Nothing evokes the wholeness of life the way film does. Truly feel this moment in your family's story today and for years to come. These aren't your grandparents' home movies.
These videos are your family's legacy, and they deserve to be more than just a memory – they deserves to be a timeless work of art.
Families (especially the shy + hesitant ones) tell me this is one of the best investments they've ever made. We'll memorialize your typical day, your routines, and everything in between, so you can return to the here and now anytime you'd like.
A Portrait Film celebrates milestones, 2-3 minutes at a time. These are time capsules that you'll want to watch again and again. Perfect for commemorating any poignant moment in your life—welcoming a new baby, graduation, anniversary, and so much more.
* PHOTO AND VIDEO PACKAGES are subject to ca SALES TAX.
Payment plans are available upon request.
Travel fees apply to locations outside SF and 20 miles from Alameda
A true collaboration of hearts: yours and mine
This film features your personal photos and videos + professional footage from three separate film sessions throughout the year.
The heart is the center of my work, and the best way to find out what makes yours skip a beat is by having a conversation. I'll answer all of your questions and go over the details. Once you're ready to move forward, a non-refundable fee of $500 and some paperwork secure your session. We will then complete the pre-session questionnaire together by FaceTime or Zoom so we can customize your film and get better acquainted.
While preparations help me to know we're on the same page, the time spent in your session is laid-back. Think of it as a space to slow down and reconnect as a family. No heavy-handed direction or posing—just all of you doing what you do naturally, and me, quietly observing. I won't shoot the entire time; instead, I will pick moments to document as I see them.
The first time seeing your film is magical, and I treat the debut like the big deal it deserves to be for you. I hope you'll gather the whole family around the TV and premiere it together. Expect tears, laughter, and wonder as you see and appreciate your life from this moving perspective. Once you've viewed your film, you'll receive a link to your private gallery and credit to spend in the well-curated store to print photos and albums and share your film.
I would recommend that anyone with that same longing to capture a moment in time, especially parents, to go for the film option (which also generously includes a limited number of photos). When I watch it, I feel like I’m back in that moment.
Alison - day in the life film session
Carmen has given us a priceless gift with her skill and artistry and I have no doubt that this video will forever be some of the best money I’ve ever spent. It is tangible comfort for all the emotions of this time in our lives. Actual medicine for my soul and now one of my most treasured possessions, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Carmen is more than a photographer, she is a healer and a storyteller. I couldn’t speak more highly of her as a creator or a person.
It's as though she interpreted what was in my heart before I knew it myself. She captured our imperfect selves perfectly, and we watched with tears of love, gratitude, warm hugs, and smiles.
Marion - a soulful mother and daughter portrait session
Our time with Carmen was a wholesome and healing journey. From our initial conversation, to the moment we watched our film, she set us all at ease, and delivered beyond expectations. Working with her was therapeutic, cathartic, and it felt more like collaboration because she takes the time to listen to our hearts, and that, its self, is a complete work of art. We can’t think her enough, and we are already looking forward to our next “therapy" session.
what is the difference between portrait and day in the life films?
I'm nervous about how I will look
what if my children aren't cooperative?
what is your policy about posting films and photos online?
how do I sign up?
Who are family films for?
why do films cost more than photos?
are photos included in the family session?
what if we need to re-schedule?
how do I get my family oN board?
what should we be doing for our session?
Should we clean our house?
what should we wear?
Family Films are inclusive to all types of families and are also for every season of life. They are perfect for families who value presence over perfection and are willing to let their hearts open wide. Another good indicator of a good fit is that your mobile phone is already full of your personal videos that you take of your own family.
I welcome all LGBTQ+, BIPOC, differently-abled, and non-traditionally structured families. If this offends you, I am not the right photographer for you.
Who are family films for?
Editing video is more time-intensive than editing photos. I estimate each YITL film will take anywhere from 60-80 hrs to create because I will be incorporating footage from your three sessions, along with your personal footage from the year. There's also the cost ($250) to license a music soundtrack. While it might seem expensive, I promise your film's worth will only increase in value each year as you rewatch the memories of your life today.
WHY DO FILMS COST MORE THAN PHOTOS?
I check in with my families a week before the session to discuss details and answer any questions. In case of illness, I appreciate a two day notice, and I will do my best to accommodate your plans when rescheduling. Likewise, I expect the same courtesy if I or any member of my family falls ill. Outdoor shoots are weather permitting; if the weather is questionable, I will be in close contact the days before and on the morning of the session.
WHAT IF WE NEED TO RE-SCHEDULE?
Usually (but not always) there is one partner who is more reserved about the experience. My first suggestion is to get them involved. Show them other films I have made, have them on phone calls when we talk. Make sure they know what to expect. If that is hard to do because of busy schedules, know that they will warm up the day of. Once we get started filming, most people realize how easy it is and there are never any issues. So many times now, I've heard from the reluctant partner that they had "way more fun" than they anticipated.
HOW DO I GET MY FAMILY ON BOARD?
Something you feel comfortable and beautiful! In all my years in photography, this is the most important thing. Wear something you feel good in. If you're uncomfortable in a new outfit, it will show. Wear something you can move, dance, play in. The same goes for your children. You want them to play and have fun while I'm there so make sure you don't put them in something you're worried about them messing up.
WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR?
I am looking to capture meaningful footage of you where we'll witness the whole gamut of emotions that make life. Sessions are "activity-based" but an activity does not need to be extravagant and will usually happen at your house or a place that is meaningful to your family. The best things to capture are the things you already do as a family. Capturing the moments that you will treasure and want to remember is the most important.
WHAT SHOULD WE BE DOING FOR OUR SESSION?
It starts with a phone call. It is important to me that you are comfortable and understand the process. I'll answer all your questions and go over the details. Once you're ready to move forward, I'll send over the contract and set up automatic monthly payments to secure your package.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
In my seven years of photography, I've learned your kids don't care that you haven't lost the baby weight. You deserve to be seen for the incredible parent that you are. The most common thing I hear from my clients is that they want to book a session to remember their kids in this stage of life. And despite not necessarily feeling the best about themselves, they know how important it is to document this time in their lives. Not just for them, but for their children.
After working with hundreds of families, I can say with certainty I know how to create space for you to feel comfortable, which means I can make the seesion feel effortless and help you feel beautiful, just as you are.
I'M NERVOUS ABOUT HOW I WILL LOOK
I have a pre-teen who is quite strong-willed and dislikes being in photos, so I totally get this one. I've wanted to push off photos because we were in a "hard season". I think one of my superpowers is finding the beauty in the struggle. You can trust me to do this. I'll follow your child's lead and if they melt down, I'll find the sweet moments after. My sessions are judgment-free zones. I get it and have been there.
WHAT IF MY CHILDREN AREN'T COOPERATIVE?
I understand that each family is different, and I offer 2 levels of enhanced privacy. If complete privacy is vital to your family and you decide to decline altogether, a fee of $500 will apply and will be billed separately. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Otherwise, films + photos are for marketing and promotional purposes (social media, website, and occasional magazine publications) directly related to my photography business.
WHAT IS YOUR POLICY ABOUT POSTING FILMS AND PHOTOS ONLINE?
I don't want you to hold anything back during our time together because you're concerned about where your film + photos are posted online. This session is about you and your family.
That said, my business is a visual one. New families can find me from the work I post publicly. Not being able to do so impacts me financially. I, however, am also a parent and take steps to ensure privacy by not using identifiable features such as names, tags, street signs, etc. I also keep things G-rated and don't share images that would make anyone uncomfortable without explicit permission (breastfeeding, nudity, politics).
Portrait films celebrate everyday milestones, 1-2 minutes at a time—like little intimate time capsules that you'll want to revisit. They focus on one person and a specific time in their life. Portrait film sessions are shorter 1-2hr sessions (vs. 3-4 hrs from a DITL session). These abbreviated films are perfect for newborns, graduates, birthdays...basically any finite time you would like to memorialize.
The same basic description of a Day in the Life film applies here, except they are for the entire family-not just one individual. These sessions are longer as well, 3-4 hrs as opposed to 1-2 hrs from a Portrait session.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PORTRAIT AND DAY IN THE LIFE FILMS?
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