It’s been on my mind and heart to teach the art of Family Filmmaking for a while now. I’m constantly scribbling in notebooks, devising methods of how I can teach the technical skills and perspectives necessary for emotive films, and pulling together drafts of how to teach creatives the business skills necessary to make a sustainable and fulfilling business. But there was one thing that just kept getting in the way: myself.

I kept thinking I wasn’t worthy enough, I wasn’t skilled enough, I just wasn’t enough. How could I teach filmmaking as a business when I struggled so hard through 2020? Well, 2020 was hard for everyone and for an in-home business demonstrating the beauty of life at a time when the world is in crisis and most people are trying to survive each day, the pandemic unmistakably had an enormous impact on my ability to grow as a business. I wasn’t giving myself enough grace because I thought if I just found the one thing that I was doing wrong everything would fall into place. COVID can’t be “fixed” and it is going to take time for our world and the people in it to function well again.

Once I accepted that I am enough and that I have something valuable to offer the world, I still had to figure out how I was going to do that. Often times, people struggle to see the beauty right in front of them because the little details that we want to remember 10 years from now feel mundane and repetitive in the moment. Lifestyle &/or documentary photographers are skilled at spotting these everyday treasures already. They’re my people! They already have the necessary foundations to create family films. If I teach them how to create their own, they can practice with their own families during the remainder of quarantine and then they will be ready to rock and bring this to clients when restrictions lift. I’m only one person who can serve a limited number of families, but if I empower others with the skills and knowledge that I have we can make a much bigger impact together. If there is one thing we have all learned during this time it’s the importance of family. Families will be looking to preserve what their love feels like through film.

Why do I keep coming back to family films? Filmmaking has given me the gift of preserving memories that I want to look back on when my kids are grown and remember all of the little details that my brain doesn’t retain. More importantly, my kids will remember this as a time when we were surrounded by love and connection. I made this film from a mish-mash of scenes I filmed during quarantine (and some before) as a gift to my children, to pass down all of the things that this stage of life has taught me.

If I can help other families preserve their love through films, I NEED to put aside my insecurities and just find a way to do it! I started “Images of Joy” to start the discussion, to reach the people I can share this gift with, and it had to start with the courage to accept myself as I am.

Thank you for everyone who has supported the me over the past few days. It’s given me so much encouragement to keep up the momentum. I know it’s not easy to navigate Apple Podcasts and it stinks that it’s only available on Apple devices. This is just the beginning! It will push out to other podcasting platforms soon. I hope that you are able to join in the journey and preserve your images of joy.

This life isn’t beautiful despite imperfections, but rather, because of them.

Vanessa & Brendan’s Story


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