do something with your videos. don't let them just sit. / by Carey

Zipline on an ordinary January day from Carey Pace on Vimeo.
(Music is from the incredibly talented Frances England.  The song "Best Friends" on her "Family Tree" album.  BUY IT!)

Now that my children are a little bit older than the baby phase, I cannot tell you what treasure those early videos of them are.  I took a LOT of video then.  The things you think you'll remember forever.... and then you watch them and realize, you'd forgotten all about.  How they pronounced things, patterns in their speech, how they ran, or held their hands, or licked their lips after eating.  As they've aged,  however, I've slacked in the video department.  I regret it.

That being said, it's not enough just to take the video.  Going back and sorting through files and files and files of videos is cumbersome and sometimes boring.  I wonder how many awesome things are in the videos we've surfed and clicked out of at 20 seconds in, impatient with the waiting for the good part.

I've had a DSLR camera with video capability since May of 2009.  Seriously.  Not once did I even attempt to turn the video ON with the D90.  Not once.  Last spring, 2013, I tried it out on the D800 with my Peonies video of the Little Lady. I am still SO thankful I created that, with all of its imperfections.  It's a treasure!  And I cannot go back in time to get it.  I had to do it THEN.

The combination of the moving images with the still camera photos, all set to music -- it is sheer magic to me.  It communicates something to my soul that one of the three alone simply cannot.

The other day they went out to play in the yard after school.  It was an unusually warm day.  I had things to do, of course - dinner prep, etc.  They should have been doing homework.  But I couldn't deny them the opportunity to BE kids and PLAY outside.  Then they discovered how to teamwork and do the zip-line without a parent.  I hesitated, as I often do, because I didn't have "Time" to photograph.  But I set that aside, grabbed the camera, and ran out.  I wanted to document it.

I don't know what made me turn on the video feature and play for a just a little bit.  I have been so busy and overwhelmed with being behind on my list of tasks and commitments, that my soul is crying out with the need to be creative, I suppose.  I wasn't trying to create anything on purpose, and I certainly hadn't thought out a storyline.  I didn't shoot with beginning, transitional, storytelling features in mind.  I just photographed and videoed my kids.

Finally last Friday, that need to be creative was literally BURSTING out of me.  I could deny it no longer.  I edited the still photos with Photoshop.   I imported the videos into iMovie and set to work.

It may not be special to anyone else.  It may not keep your attention for two and half minutes.  But I guarantee than in 20 years when they are all grown up, it sure will keep ours.  How much more of a story, how much more documented, is their relationship and the essence of their childhood, with this little creation, than with the still images... or a 2 minute home video clip?

I challenge you, and I challenge myself, to do SOMETHING with these videos we take.  So that in twenty years, we have their story.

I shot these with my Nikon D800
Nikon 50mm 1.4D