family in pajamas cuddling in bed

Family Films

Are family videos for you?

November 15, 2023


You may have been asking yourself if a family film/video is right for your family. It’s a question I often think about with new clients because I truly believe every family deserves their story to be more fully preserved in a way that includes sound and movement. The big question is WHEN.

Honestly, there is never a perfect time, but it’s more a matter of finding the balance when you can surrender to the chaos AND be present with your family. That’s where I come in.

And here’s a secret: I will know right off the bat from our initial phone call

if the present is a good time for a film or if it’s better suited for something further down the road.

Call it a strong intuition or connection of hearts, perhaps.

It’s taken a few years to put these strong pulls into words, and I even hesitate to share my hunches because I firmly believe that every family is beautifully unique and should be celebrated as such. With this mindset, please don’t be deterred from inquiring about a film if all these boxes aren’t checked. Promise?

Without further ado, here are seven reasons why Family Film may be right up you.


You value presence
over perfection

family in pajamas cuddling in bed

Through the harried-ness of your daily routine, you want to slow down and capture life as it is now and are willing to open your hearts wide in documenting your family—just as they are, with all the beautiful mess and constellation of quirks that make your family uniquely beautiful. This also holds true for photos, but I thought this was worth emphasizing since it’s at the heart of what I do.


You love your images from your family photo session but
feel a tug for more

mother and young daughter holding each other in the park

Upon viewing your photos, you feel your family’s story is somehow incomplete and are wishing to stitch those stills together to fill in the gaps.


Your favorite soundtrack is of your family…but without
“Baby Shark.”

Mother and young daughter laughing and hugging during a family photo session in the Presidio

You are deeply sentimental of all the coos, unexpected giggles, pitter-patter of unsteady feet, and jibber-jabber of voices echoing through your home.


You are moved by their movements
(big and small)

double exposure image of pre-teen boy dribbling a basketball in his backyard

This may include how they learned to walk, twirled their hair nervously, bounded into a room, bit their lip in deep concentration, your hand as it caressed your baby’s back, or their love of basketball.


You want to preserve a specific time and place to revisit the countless little details your heart clings to today

family laughing at the breakfast table

You want to safeguard the memories your children were too young to remember and all the ways they were loved by you—a love letter for them to revisit and re-feel what an average day in their life looked like.


You are up for a collaboration

mother and daughter pretending to talk on the phone while holding bananas to their ears

My work depends on a strong sense of connection and trust between me and the families I work with. It includes an initial “get to know you” chat on the phone, a pre-session questionnaire, and two video chats a week before our session (one to go over your questionnaire and form a loose plan for the session day, and the other is just to get acquainted with your kiddos). All spread out over 2-3 months because I know first-hand the harried life of family. This little bit of legwork ensures that when it comes to the actual session day, your one and only job is to love on your people. I will take care of the rest, even if things go sideways…because with young kids, they always do. 🙂


You already take videos of your kids

toddler girl at home playing with a toy camera

While most folks use their camera to take photos, you also tap into the video feature of your phone. Pushing the record button is almost second nature at this point. In fact, your phone is filled to the brim with video candids from your every day, and you return to them time and time again.


You can envision your family’s story told in film

similarly to this Day in the Life video.

So, do any of these sound familiar? Have you discovered a new love for films?

Not sure? Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

I would love to hear more about the people you love most, and how I can memorialize this fleeting season in your life.

About Me

Real life is more than pretty pictures.
The beauty is in the journey, and it's absolutely
worth documenting all of it. 

I’m captivated by people and always have been; my B.S. is in anthropology. Early on, I appointed myself the family documentarian, carefully recording milestones and travels and learning along the way how much I love visual storytelling. I picked up my first professional camera when my daughter was born, knowing those early years with her were precious and full of changes. A photographer friend’s encouragement soon led me to make photography my career. Today, after many years and proud accomplishments, my passion for it only grows.

I can’t imagine doing anything else.       


©Carmen dunham 2024

branding by Bella Maven