Life in Motion: October | Long Island & New York City Family Films

I very nearly did not make a personal film this month. I'm drowning a little bit in client work, and with Halloween and Lila's birthday party coming up, and working quite a bit this month doing my theater thing, I just didn't know where I was going to find the time to put anything together. It is getting so close to the end of the year though and I really want to follow through on finishing up my goal of one personal film a month in 2016... so I looked through the footage I had shot this month and quickly pulled something together.

This little film is the perfect example of a short "memory film". It is full of mistakes - super high and wrong shutter speed, not a whole lot in focus, it is choppy, and I shot it with my 85mm which is not a focal length I ever really use, but it was the only lens I had with me that day. It is so far from a masterpiece, but when I see all the clips together, as disjointed as some of them are, this little film encapsulates a fun afternoon my kids had at the pumpkin patch. I look at it and hear their laughter, and I am brought back to that place in an instant. That is the beauty of these little family films. They don't have to be perfect. They can be put together quickly with footage you never intended to do anything with. And they will still have magic. 

Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.

What if you got it back?
— Mitch Alborn

Heather Robinson recently introduced me to that quote in her beautiful class The Family Historian. I immediately thought of the power of family films when I read it. The motion and sounds along with images - well that's just about as close as you can get to having "that day back".

So, forget about correct shutter speeds and frame rates and steady camera shots, just press record, put that footage together, and revel in the fact that you forever "have that day back". What a gift.

Please follow the circle around to see all the other wonderful films this month, starting with fellow Long Island-er Eboni!


Francesca Russell is a documentary-style family photographer and filmmaker located in Garden City South, NY. If you'd like to see more of her recent documentary family photography, head over to her Facebook page or follow her everyday adventures on Instagram. If you are looking for a family photographer on Long Island or in the New York City area to document your family's story in photos or a film, please contact her for a session!