Christmas Video at the Farm - 2016
Every year, the part of Christmas that stresses me out the most is having to shoot, edit, design, print, & address Christmas cards. The kids don't enjoy it, and somehow I have come to dread it. So this year, I decided (gasp) not to do Christmas cards at all. Instead, I was on a mission to find some sort of project that would be more special and meaningful to my kids. At first I was going to make them a photo book, but then I remembered how much they LOVE the beach video I made for them a couple summers ago. They often ask to watch it, and I love watching them smile as they do (the video makes me smile too). So I decided to attempt a Christmas Video Card. I think I'm realizing that not everyone will want to watch a 3 minute video of my family, but honestly, I really made this video for my kids. I want them to always be able to look back and not only see us all happy and smiling, but to hear their laughter and witness their joy.
So I am sharing this video with everyone for one reason: I want to inspire everyone to shoot more video... of your own family, for clients, etc. Video is alive and can be very special. I must say that I love my summer video more than any photo I've ever taken. I am an amateur videographer for sure so I know I made lots of mistakes when shooting and also editing (I edit with Adobe Premiere Pro). I am still learning... I shot this video with my Nikon D4 and D800 with the Nikon 85mm 1.4G lens and also the Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art lens (my two favorite lenses), BUT you can shoot with any camera or lens... even your iPhone. The point is to just shoot. You'll never regret having too much video. And our kids grow so so fast....
Here are a couple more notes on the video:
1. With the exception of the final scenes by the Christmas tree, the entire video was shot at our farmhouse (a few miles down the road). I know some will wonder why my horse Rain isn't in the video, and that is why (Rain and Miss Charlotte are the two horses that live at our house (with the little white barn).
2. The farmhouse was built in 1810 (notice the logs in the dining room where the kids are making gingerbread houses). The barn, however, was just built and is nearly finished. The playful grey horse in the barn scenes is our slaughter rescue Dreamer (who was actually a personal gift to me from a sweet rescuer in Washington state as a token of appreciation). She's such a special mare, and has grown into such a beauty.
3. I am a perfectionist... I know that if I overplan things or try to make things perfect, that I will never finish them. So, I didn't stress over what anyone was wearing (and as you can see, Ollie clearly needed a haircut lol). Also, I noticed afterward, that one of the farmhouse shutters was crooked from a recent storm. I could let that bug me (it was fixed the day after we shot those scenes), but instead I am choosing to embrace the fact that I chose not to stress about every little detail. I hate to admit it, but I did stress over details when shooting and editing Christmas cards (and it was much less fun than we had shooting the video). I'm not sure I will ever send cards again... :)
4. In case anyone remembers our baby lamb Leo being born, he is the sheep on the right in the video (the one I kissed on the head). Big boy now! :)
5. So proud of Princie Pie (our Gypsy Vanner). He and Michael just finished cart driving school and is doing such a great job (he was still learning here).
6. There is a very special horse moment near the end of the video... I was recording the kids, when I noticed our two Friesians standing next to each other. As many who followed my beloved Willow's story will remember, after her death we purchased her baby cousin Mirabella. Two years and many attempts later, we were able to bring Willow's daughter Galadrielle here from New York (there is a very tragic story which I'm still kind of afraid to share the details of publicly). Suffice it to say, Gala has emotional scars and is still healing and learning to trust. Anyway, when I saw them both standing side by side (just the two of them), I couldn't help but become overwhelmed with thoughts of Willow and how much I missed her. That very second they turned toward each other and shared a little kiss. :) I'd never seen them do that before. Yes, Willow's spirit lives on... through them, and always in my heart.
7. At the time of this video, Sophie Lu is 12, Oliver is 10, and Sasha is 8. Sasha recently lost her first front tooth, and I LOVE that she is missing her tooth in this video. I think it's the cutest thing ever. Oh, and her little laugh... she is always laughing, so It was important for me to include her laughter.
8. My kids understand that more than anything, Jesus loves to witness our joy... our love... our kindness. I'm so proud of each of them... because they are loving, kind and very joyful. I'm grateful to have captured this on video. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we dedicate our Christmas video to Him. <3
9. Many thanks to Kelsey Lewis for allowing me to license her song "Christmas Beside You". This adorable song was perfect, and I"m so grateful. :)
Wishing everyone a beautiful, joy filled Christmas.
Much love, Shana Rae xo