programs for kids to job resources for adults, the Brooklyn Public Library is both a cultural center and a center of service for our communities.

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How many small, special moments have you created with your kids in your neighborhood library? Help them keep making moments like these for our kids and our neighbors.

Arthur Project

The Arthur Project helps underserved middle school students. Providing mentoring to students at this critical juncture in their lives can help to transform their experience and put them on the path to health, safety, and success, as it did for the organization’s co-founder in her own life.

Susannah recently worked with Snapdragon Films to create a video for the Arthur Project and has been inspired by the work the organization does. The Arthur Project is a new non-profit tackling challenges in new and engaging ways.

Stories Have the Power to Heal

We have been following Humans of New York's work with Sloan Kettering very closely.  As you know, storytelling and the power of story to heal are key elements of the Portraits that Move mission, particularly in our work with Portraits that Heal.

Our team of filmmakers knows first hand the impact that the act of seeing and hearing their stories can have on children with chronic, life threatening illnesses, and on the families that love, support and share the journey with them.

Screenshot:  Humans of New York

Screenshot: Humans of New York

So when Humans of New York began its Pediatric Cancer Series telling the story of children with cancer and the doctors who care for them we understood just how special and how powerful it would be.  The series uses photos and text to tell individual stories in an initiative to  help raise money and awareness for the pediatric department of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Thanks to the spotlight that Humans of New York helped to shine on children and their individual, unique stories, $3.7 million was raised for Sloan Kettering. 

Today we ask you, how else can storytelling and image sharing help to change the world?  And what can each one of us do to shine a spotlight on someone in need - someone who needs to be heard? 

How We are Celebrating Volunteer Week at Portraits that Move

I have been trying to teach my son about the value of service, of giving back and volunteering.  National Volunteer Week is a great time to put those lessons into practice for him, for me, and for Portraits that Move. 

I have vivid memories of volunteering with my synagogue as a young child. We went to an elderly care center and performed for the senior citizens there. It was moving and emotional and made me feel proud to have added some joy to their day.  And that lesson of going into the community and sharing joy and support stays with me to this day. 

 

As a parent, I am often trying to find ways to weave this lesson into our daily life. This week, my son and I and made sandwiches at a soup kitchen. It was fun, easy and meaningful. He told me that he was happy that the men would not have to look for lunch that day and that it made him feel good to have helped them.

 

In the collaborations for Portraits That Move, we make it part of our mission to give back and to inspire others to contribute their time, attention and compassion, too. Recently, we created a Kickstarter campaign video for a local family who is opening a children’s book store in Brooklyn.

 

Inspired by our work with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, we walk in the Alex’s Million Mile event every fall and hold lemonade stands throughout the summer to support this organization that helps bring joy and hope to so many children and their families.

 

 

We also support the Kids In Need Foundation, an organization that supplies schools supplies to kids who would not otherwise be able to have them. 

 

Volunteering teaches kids that the world is bigger than they are and that it is important to give back to those who are in need. Ultimately, volunteering, and participating in Volunteer Week in whatever ways we can, is a gift we give to ourselves.  And it is easy to incorporate into our lives.

 

How do you and your family give back? What suggestions do you have for others looking to do the same?  Share with us! 

Week of Giving - Portaits that Heal

Here at Portraits that Move, we have decided to turn #GivingTuesday into a Giving Week!  We are celebrating #GivingWeek because our team is excited by the idea of sharing what we do and helping families and children who suffer with illness to have a voice.  This week we are highlighting several organizations that serve and support children. The organization we have been working with most closely is Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a national non-profit that funds childhood cancer research.

Recently, we created a portrait video celebrating Zach, one of the Alex's Lemonade Stand Heroes.   Zach is an athlete, a kid who loves baseball, swimming and his trampoline. He loves feeding chickens on the farm where he lives with his family.  In telling Zach’s story, we have created a keepsake for his family and a portrait of his strength. We are also helping to share the mission and the work of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation to encourage and support an organization that does so much good for children and their families.

For us filmmakers, spending time with Zach was a huge gift. Zach's mother calls him a “High Octane Boy,” and we experienced his zest for life first hand. We loved the day we spent with him and hope that the experience of telling his story was healing to him.

Give Forward - #GivingWeek and Beyond with Portraits that Heal

What child do you know that you think would benefit from their story being told? How could we help further their healing by sharing their story?  Contact us about gifting a healing portrait from Portraits that Heal.

Can your organization advance its mission by helping kids share their stories? Tell us about the work you do and bring our professional, award winning filmmakers out to better help those you serve. 

In this season of giving, it is our great privilege to give hope, joy and voice through Portraits that Heal.

Portraits that Heal: Meet Kaela

"... a powerful testament of Love, Faith, Hope and Perseverance!"

We want to thank you and your team from Portraits that Heal for making Kaela feel at ease during the video shoot for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.


You were able to capture Kaela being herself, doing the things she loves, like Taekwondo, swimming, playing piano...

I love the fact that all the questions you asked were unscripted. I got so emotional just listening to her story.

The images that your team captured with our family dynamic and Kaela as the storyteller was simply phenomenal! The end product is a powerful testament of Love, Faith, Hope and Perseverance!

- The Cruz Family

Portraits that Heal gives voice to children that suffer from illness and other challenges and the non-profits that serve them by creating documentary portrait videos that empower children to share their stories in their own words.

Portraits that Heal - Meet Edie

"Working with your team was so easy!   You were able to give our story a true voice and share the innocence and bravery of our daughter Edie with everyone. Emily and I will forever cherish this video."

- Nick, Edie's dad

Portraits that Heal gives voice to children that suffer from illness and other challenges and the non-profits that serve them by creating documentary portrait videos that empower children to share their stories in their own words.