What do I do with my Family Film? | Long Island & NYC Family Films

"What do I do with my film???"

One of my clients asked me this recently. She told me that she has the family film we created last summer on her Facebook page, but she is not sure what else to do with it. This is such a good and valid question! Films are different in many ways from photographs, and one of the major differences is that they are sort of intangible! You can't hang a film up on your wall. So what can you do with it??

Well, here are a few ideas:

1. DVD
Yep, a good old-fashioned DVD. Although DVDs are slowly becoming obsolete, and do not playback in HD (they play in 720p), I do still include a DVD copy with all my family film sessions. Nothing beats the ease of a good ol' DVD.

2. USB
Many smart TVs will now take a USB stick and you can play your digital film file from there - although a computer monitor will still give you the best quality viewing experience.

3. Nixplay photo/video frame
I just discovered Nix frames and although I have not tried them yet myself, they look AWESOME! They have cloud based frames that you can remotely load new photos and videos to - which sounds perfect for a grandparent gift! 

4. Youtube or Vimeo channel
Load all your personal films onto your own Youtube channel or Vimeo page and share with your family and friends. This is also a great way for your kids to access your films from iPods, etc so that they can enjoy them whenever they want! Lila was constantly pestering me to watch our family films on my computer, so I finally loaded the Vimeo app onto an old iPod for her.

5. Apple TV (Vimeo app)
This is another product that I do not own, but I am told you can access the Vimeo app from Apple TV -  so if you have your films loaded onto a Vimeo page - you can play them directly on your TV.

6. QR codes
If you want to include a film within a family album, you can create a QR code that links to the video on your Youtube or Vimeo page and include it in your album. Scan the code with your phone and watch the video as you are browsing through the album. Here is a helpful blog post from Becky Higgins, creator of Project Life, about adding QR codes to scrapbook pages.

7. Gift the film to family members.
Make DVD copies of your film and gift them to grandparents, or include along with your Christmas cards. How amazing for friends and family who live far away to actually see you moving and hear you talking rather than just getting a static holiday photograph!

8. Show at family gatherings.
Pull out your family films every year and make a tradition of watching them - whether it is at Christmas or at a family reunion or some other family gathering. These memories in motion will grow in value as every year passes. 

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I hope these ideas are helpful and spark some inspiration about what you can do with your family video files - and I'd love to hear if you have any additional ideas to add to the list!

Now, because this is a post about films, I can't hit publish without including one. This was a short film I made as a homework assignment for a video class I took in January. The assignment was to document an entire day in one minute - not easy! I love how it turned out though.

If you are interested in booking a family film session for your family, I am now booking summer sessions - contact me today for details!


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!