Here are some things that Jasper and Emilia love: crayons, art paper, paints, marshmallows, bubble wrap, trains, books, the iPhone, the iPad, video cameras, regular cameras, Toady, me, Kyle, the cats, skateboards, anything Disney, Scotch tape, cardboard boxes, stickers, the piano, and cookies. Only cookies with chocolate, though. They know their baked goods.
Why they love these things, I don’t know. I’ve never really thought to ask that question, except in regards to Toady, who is so unusual (and whose continued existence Kyle interrogates daily: ‘can we get rid of him, PLEASE?‘) that his very presence demands that variations on that question – why are you here? what need or want are you fulfilling? – be asked of him, constantly. (Notice that I fall so naturally into calling Toady a ‘him.’ This is disturbing.) The presence of, and my children’s preference for, all those other things goes unquestioned, I suppose because those preferences don’t read as unusual. Who doesn’t love the iPhone? Crayons? Cookies? I mean, really? So, no, I never asked.
I’m not a professional photographer. Nor am I professional filmmaker or documentarian. But I do tell stories, and a lot of those stories are about my kids, and telling stories about my kids involves using photographs and video. So I am, if you will, a Semi-Amateur Multimedia Documentary Artist and Chronicler Of Family Narratives, and I do an acceptably decent job of it, if I do say so myself.
But it’s a job that has had a somewhat steep learning curve. Capturing the most narratively interesting moments of family life is only slightly less complicated than filming meerkats, not least because small children are less predictable than meerkats. Capturing the movements of children on film during the holidays is considerably more complicated than filming meerkats, because during the holidays children tend to be jacked up on candy canes and Santa, and meerkats, to the best of my knowledge, don’t get all that excited about either of those things. But it’s not impossible, and well worth the effort, because although meerkats are awesome, they are not nearly as funny and adorable and documentary-worthy as your own children. You can make an awesome photo collage or montage or video that captures the awesomeness of your family during the holidays, and you should.
So, herewith, and humbly, some tips from me on how get adequately amazing footage of your family, whether on digital film or video or sketchpad, and use it to craft some remarkable holiday memories. (Or, Tips For Being An Awesome Documentary Filmmaker/Photographer/Auteur And Creating The Best Family Holiday Video/Photo Album/Virtual –Slideshow-For-Your-Mom-Blog EVER, Even If You Have No Idea What You’re Doing At All, Really. Or, Failing That, How To Get Just Enough On Film So That You Don’t Forget What Your Kids Look Like.) (Read all the way to the bottom! There is music! And PRIZES! And other feel-good things!)